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Accessing The New IKEA St. Louis by Foot, Bike, Wheelchair, or Car

Last week I looked at Duncan Ave and how it ends at IKEA, from a visit on the 11th. Today we’ll look at the access points to IKEA from Duncan Ave., Forest Park Ave., and Vandeventer Ave., from a visit on the 23rd.

Ended last week's post on Duncan Ave. looking back West from the IKEA property line
Ended last week’s post on Duncan Ave. looking back West from the IKEA property line

I’d arrived at this point by coming East on Duncan. Today let’s travel the way many pedestrians will, from Sarah & Forest Park.  I got off the #10 MetroBus on Lindell at Sarah, then headed South., about a third of a mile

Looking South across Forest Park. The new crossing pedestrian refuge is just getting finished. IKEA is to the left, just out of view
Looking South across Forest Park. The new crossing pedestrian refuge is just getting finished. IKEA is to the left, just out of view
Looking back North after crossing, Hopefully the crosswalk striping will be done soon. Note that it's a straight shot from side to center to opposite side.
Looking back North after crossing, Hopefully the crosswalk striping will be done soon. Note that it’s a straight shot from side to center to opposite side.
The crosswalk at the East end of Duncan Ave wasn't painted when I visited on the 11th, but it had a basic upon return. This is within the public-right-of-way. 
The crosswalk & stop line at the East end of Duncan Ave weren’t painted when I visited on the 11th, but it had a basic upon return. This is within the public-right-of-way.
Now we start into the West entry to IKEA's site. Once the new MetroLink light rail station opens this may see a lot of foot traffic. IKEA uses the more visible 'continental' crosswalk on site. This auto drive leads out to Forest Park Ave.
Now we start into the West entry to IKEA’s site. Once the new MetroLink light rail station opens this may see a lot of foot traffic. IKEA uses the more visible ‘continental’ crosswalk on site. This auto drive leads out to Forest Park Ave.
Looking East toward the store, a construction truck is blocking the view & crosswalk, but they were trying to finish up.
Looking East toward the store, a construction truck is blocking the view & crosswalk, but they were trying to finish up.
On the 11th I was horrified to see four of these awful bike racks placed too close together. Upon inquiry I was told they were temporary, the permanent racks to be installed soon.
On the 11th I was horrified to see four of these awful bike racks placed too close together. Upon inquiry I was told they were temporary, the permanent racks to be installed soon.
Less than 2 weeks later excellent inverted-U racks had arrived & were installed. The employees using the racks need to be shown how to use them so their bikes are supported.
Less than 2 weeks later excellent inverted-U racks had arrived & were installed. The employees using the racks need to be shown how to use them so their bikes are supported.

Next let’s assume that after crossing Forest Park Ave I’d headed East to enter IKEA.  These photos are all from my visit on the 11th.

At the edge of the property is the only auto entrance on Forest Park
At the edge of the property is the only auto entrance on Forest Park
We continue East, after crossing this major in/out vehicular drive
We continue East, after crossing this major in/out vehicular drive
After crossing the drive we can clearly see IKEA beyond the storm water runoff collector
After crossing the drive we can clearly see IKEA beyond the storm water runoff collector
The first of two pedestrian routes from the Forest Park public sidewalk to the IKEA. Let's continue East toward Vandeventer Ave and enter on the other accessible route
The first of two pedestrian routes from the Forest Park public sidewalk to the IKEA. Let’s continue East toward Vandeventer Ave and enter on the other accessible route
Looking back we see the walkway crosses over the drainage area.
Looking back we see the walkway crosses over the drainage area.
At the other pedestrian entry we can look bak West toward Sarah. The parking lane along Forest Park remains, it would be nice if the city striped it with a solid white line to separate it from the outside drive lane.
At the other pedestrian entry we can look bak West toward Sarah. The parking lane along Forest Park remains, it would be nice if the city striped it with a solid white line to separate it from the outside drive lane.
Looking South at the IKEA entry
Looking South at the IKEA entry
From the walkway looking back North toward Forest Park Ave
From the walkway looking back North toward Forest Park Ave
Almost to the entrance
Almost to the entrance, disabled parking is on both sides of this walkway and under the building
In front of the entry looking North. Pedestrians have two ADA-compliant options for getting through the front parking lot. Every big box store needs to do this!
In front of the entry looking North. Pedestrians have two ADA-compliant options for getting through the front parking lot. Every big box store needs to do this!
From the 3rd floor restaurant looking North we can see the path we just used to get inside from the public sidewalk.
From the 3rd floor restaurant looking North we can see the path we just used to get inside from the public sidewalk.

Now let’s go out to the intersection of Forest Park Ave & Vandeventer Ave, the city has been busy trying to make it better for pedestrians.

Like we saw at Sarah, crosswalks aren't yet marked.
Like we saw at Sarah, crosswalks aren’t yet marked, so vehicles stop where they block the crossing point.
Looking North after crossing Vandeventer. Unlike at Sarah, the route here isn't a straight shot
Looking North after crossing Vandeventer. Unlike at Sarah, the route here isn’t a straight shot. 
From the pedestrian refuge in the median I see the curb ramp on the other side aren't finished. At this point I notice the pedestrian signals speaking for the visually impaired say "Forest Park Parkway" instead of "forest Park Avenue" The visual signs on the street lights are correct though
From the pedestrian refuge in the median I see the curb ramp on the other side aren’t finished. At this point I notice the pedestrian signals speaking for the visually impaired say “Forest Park Parkway” instead of “forest Park Avenue” The visual signs on the street lights are correct though
Got a break so I can cross
Got a break so I can cross..hopefully
Looking back South we see this side has a zig zag pattern too. This will become more apparent once the crosswalk stripes are done.
Looking back South we see this side has a zig zag pattern too. This will become more apparent once the crosswalk stripes are done.

And last let’s look at access points from Vandeventer Ave. With Saint Louis University nearby and a retail development coming across the street pedestrian volume in this area will rise sharply. These photos were taken on the 11th, 23rd, and 26th.

A new signalized intersection on Vandeventer Ave for IKEA Way, which is located about where the non-signalized Duncan Ave was. A new crosswalk was added to the South side of the intersection. Eventually the site to the East will be a retail development.
A new signalized intersection on Vandeventer Ave for IKEA Way, which is located about where the non-signalized Duncan Ave was. A new crosswalk was added to the South side of the intersection. Eventually the site to the East will be a retail development.  Sept 23rd
Looking North we can see the primary vehicular entry from Vandeventer, IKEA Way. Sept 11th
Looking North we can see the primary vehicular entry from Vandeventer, IKEA Way. Sept 11th
Turning again we see a pedestrian entrance up the hill. This is an ADA ramp, due to the grade it has periodic flat rest points, the side handrails weren't yet installed on the 11th
Turning again we see a pedestrian entrance up the hill. This is an ADA ramp, due to the grade it has periodic flat rest points, the side handrails weren’t yet installed on the 11th
At the top we see a clear path the entry, only having to cross traffic at one point. Ahead is the exit from the parking level below the building.
At the top we see a clear path the entry, only having to cross traffic at one point. Ahead is the exit from the parking level below the building.
This East view from the 3rd floor restaurant gives you an overview. Sept 23rd
This East view from the 3rd floor restaurant gives you an overview. Sept 23rd. The parking at the bottom is the “family parking” area

There’s a second entrance off Vandeventer for vehicles, and some pedestrians.

For those coming from the South, such as The Grove, this is the view along Vandeventer before reaching the pedestrian entry & IKEA Way
For those coming from the South, such as The Grove, this is the view along Vandeventer before reaching the pedestrian entry & IKEA Way
But navigating this would be a challenge
But navigating this would be a challenge
But they've got a sidewalk for pedestrians and a drive for motorists.
But they’ve got a sidewalk for pedestrians and a drive for motorists.
From the top we turn to the North and we can see the pedestrian route is clearly marked. Onward...
From the top we turn to the North and we can see the pedestrian route is clearly marked. Onward…
But we soon run into a major problem. If you can't see it that's part of the problem.
But we soon run into a major problem. If you can’t see it that’s part of the problem.
Here's a side view so help you see the uncovered drainage channel breaking up what appears to be a pedestrian route.
Here’s a side view so help you see the uncovered drainage channel breaking up what appears to be a pedestrian route.
The opposite view. which I encountered on the 11th when I almost didn't see it ahead
The opposite view. which I encountered on the 11th when I almost didn’t see it ahead
Another side view, this taken on the 11th
Another side view, this taken on the 11th
And looking out toward Vandeventer
And looking out toward Vandeventer

Obviously someone screwed up! This is a pity, they were doing so well too. Yes, they have other entries which are ADA-compliant, but this is just stupid — compliance would’ve been so easy had they provided a way to set in a steel plate/grate to cross over the drainage.  Someone is going to get hurt here.  Despite this mistake, IKEA did more than what is required by the ADA and St. Louis. Pedestrian access turned out better than I’d expected.

Other retailers & developers — please take note they have provided pedestrian access from all three public streets adjacent to their property!

As previously mentioned, the 2-story IKES is elevated over a level of parking
As previously mentioned, the 2-story IKES is elevated over a level of parking

Tomorrow I’ll take you inside the IKEA store, with photos I took last week following the media lunch & during Saturday afternoon’s family & friend’s day.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    So, half of the accessible parking spaces on the west side are not connected to a protected pedestrian walkway? I guess they chose a shorter travel distance over a protected path of travel . . .

     

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