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The Solution To Reduce Parking In MetroBus Stops Exists In Front Of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Headquarters

October 13, 2014 Featured, Public Transit 13 Comments

At various MetroBus stops all over the city motorists decide it’s ok to park in the stop, forcing the bus to stop in traffic to pick-up/drop-off passengers.  I’ve shown a couple of examples before, both on Market St:

ABOVE: MetroBus stop on the north side of Market Street between 14th-15th, across from the Peabody Opera House
2013: MetroBus stop on the north side of Market Street between 14th-15th, across from the Peabody Opera House
At 12:31pm I posted this image to my blog's Twitter account & Facebook page with the text: "This morning a @SLMPD traffic cop parked in front of a hydrant in a @STLMetro bus stop, forcing me to go 2 blocks east to catch the bus"
2014: Traffic cop parked in front of a hydrant in a bus stop on EB Market @ 16th

The ideal solution to prevent all motorists from blocking access to bus stops is to push the sidewalk out so vehicles can’t physically park there. However, that would be very expensive and then buses would block traffic. In looking for a low cost solution I turn to the police. No, not enforcement — to the new police headquarters. You see, the entire north side of Olive between 19th & 20th is reserved for police but it seems even they anticipated problems enforcing a no parking zone in front of the entry.

Let me repeat, they took extra steps to make sure police didn’t park in a no parking zone!

Paint is cheap, by painting the pavement in addition to the curb they've made it clear this isn't for parking
Paint is cheap, by painting the pavement in addition to the curb they’ve made it clear this isn’t for parking
Signs at each end make it clear no parking is allowed.
Signs at each end make it clear no parking is allowed.

I’m not suggesting we paint the street in front of thousands of MetroBus stops throughout the region, that would be costly and unnecessary. However,  at 10-20 of the most problematic bus stops, this should be done immediately! If the police can’t otherwise enforce no parking in front of their headquarters we can’t expect them to do any better elsewhere.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "13 comments" on this Article:

  1. Sebastian says:

    What’s wrong with a quick stop of a bus for a couple of minutes every 20 minutes or so? I personally suspect that the constant shrinkage of street level parking will hurt city businesses. And, yeah, I get the need for wheelchair access, but for that we don’t need a hundred feet of no parking 24 hours.

     
    • The motorists don’t know the bus schedule, it they’re there for 5 minutes it may be when a person in a wheelchair might need to use that stop. We have an excess of parking downtown as it is.

       
    • wimp says:

      You seem unfamiliar with the basic workings of a bus system. Stick with the the stripmalls you know and love

       
  2. Pam Bookham says:

    Interesting idea. Would the wheelchair lifts on the buses have to be adapted? Curbs would have to be modified. Are there safety issues with passengers waiting in the painted area?

     
    • Passengers wouldn’t wait in the painted area, we’d be on the sidewalk. The paint is to keep cars from preventing the bus getting near the sidewalk so exising bus lifts/ramps can work.

       
  3. KevinB says:

    Or ticket violators with impugnity. Get caught parked in a ‘No Parking’ zone? Guess what — that’s illegal! Metro can help too by instructing its drivers to immediately call in any violations (or even pull license info and/or be given ticket issuing privileges).

     
  4. KevinB says:

    Driver pulls up to a bus stop. Driver sees a car illegally parked. As passengers get on/off (in street), driver tells its location and direction to dispatch. Driver leaves. Dispatch sends ticketer. The driver’s part to play takes no longer than a usual stop and Metro has a front-line resource to call in parking violators.

     
  5. Erik Landfried says:

    “However, that would be very expensive and then buses would block traffic.” If there’s a lot of traffic, don’t the buses have a lot of trouble re-entering traffic? Bus bulb-outs exist for this very purpose! I could see paint as a short-term solution, but I wouldn’t dismiss bulb-outs quite so quickly…

     
  6. Prinzrob says:

    In San Francisco the buses are equipped with cameras pointed curbside. Any drivers in the stop when the bus arrives are recorded, the video is reviewed and tickets are automatically mailed to the vehicle owners. Why this system doesn’t exist in every city is beyond me.

     

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