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Arch Visitors Walk Where Sidewalk Used To Be, Should Be Again

Currently there’s only one way in/out of the Arch grounds — via Walnut Street over I-44 (formerly I-70).  While the new lid at the center is being completed, everyone is routed via the new bridge over the interstate, on the North side of Walnut Street. However, at some point, St. Louis removed the sidewalk on the North side of Walnut St, between Memorial (3rd St) and 4th.

Pedestrians crossing back downtown are directed to not walk straight ahead, to go to the South side of Walnut (left)  or go one block North to Market (right)
Pedestrians crossing back downtown are directed to not walk straight ahead, to go to the South side of Walnut (left) or go one block North to Market (right)
The South side of Gateway Tower, KMOV's truck parks where the public sidewalk should be
The South side of Gateway Tower, KMOV’s truck parks where the public sidewalk should be
Where the sidewalk used to be next to the former American Zinc building, is  angled parking
Where the sidewalk used to be next to the former American Zinc building, is angled parking. Click image to view the National Register nomination of this building
Looking East from 4th the same barricades indicate pedestrians shouldn't walk in a straight line
Looking East from 4th the same barricades indicate pedestrians shouldn’t walk in a straight line
Crowds of people walking West into downtown
Crowds of people walking West into downtown on a Thursday afternoon

Looking at the 1997 National Register nomination of the American Zinc building, the sidewalk was in place. Most likely the sidewalk was removed when Drury Inn combined it with two other buildings, see Drury steps up plans for hotel at Fur Exchange site.

Looking at GEO St. Louis it appears this remains part of the public right-of-way (PROW), not vacated to private interests. The PROW was reallocated to give pedestrian space to automobiles. At the time the Cardinals played in Busch Stadium II and Walnut Street was a major point of vehicular egress after games.

I think we need to examine the Walnut PROW to see if the amount for vehicle travel can be reduced by one lane so that a sidewalk can be replaced. Remember, hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent to connect the Arch ground to downtown. The lack of a sidewalk connecting to the South highway crossing point is a huge disconnect.

People know the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. KevinB says:

    Thanks for this, Steve. This would not fly in most major American cities. Inhibiting sidewalk access in your city’s downtown?! Next to a National Monument?! It’s ludicrous, and an example of either the shortsightedness or kowtowing (or both?) that our City and its multitude of departments are guilty of.

     
  2. gmichaud says:

    If it was an article in the Onion, stating a proposition in a tongue in check way that is absurd and funny, your description would fit well.
    A complete makeover of government is needed, at all levels, it is that simple, everything has become a joke. Except the joke is on the American people.
    The type of things the St. Louis City thinks are important is giving those in government half a million dollars in severance pay, handing out tax abatements to wealthy insiders while raising taxes on everyone else, and giving Paul McKee millions of dollars of profit on property he let deteriorate.
    St. Louis city government doesn’t miss any details when it comes to their legal corruption. Details are only missed if the welfare of the people is involved.

     

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