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Two Community Plans Intersect at Former Ferguson QuikTrip Site

Before Michael Brown was shot & killed last August, community planning had been completed to improve parts of Ferguson & neighboring municipalities. In 2011 Great Rivers Greenway District completed the Maline Greenway Concept Plan, in June 2014 East-West Gateway Council of Governments completed the West Florissant Avenue Great Streets Master Plan — both included extensive community participation along their linear boundaries.

The boundaries of each plan, coincidentally, intersect at the burnt out QuikTrip (9420 W. Florissant Ave). The 1.14 acre site, on W. Florissant Ave, is bordered by Maline Creek on the South. Next week I’ll post about the Urban League’s intentions for this site and how they ignored two published plans with extensive community involvement. Today more detail on both plans.

West Florissant Avenue Great Streets Master Plan:

The Vision for West Florissant Avenue comes from community and stakeholder input received through multi-faceted outreach efforts. These have included public workshops and virtual walking tours, interviews with community leaders, input from the Community Committee and Technical Advisory Committee, an Agency workshop, and an online survey and mapping tool. The Vision Statement has distilled this community and stakeholder input, with the most significant community values expressed as how the corridor should look, feel, and contribute to the community’s future. 

Maline Greenway Concept Plan:

The Maline Greenway Concept plan presents the findings of a yearlong planning process that involved inventory, analysis and recommendations. Input from residents within communities along
the greenway helped shape the plan. The report includes background information on the District, summary of existing conditions, review of public input, description of the Maline Greenway concept, implementation overview and a summary of recommendations that include not only the trail alignment opportunities but also recommendations that address the social, economic and environmental quality of life for the communities. The Concept Plan helps to guide partnership opportunities, provides an analysis of the corridor, identifies community connections and alignment opportunities.

The West side of W. Florissant is very similar to the East. lots and lots of paving
The West side of W. Florissant is very similar to the East. lots and lots of paving. August 2014

From the Existing Conditions chapter of the West Florissant Ave plan, p20:

Ferguson’s zoning was updated as recently as 2011 and includes a downtown form-based code. Ferguson’s guiding comprehensive plan document is the Vision 2015 Plan Update that dates to 1998.

Page 24:

Although sidewalks are provided on both sides of West Florissant Avenue along most of the corridor, the pedestrian realm is generally uninviting and often unsafe. Buildings are spaced too far apart to walk, sidewalks are interrupted by frequent driveways and parking entries, and there are few pedestrian amenities or street trees.

Page 25 talks about transit and possible Bus Rapid Transit (BRT):

West Florissant also carries transit, specifically MetroBus Route 74 (Florissant line), and though the headways are long (30 minutes), Route 74 is one of Metro’s heaviest-used lines, with over 1.1 million boardings in 2013. West Florissant is crossed by MetroBus Route 61 (also in Metro’s top ten heaviest-used routes, with 800,000 boardings) at Chambers Road. The heavy transit use along the corridor results in a correspondingly heavy pedestrian demand. There is a clear opportunity to encourage transit- and pedestrian-oriented development at this intersection of West Florissant and Chambers Road.

While the current roadway configuration works relatively well for those traveling by automobile, and offers a transit option, other modes and users are largely shortchanged. West Florissant Avenue’s auto-dominated character and design, width, and traffic speeds, as well as the lack of any bicycle facilities, make it hostile to and unsafe for cyclists. Conditions for pedestrians are somewhat better, with the presence of sidewalks, but the pedestrian experience in many places along the corridor is unpleasant and unsafe.

With new high-quality transit service given priority along the corridor, and with rush-hour headways of 10 minutes, the opportunity exists to remake West Florissant Avenue into
a transit-first street, with transit-oriented, pedestrian-scale development clustered around some key stations along the corridor. The corridor has a relatively wide right-of-way, which will make allocating space efficiently to serve the multi-modal needs of all its users easier than if the street were narrower.

Chapter 5 Concept Plan, page 86:

New infill development should be guided by new zoning and guidelines that require buildings and entrances to be built up to the sidewalk, forming a consistent street wall. Until redevelopment occurs, individual property owners should be encouraged to beautify the edges of existing parking lots that front the avenue, so that the pedestrian experience is improved.

The study area of West Florissant Ave is long, but you have to start somewhere. From the Executive Summary:

Project construction should start at the south end, where there is high potential for redevelopment projects such as new housing, retail and mixed use projects. Thus investing public funds in this zone first follows a strategy that looks to catalyze private investment as soon as possible. Maline Creek is also planned to be reconstructed, so developers will be attracted to the critical mass of activity which will result in an appealing place for housing to be developed. Putting the South Gateway into construction in the first phase will also help create a rationale for the street design and use of medians and access management, simply because these street treatments are already in place immediately to the south, at Buzz-Westfall Plaza.

Maline Creek was identified as the point where the commercial development stops and residential begins, the former QuikTrip is on the residential side of Maline Creek.

Looking East at Maline Creek from West Florissant, the QT site on the left.
Looking East at Maline Creek from West Florissant, the QT site on the left. August 2014

From the Maline Creek Greenway Concept Plan Executive Summary:

Numerous park and open space areas exist along the proposed Maline Creek corridor which could potentially function as trailheads and Greenway amenities. Creating attractive linkages between parks and open spaces will promote public use and create the opportunity for the greenway to become a regional attraction. (p1.5)

After the trail leaves Ferguson’s Forestwood Park

Continuing east, the trail is planned to be located in open space at the north side of Maline Creek to West Florissant Avenue. From West Florissant Avenue the trail is planned to proceed south across the creek and then go east on the south side of the creek for approximately 2000 feet. A pedestrian bridge is planned in this area to cross the Maline Creek to reach the north side open space and continue east to Lucas and Hunt Road near Westview Middle School (p1.9)

The QuikTrip site could, perhaps, allow the trail to stay on the North side of Maline Creek.

In the interest of transparency and community involvement I think the community should share in setting the vision for the use of 9420 W. Florissant Ave. More next week.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "36 comments" on this Article:

  1. guest says:

    I don’t get it. What is your point? Are they talking about moving the creek or channelizing it in order to build the new Urban League jobs center? Are you suggesting the jobs center is not consistent with the community plan for W. Florissant? Is there some kind of problem here?

     
    • The Urban League’s proposed building, in typical St. Louis fasion, was conceived in a top-down manner — completely ignoring the published work of East-West Gateway and Great Rivers Greenway. Business as usual…

       
      • guest says:

        What does it have to do with the creek plan?

         
        • As I said in the post/ Malins Creek is adjacent to the QT site. The trail has to cross the creek to the south and back to the north. With the QT gone the trail could be simpler and cheaper.

           
          • guest says:

            Are you suggesting that QT should have donated its property to the city or park system instead of the Urban League? Do you think Ferguson residents are better off with a job center or creek trail? Which would get more use? And is it up to QT to decide? The logic here seems tortured. Did GRG approach QT about dedicating a trail easement or donating the property? If the riverfront stadium project could be redesigned to save some historic buildings, likely the Urban League job center could shave off a few feet from the side of project to make way for a trail connection. My bet is that QT knew nothing of the trail plan and that GRG never approached QT about selling their property for a trail. Hey Steve, maybe you could broker a win-win here!

             
          • The first night after the shooting or fire a QT board member, who’s a long-time Urban League member, contacted Michael McMillan about donating the property. It appears neither thought to seek out any existing community plans.

            The jobs center is a classroom for a 4-week class teaching how to apply for a job, interviews, keeping a job, getting promoted. Needed skills that can be taught in any building.

             
          • guest says:

            And why would they? C’mon Steve! Two guys both in the same organization, seeing a need and a possible way to help would first seek out a bureaucracy for “plans”? Be serious. That’s not
            how things work. We should be celebrating that QT leadership is working to support UL leadership.

             
          • That’s a big part of the problem — oupsides making decisions and expecting commoners to kneel and be thankful.

             
          • guest says:

            You’re looking at this bass-ackwards. It should be the city of Ferguson and EW Gateway stepping in to enforce their plans. It’s not for every property owner and individual to know these things. QT is based in Oklahoma and owns hundreds of stores across maybe ten states. The Urban League is a national organization with hundreds of affiliates. Do you expect these organizations to keep track of community plans in every location they operate? They don’t have a staff person dedicated to such things. They are trying to do something good, and yet their efforts are criticized. And hey, everyone, once and for all,it’s not “Quick Trip”, it’s “QuikTrip”!

             
          • No, you’re not grasping how things work. The West Florissant Ave report was finished just months before Michael Brown was shot — Ferguson city hall has been too busy to address the necessary zoning changes necessary to enforce the recommendations.

            East-West Gateway is a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_planning_organization) — it has ZERO legal authority to force anything on municipalities, non-profits, or private property owners.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            GRG and EWCOG are also “outsiders making decisions” for the people in Ferguson, expecting them “to kneel and be thankful”. I’m pretty sure that most poor Ferguson / Canfield Green residents would rather have more money in their pockets, better jobs and/or a less racist police department than a prettier street or a new bike path!

            As for your wikipedia link, it states: “Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name.”!

             
          • You’re sure, but I think sustained economic development is much better than a 4-week course on resumes, interviews, etc.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            I agree that sustained economic development is what’s needed in North County. I just don’t think that either prettier streets or new trails are the best way to make that happen. Did the new streetscape on Washington or did historic tax credits and property tax rebates have a bigger impact in encouraging loft conversions, downtown? Sure, pushing the Urban League building out to the sidewalk can be done, and sure, the trail can be built on the south side of the creek, but absent any larger, structural economic changes, the rest of the area is NOT going to change much – the existing “suburban” stores aren’t going to be rebuilt, and, given recent history, few private developers are going to consider making any new investments in the area. At this point, rebranding is probably the biggest priority – both Ferguson and Canfield Green now have toxic connotations, no different than Watts or Stonewall . . .

             
      • JZ71 says:

        Just because a “plan” has been “published” by some narrowly-focused, special-interest group like GRG or EWCOG does NOT mean that either the larger “public” or the local residents have actually embraced a “plan” or its basic concepts! These planning processes all start as top-down efforts, by groups with an agenda they want to push. Absent any impending, actual, construction, any public “participation” is cursory, at best. Most poor Ferguson residents have better things to do with their time (either working at minimum wage jobs or trying to scrape together a few bucks in the underground economy) than to show up at public meetings to discuss how many street trees should be added to West Florissant or which side of the creek a new trail needs to be on. Yes, if every “published work” were implemented as written, the world would be a much different place. The hard reality is that there are far more completed studies than there are resources to fully implement them!

         
        • At least their plans have documented public participation, unlike the QT/UL plan which was done in secrecy without any public input.

           
          • JZ71 says:

            Secrecy is an interesting term. The vast majority of all construction projects would then have to be deemed as being done in “secret”. Most property owners don’t ask their neighbors, much less the general public, for “input”. QT donated their property to the Urban League – QT has NO responsibility for its future use or reuse, they no longer own it. The Urban League is (apparently) meeting all existing Ferguson rules and regulations. If you don’t like this, you should be going after the elected officials who have not adopted, for whatever reason, any new rules – don’t go blaming those in the private sector for not seeking out impending rules that a) currently do not apply, and b) they may not want to comply with, anyways!

             
          • When your tagline is “Empowering Communities. Changing Lives.” and you respond to a long-ignored employment “crisis”it would make sense to be transparent and inclusive.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            Huh?! Define “transparent and inclusive”. They’ve been pretty damn transparent – they’ve announced what they will be doing, in a very public manner. I guess they’re not being “inclusive” because they haven’t asked for, nor fully embraced, YOUR opinions or YOUR unique perspective. I guess the only thing that would make you happy is for the Urban League to spend the next 6-12 months having a series of open, public meetings so that people (like you, who lives nowhere near Ferguson) can come in and provide “input” on how the new building should be sited . . . .

            As you noted, earlier, the programs that the Urban League wants to provide “can be taught in any building.” Here, on this site, they’re getting both “free” land, at a highly visible location, and enough funding (in donations) to actually get a new building built*. I’m not hearing anything from the residents of Canfield Green or Ferguson that the current plans need to be either delayed or modified – if anything, I’m hearing questions about why it can’t be completed sooner. Git ‘er gone, start helping the people, don’t be spending more money on “consultants” – that’s the definition of paralysis by analysis!

            *And yes, we can argue the wisdom of owning versus leasing, but that discussion would need to be tempered by the knowing the strings attached to the donations, because if the donations can only be used for capital costs, and not operational ones, any analysis changes, significantly.

             
          • To have been transparent and inclusive QT would’ve said days after the fire that they won’t be rebuilding that location — they’ll be donating through the Urban League. Both would work to facilitate community visioning sessions to how the land coukd best benefit the community.

             
          • guest says:

            You’re being naive, Steve. A community visioning session? QT was the victim of an act of civil unrest. Likely there losses are not covered by insurance. And you think they should be convening community visioning sessions? There not in that business!

             
          • The location was built 25 years earlier — it was fully depreciated. My guess is based on the new location 1.5 miles north, the fact they hadn’t done a sale-leaseback, and the small lot size they’d already been considering closing the location.

            And unless they are self-insured they collected on the property damage. The tank removal and remediation they’d have done if that closed the location.

            They’re gaining PR, goodwill, and an unexpected tax credit rather than hold a vacant property for sale.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            Man, Steve, you and I live in two very different realities . . . you seem to think that you (or anyone else) should be free to randomly insert your (their) perspectives into any and all development opportunities that may pop up, and if they’re not embraced and not implemented, the rest of the world will always be wrong, and you’ll always be right. You’re right, this was a depreciated asset in a less-than-optimal location – the county assessed the land at only $171,000 (and the structure at $575,000)*. But just because it was burned in a riot (along with multiple other structures) does NOT grant it any special status in the world of planning or development! If it did, then we’d need to do a whole public visioning process for all 25 structures that were destroyed in Ferguson and Dellwood**, along with every other building permit application in the region, plus defining the future of the Michael Brown “shrine” at Canfield Green . . . . I guess we all need our dreams and fantasies . . . .

            I get it, you’re a frustrated college graduate with an urban planning degree that’s “going to waste” – you want to make a difference, to have an impact on the world. But the best way for that to become reality is not to be a gadfly, it’s to become a part of the process. The problem, here (if there even is one), lies squarely with the city, and not with QuikTrip and not with the Urban League. For whatever reasons(s), Ferguson has not implemented the recommendations from either study. That’s not QT’s fault and that’s not QT’s problem. The same applies to the Urban League – they can only play by the rules that they have been given. You continue to focus on the private side of the equation when the public side is where the failures (if any) are occurring. (When was the last time you’ve been to the Ferguson City Council to raise this issue?!)

            And this just illustrates one of the big fallacies of the public planning process – the dreaded “ending up on a shelf” scenario. Until “teeth” are put into any recommendations, they remain just that, convenient (or inconvenient) SUGGESTIONS! They don’t carry the weight of law, and, for invested participants, the lack of implementation can be supremely frustrating – I get that. Dig deeply enough, however, and you’ll usually find one of the two “real” reasons for doing any non-implemented study, either using them as a delaying tactic or to consume some random, dedicated, dollar amount that can’t be spent on more productive uses or on more pressing civic needs. In the case here, it seems like the biggest hurdles are a lack of dollars and a lack of political will – if you want to see one or both plans implemented, focus on those two points, not on how eff’ed up the Urban League’s little building plan may be, in your fantasy world!

            *http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/news/2015/03/16/urban-league-to-build-job-center-on-site-of-burned.html?page=all
            **http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/news/2014/12/04/buildings-destroyed-in-ferguson-riots-worth.html?page=all

             
          • I am frustrated — at 25 years of St. Louis status quo “thinking.”

            You’re right, the QT site isn’t anymore special than others on West Florissant. It was already determined prior to the shooting entire stretch needs to be evaluated. This doesn’t happen instantly — when a building is replaced it’s a good time to do so.

            You’re also right that we’re from different realities. You continue to advocate the ‘do nothing beyond the minimum required’ whereas I’m from the ‘how can this improve the community’ school.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            No, I also come from the “how can I improve the community school”, I’m just a big believer in building consensus and making many, small, incremental steps, not trying to force wholesale changes, across the board, simply because “I know best”. I spent 30+ years in Denver, where I served as president of my local neighborhood organization, served on the Parks Board, chaired the zoning committee for a consortium of neighborhood groups (with differing agendas), co-chaired the rewrite of the Transportation and Land Use portion of the most recent update of their comprehensive code, worked on multiple changes to their archaic zoning ordinance and served 5 years on their regional transit board – I walked the walk, I didn’t just talk the talk.

            YES, changing the direction of any government entity can be extremely frustrating, but it can also be extremely rewarding. The most effective way to effect change is the same way one eats an elephant – one bite at a time. Define the problem, solicit potential solutions, refine and decide on the most appropriate solution, build consensus, implement the regulations and see how well they work, in the real world, then repeat. In a city as big as St. Louis (or Denver) or the St. Louis region, there never, ever, is just one right answer, nor are the opportunities to make changes evenly distributed.

            With the QT site Ferguson, yes, you have two intersecting plans (that do offer “opportunities”), but you also have an area that’s been highly stressed, economically, socially and politically. Politicians, property owners, residents and community activists all have to pick which battles they’re willing to fight, now, which investments are the biggest priorities, and which issues can be put off to a later date. Jobs and public safety, for most people, are, unfortunately, a far higher priority than setbacks, parking ratios or urban form. Yes, it’s another “missed opportunity”, but, in my mind, there are far bigger “urban” battles that need to be fought, inside the city limits, than any along West Florissant Road.

            Cherokee Street, the Grove, Soulard, Grand Center, Carondelet, Bevo Mill and Hampton Village all have both far greater potential and more developer interest than the eastern part of Ferguson. We can’t fix everything, so let’s focus on what we can fix. How do we put S. Jefferson on a road diet? How do we improve the Cherokee streetscape? How do we revive the Lemp Brewery complex? How do we integrate the Zoo’s growth plans with Dogtown? How do we reverse the city’s population and jobs losses? How do we make sure Cortex and the surrounding area succeeds and thrives?

            Bottom line, it’s all about incremental change. I’m more concerned with making sure that the oldest parts of Ferguson survive and thrive than I am about the QT site – the area along West Florissant is no different than along Manchester, west of Maplewood – it’s a soulless, boring, suburban landscape that’s going to deteriorate, further, before it gets any better. And if you want to attack a soulless, suburban-feeling streetscape, how about tackling Manchester, between the Grove and the city limits? It’s far, far worse, from an urban design standpoint, than what the Urban League is proposing in Ferguson, and it hits most of your readers closer to home . . . .

             
          • Classic…once again you accuse me of having a knows what’s best attitude and then you conclude with one of “bottom line” summaries. Just classic, I need to get you a mirror.

             
          • guest says:

            I think JZ’s dead on, Steve. He makes some very interesting points when he expands the context into a regional prioritization challenge. Another point that has not been made is consider the “before and after”. Currently, the QT is a sagging, burned out, hulking mess. For whatever historic significance the site has, it’s also a daily reminder of the stresses JZ talks about. Now fast forward a year from now. The dead QT is a new jobs center and community resource operated by the Urban League. It is bringing hope, life, and real change to people’s lives. It would be a dramatic 180 for the Ferguson area. The creek on the other hand will be the same as it is now, sort of an overgrown greenspace, not hurting anyone, and providing a place for wildlife.

             
          • This is not an either or situation! The new UL jobs center could’ve been designed with consideration of both the trail and desire to make W. Florissant more pedestrian-friendly.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            This is a classic example of insisting on perfection instead of accepting that many choices in life, politics and business are about the art of the possible. If the Urban League does not build something here, the odds are great that NOTHING will be built here, for many, many years. QT is not going to rebuild, and most other private sector businesses would not consider the site, either. Sure, the city could “make it a park”, but Ferguson does not need more parkland to maintain, Ferguson needs jobs, successful businesses and tax revenues. Yes, the jobs center COULD have been designed the way you want, but it wasn’t. Like most projects, it was designed to meet the client’s program and to meet city requirements. Yes, it’s going to take someone being first to make this part of Ferguson more “urban” and pedestrian friendly, but few people in Ferguson are focused on that, now. They’re far more concerned about lost jobs, lost revenues and a negative perception of a struggling area. Doing something, anything, even if it’s “wrong” makes more sense than doing nothing!

             
          • gmichaud says:

            You and JA are why St. Louis is stuck in the past. It is also why Ferguson is going to have a hard time healing. The rationalizations against progress are amazing. What’s the definition of insanity? doing the same thing over and over and getting the same result. JZ is against the slightest progress, you must fall into the same camp.

             
  2. gmichaud says:

    I agree that the two plans should be starting points for Urban League discussions if in fact the Urban League wants to have the positive impact they desire. It should be clear at this point in time that there is more to this project than just throwing up a suburban style building with parking in front.

    If in fact the Urban League wants to supply leadership you certainly would hope they would be more receptive to looking at community needs instead of decision making on the level of something like a Quick Trip. Careful consideration of what is built and its meaning to the future of the community is important.

    The community will not heal as Urban League wishes if the details of their project ignore previous discussions surrounding the Quick Trip site. Healing is a community effort, these two plans mentioned above propose to rebuild the community in a meaningful way.

    In fact failure to utilize the above mentioned two plans as a starting point violates Urban Leagues’ social compact with the region. The organization is after all supposed to be serving the public and the backdrop to providing jobs and job training is transportation and creating desirable environments for daily living.

    The fact they intend to start the building this spring (now) does not bode well for inclusion of public discussion or inclusion of broader community goals in urban planning. In that way Urban League has similarities to how the Ferguson government and police handled the citizens, that is by ignoring them.

     
  3. John R says:

    I really don’t know the details of the parcel and site plan, but if it is possible to put the Urban League building on it and enhance and shave costs off of the Maline Creek Greenway then that is a huge win for all. GRG collects revenue from area residents and is obligated to provide the best greenway system fiscally possible to its citizens. If there is potential here to collaborate, I hope that opportunity is explored.

     
    • JZ71 says:

      The challenge is that the QT site only has about 300′ of frontage along the north side of the creek. Less than a quarter mile futher east, the Versailles apartments create a much bigger obstruction to placing the trail on the north side (thus, the proposed trail alignmrnt on the south side of the creek). I agree, maximizing any expenditure towards trail infrastructure should be considered, but what happens (or doesn’t happen) on the QT site will have minimal impact on the larger corridor – Steve just wants to use this as an excuse to delay the start of construction, and to reopen the entire project to more public “input”, in hopes of generating a more “urban” siting of the structure (in what is truly a suburban setting, currently).

      I’ll repeat, if we want our opinions to be respected and our ideas actually implemented, we need to pick our battles. Yes, there is certainly an “opportunity”, with ANY project, to look at its “urban” and its “pedestrian-friendly” possibilities. But, when it comes to suburban areas, even the newer, suburban-feeling parts of the city, there rarely is any political will to make those “urban” changes a reality. I’m guessing that part of Steve’s frustration is that there is so little new development happening in the city (where this type of input would be appropriate), and so much boring, suburban, crap that is happening outside the city, that he feels duty-bound to be the evangelist on EVERY project that has even the vaguest semblence of pedestrian access.

      Density happens when land values go up. Parking is reduced when land values go up. Excess, “unused” parking goes away when land values go up. 20′ setbacks and single-story structures go away when land values go up. Guess what? In this part of Ferguson (and Dellwood), land values are NOT going up. The hope and desire, of both residents and politicians, is not more density and making the area more urban and walkable, the desire is simply survival. They want the two dozen plus structures that were destroyed in the rioting rebuilt and reoccupied. If they looked like they looked before the riots, I’m sure that that would be just fine with the surrounding residents and neighborhoods – that would mean a return to normalcy.

       
      • gmichaud says:

        This city, or the nation for that matter cannot return to the normalcy of discrimination and unsustainable environments that do not serve the citizens. You spend your time coming up with meaningless reason after meaningless reason nothing is possible.
        The normalcy is the problem.
        All I hear is mealy mouth speakers willing to let everything continue as it has been. The polar caps are melting and we dick around like, oh yea its too much trouble to build the environment the way it should be.
        And yes it’s also about healing Ferguson. Urban League should be taking the lead if government does not. In fact what Urban League should be doing is to pro actively request the city to change codes and polcies to build a more pedestrian, transit friendly area, with the added benefit a swath of nature.
        In fact it is well known that properties adjacent to a park have more financial value. But how do you put a value having attractive open space for the well being of the citizens?
        An attractive, walkable, transit friendly stretch of West Florissant could go a long way with healing Ferguson
        One question to ask is why these studies are being done without a commitment of the surrounding towns, like Ferguson to amend their policies in an effort to implement the ideas presented. Otherwise East West Gateway or other public entities should put the money into communities that want to actually improve their lives. Same with the rail stations, why bother putting them into communities who do not want to commit to designing and planning around the stations in an appropriate manner.
        The problem is none this is a joke. I’m not sure of why there is a delay in trying to correct the underlying problems facing our communities.

         
        • JZ71 says:

          Hey, I actually agree with you – “Why these studies are being done without a commitment of the surrounding towns, like Ferguson, to amend their policies in an effort to implement the ideas presented? Otherwise East West Gateway, or other public entities, should put the money into communities that want to actually improve their lives. Same with the rail stations, why bother putting them into communities who do not want to commit to designing and planning around the stations in an appropriate manner?” As I said earlier, “I’m more concerned with making sure that the oldest parts of Ferguson survive and thrive than I am about the QT site – the area along West Florissant is no different than along Manchester, west of Maplewood – it’s a soulless, boring, suburban landscape that’s going to deteriorate, further, before it gets any better.”

           
          • gmichaud says:

            If, as you say West Florissant is a soulless, boring suburban landscape: that is the point exactly: to change that image, that idea, that reality to something more sustainable, more attractive, more user friendly through transit and pedestrian uses balanced with the automobile.
            You have given up before you’ve started. That’s fine, move over, coming through.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            So, you’re moving to Ferguson, running for office, and/or investing in burned-out commercial real estate? I’m sure not going to stop you, nor is anyone else! And seriously, best of luck!

             

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