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No Pedestrian Signal One Block From Busch Stadium

April 14, 2016 Downtown, Featured, Planning & Design, Walkability 3 Comments

Monday was the Cardinals home opener, tens of thousands made their way into Busch Stadium III for the afternoon game. The current stadium opened a decade ago, the previous Busch Stadium opened to the North half a century ago, in 1966. So you’d think by now the pedestrian environment to/from the stadium has been refined by now? Sorry, no.

I give you a Clark Street crossing at 9th — a block West of Busch Stadium & Ballpark Village:

Looking North toward the stadium West garage, we can see the traffic light but no pedestrian signal. It rained earlier so the curb ramp is a pond.
Looking North toward the stadium West garage, we can see the traffic light but no pedestrian signal. It rained earlier so the curb ramp is a pond.
Looking South pedestrians have no signal or even a traffic light to determine when to cross Clark Street
Looking South pedestrians have no signal or even a traffic light to determine when to cross Clark Street

This is a common occurrence downtown, here’s why:

  • Lack of pedestrian signals at many signalized intersections throughout downtown
  • One-way streets mean pedestrians can see traffic light in one direction
  • But the opposite the direction they’re clueless, taking a risk when stepping off the curb

The intersection at 9th & Clark St isn’t typical — the interstate exit ramp complicates matters. It would be east for s person to attempt to cross here when vehicles have a green light — such as the highway exit.

Again, people have been walking to/from Cardinals games here for 50 years — the last 10 to the new stadium! The adjacent Westin Hotel in an old Cupples Station warehouse opened in 2001. I can see issues still existing a mile or more away — but this is just one block!

So now what? Someone needs to review every single intersection used by pedestrians on game days to see which are lacking. Then prioritize a list of updates to correct the shortcomings. Same goes for other attractions downtown and throughout the city, like:

  • Scottrade Center
  • Peabody Opera House
  • Kiener Plaza/Old Courthouse/Ely Smith Square/Arch
  • Soldiers’ Memorial (Reopening 2018)
  • Fox Theater/Powell Hall
  • Major transit stops (MetroBus & MetroLink)

This isn’t a lack of money — it’s a lack of priorities. Pedestrians aren’t valued in St. Louis so nobody bothers to think about how to attract/maintain them.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. KevinB says:

    A “simple” solution would be for the City’s transportation dept. (do we even have one?) dictate a countdown timer for any intersection more than, say, 55 feet in width, and a basic walk/don’t walk signal for those 35 to 55 feet in width.

     
  2. Riggle says:

    This is one of the worst I’ve ever seen, anywhere. What’s that ped-coordinator guy’s email? Time to fill up that in box.

     
  3. gmichaud says:

    The whole area around the stadium is a holly mess for pedestrians, as far as that goes most of downtown is hardly a step up with faceless new buildings and parking lots everywhere.

    I told the story here before about writing the Helsinki Planning dept asking what per cent of people take transit and how much parking surrounds their Olympic Stadium (about the same size as Busch Stadium). I can’t remember the exact quote but the traffic engineer from Helsinki Planning responded that he didn’t know the percentage, but there was only parking for around 1850 cars, so just about everyone walks, bikes or takes transit to the stadium.
    Steve, the number of 1850 cars could probably fit into the first garage you have pictured at top.
    If you look at Olympic Stadium in google maps you will find other venues for sports and park space ringed by density and transit.
    The difference is astounding, St. Louis and Helsinki are about the same size, (although Helsinki has a 2050 Vision Plan preparing to grow by 600,000)
    What is it, are people in St. Louis stupid? To be honest most of the area surrounding Busch Stadium is garbage. Ballpark Village makes it a little less garbage, but the whole damn area is pretty well a pedestrian nightmare.
    Riggle is right about the ped guy in City Hall. the trouble with too many of these type of things is it is more for show than anything else, we’ll see I guess.
    I have recently being looking at Helsinki City Planning documents, the public participation process blows St. Louis out of the water.

     

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