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:
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