Over the years St. Louis has vacated both streets & alleys, this means land previously part of the public right-of-way (PROW) is now private. Usually the phrase “vacate public surface rights for vehicle, equestrian and pedestrian travel” is used in the ordinance (from a block west), typically splitting the surface rights between the adjacent properties. The description of the vacated surface rights are very precise, also from the block to the West:
Beginning at the point of intersection of the western line of 11th Street, 60 feet wide, with the northern line of said alley; thence south 14 degrees 58 minutes 30 seconds west 15.00 feet along the western line of said 11th Street, to the southern line of said alley; thence north 75 degrees 05 minutes west 176.75 feet along the southern line of said alley; thence north 14 degrees 58 minutes 30 seconds east 15.00 feet to the northern line of said alley; thence south 75 degrees 05 minutes east 176.75 feet along the northern line of said alley, to the western line of said 11th street and the point of beginning, and containing 2651 square feet. are, upon the conditions hereinafter set out, vacated.
The alley that is the subject today must have been vacated prior to the library putting ordinances online.
This section of alley was extra, the vacation still allowed access to all buildings and 10th & 11th Street — note that the number & configuration of buildings has changed since 1909.
Ok, so we’ve established the surface rights are now private — but this changes where? The building line — not the curb. From the 1909 Sunburn map we know the Locust PROW is 60 feet wide — from building face to the opposite building face. The roadway and sidewalks on both sides are within this 60 foot wide PROW. Unfortunately, one tenant/owner thinks the alley surface rights extend past the building line to the curb line. Ever since the former Bride’s House building at 1008-10 Locust was renovated people have been partially parking in the PROW. I finally began photographing to document the ongoing problem.
Finally last month, on May 7th, I went into the adjacent business, asking if the SUV belonged to them. When they said yes I told them they can’t park blocking the public sidewalk. We had a big argument outside which continued via text after I left my business card.
I don’t know the total number of tickets the city has issued for vehicles here, likely in the hundreds. The business even got another patient involved — an elected official. I returned her phone call explaining where the line is between private property and the PROW, I also emailed her the pictures through May 7th. Hopefully she got back to more important business in Jefferson City.
In the future I’m not going to text the business, I’m just going to email Streets & Parking Enforcement and hope the vehicle’s owner must negotiate with a tow truck operator. I don’t know the total number of tickets the city has issued for vehicles here, likely in the hundreds.
Parking is allowed in the PROW — we have meters placed to know where it is ok to do so.
— Steve Patterson