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City Residents Please Consider Using Public Transit (Bus &/or Rail) To Get Downtown For The Blues Parade Tomorrow

June 14, 2019 Environment, Events/Meetings, Featured, Public Transit, Transportation Comments Off on City Residents Please Consider Using Public Transit (Bus &/or Rail) To Get Downtown For The Blues Parade Tomorrow

Yesterday I shared a Metro post, criticizing their lack of mentioning MetroBus.

Of course, no mention of MetroBus.

Posted by UrbanReview ST LOUIS on Thursday, June 13, 2019

Fr0m their post:

MetroLink will have extra trains ready to go on Saturday as hundreds of thousands of Blues fans head downtown to celebrate with the Stanley Cup Champions, the St. Louis Blues.

With five downtown MetroLink stations a block or two away from the Stanley Cup Parade, MetroLink is the perfect option while avoiding road construction, traffic and parking issues.

What about residents of North & South city that don’t yet have light rail?

2012: The #11 MetroBus crosses Jefferson Ave. heading west on Chippewa Ave.

Yes, MetroBus is a good option. Since Metro’s marketing folks don’t seem to want to suggest their own service I decided to step up and show you some suggested routes.  Those of us who live in the city are well-served by transit, if we take it downtown that’ll ease congestion for everyone downtown.  We’re not all served by light rail.

My focus is on MetroBus routes that enter downtown, though other routes could connect you to say the Forest Park MetroLink station — the 90 Hampton MetroBus serves both North, West, & South city.  Of course the busiest MetroBus route, the 70 Grand, is an excellent option to reach MetroLink.

Because the Civic Center Transit Center is on the south edge of downtown (Downtown West technically) the south routes have less disruption from downtown events. However, most should be good, assuming you get downtown prior to street closures.

From South City:

  • 8 Bates-Morganford winds its way through the city on streets like: Loughborough, Holly Hills, Tower Grove, Shaw, Russell, 12th/Tucker, and — Bates & Morganford. On Saturday this bus runs every hour, the last bus before the parade arrives at Civic Center at 11:40am.
  • 10 Gravois-Lindell originates at Gravois & Hampton, cutting a diagonal path through south city along Gravois. Saturday morning this bus runs every 30 minutes.
  • 11 Chippewa runs every 40 minutes on Saturday morning, from the Shrewsbury MetroLink Station along Landsdowne, Chippewa, and Jefferson. Normally the EB bus heading into downtown goes up to Market but tomorrow it’ll use Chouteau to 14th to avoid the parade.
  • 20 South Broadway serves South County & South City including South County Mall, Jefferson Barracks, far south city, & Soulard. On Saturday it runs every hour.
  • 30 Arsenal is another route running through south city between Shrewsbury MetroLink and Civic Center Transit Center in Downtown West. It primarily uses Arsenal for the East-West portion and Broadway for the North-South.  The 30 runs every 40 minutes on Saturdays.
  • 31 Chouteau connects the Maplewood/Manchester MetroLink Station to Civic Center via Manchester in both the county & city, and Chouteau. It runs every hour on Saturdays.
  • 73 Carondelet serves both south county & city, every 30 minutes on Saturdays. Streets include: Michigan, Virginia, Osceola, Meramec,  Cherokee, Lemp, and Truman Parkway.
  • 80 Park-Shaw connects the CWE MetroLink to Civic Center via south city. Similar to 8 above, but the route is different. Every hour on Saturdays.

From North City — most will have a reroute in the downtown area due to the parade.

  • 4 Natural Bridge travels mostly along Natural Bridge, then using Parnell/Jefferson, usually to Market. Due to the parade it’ll reroute by staying on Jefferson to Chouteau to 14th to Civic Center. The 4 runs every 40 minutes on Saturdays.
  • 19 St. Louis Ave connects the Rock Road MetroLink to Civic Center, through the heart of The Ville. It runs every 40 minutes on Saturdays. Because 14th will be closed for the parade it’ll reroute to Olive, Jefferson, Chouteau, 14th — if you take this bus to the parade I suggest exiting at 14th & Olive.  The 19 runs every 40 minutes on Saturdays.
  • 32 ML King also connects Rock Road to Civic Center, a little further south than the 19. It uses ML King & Cass for East-West and 9th/10th for North-South. At Washington & Tucker it will due a massive reroute along Washington to Jefferson, to Chouteau, to 14th. Avoid the reroute and exit before Tucker. The 32 runs every 40 minutes on Saturdays.
  • 40 North Broadway connects Riverview to downtown, primarily along Broadway.  Like the 32 it reroutes along Washington from Broadway to Jefferson — avoid all that and get off at Broadway & Washington! The 40 runs every hour on Saturdays.
  • 41 Lee runs every 40 minutes between Riverview and downtown/Civic Center on streets like Thekla, Emerson, Lee, Kossuth, 20th, Carr. Like other bus routes, avoid the very long reroutes by exiting at 14th & Olive.
  • 74 Florissant runs every half hour connecting north county to downtown via West/North Florissant. Like others, exit at 14th & Olive to avoid the long reroute.

From West City:

  • 10 Gravois-Lindell was mentioned above on the South City section, but for those in midtown it’s a good option to get to Civic Center. It’ll reroute at Jefferson to Chouteau so either stay on the bus to Civic Center or exit at Olive & Jefferson and walk to the parade start at 18th & Market. Or take it WB to the CWE to catch the train downtown.
  • 94 Page runs every 40 minutes on Saturdays connecting Westport Plaza via Wellston to Civic Center. In the city it primarily uses Page, 18th, Market. Because of the parade it’ll reroute at 18th & Olive to Jefferson, Chouteau.  Either get off at 18th & Olive or continue to Civic Center.
  • 96 Market Street Shuttle runs every hour on Saturdays. This is an option for SLU/Harris Stowe students. It’ll reroute at Jefferson to Chouteau.
  • 97 Delmar connects Clayton to Civic Center via the Delmar/Loop MetroLink, running every 30 minutes on Saturdays. In the city it primarily uses Delmar, Compton (briefly) and Washington. Due to the parade it’ll reroute at Washington to Jefferson, to Chouteau.

The links above are to the regular map for each route, for a list of all MetroBus routes click here. Again, if you live in the city and plan to attend the parade please walk, bike, or use transit — bus and/or rail.  The cash fare each way is $2 — have $1 bills because you can’t get change on the bus. If you need to take more than one bus or bus plus rail you’ll need $3 each way for a transfer. For exact times, stop locations, etc use Google Maps, Apple Maps, the Transit App, or Metro’s Trip Planner.

Street parking isn’t free on Saturday, and lots will be charging a lot. Uber/Lyft will likely have surge pricing, plus will have to deal with lots of traffic. Take transit — light rail or MetroBus.

— Steve Patterson

 

Opinion: Climate Change Making Natural Weather More Intense, Frequent

May 15, 2019 Environment, Featured Comments Off on Opinion: Climate Change Making Natural Weather More Intense, Frequent

The St. Louis region has experienced flooding events since its founding, so it’s easy to think current flooding is usual Spring flooding.

The St. Louis riverfront the afternoon of May 5, 2019

It’s not.

The impact of climate change on snowfall in the Midwest and Plains is uncertain, but projections suggest that heavy snow events will become more likely in the northern Great Plains.

David Robinson, a professor at Rutgers University who manages the Global Snow Lab, said that in some areas where climate change causes winter temperatures to warm above freezing more often, more winter precipitation may fall as rain. But other areas may experience more snow.

“As the cold temperatures get closer to freezing, there’s more moisture being held by the atmosphere,” he said. “So ironically, there are some areas that should warm up and get snowier because the temperatures will still be below freezing.” (Yale Climate Connections)

Hers’s another way to look at the connection:

Climate scientists often use a baseball analogy to explain the connection between climate change and extreme weather.

Martha Shulski, Nebraska’s state climatologist, describes the analogy this way:

Say you’ve got a home run hitter and you put him on steroids. He still hits home runs, but now he’s hitting the balls farther and getting home runs more frequently.

That’s how climate change influences weather: It can increase the intensity and frequency of extreme events. (Omaha World-Herald)

Let me repeat that last point — extreme events will be more frequent and intense.

Here are the results of the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Agree or disagree: Our current flooding is normal, has nothing to do with climate change.

  • Strongly agree: 5 [25%]
  • Agree: 2 [10%]
  • Somewhat agree: 1 [5%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 1 [5%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 2 [10%]
  • Disagree: 3 [15%]
  • Strongly disagree: 5 [25%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 1 [5%]

The following is not safe for work due to f-bombs, but it’s worth watching:

I saw the above as part of an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver  — you can watch the full 20 minutes here (again, NSFW).

— Steve Patterson

 

Neighborhood Streetlights Still On Because Electrical Station Is Blocked

May 13, 2019 Environment, Featured, Neighborhoods Comments Off on Neighborhood Streetlights Still On Because Electrical Station Is Blocked

A month ago I posted about how My Neighborhood’s Street Lights Are Always On. To get this resolved I sent the link to the blog post to the folks at the St. Louis Citizens Service Bureau (CSB). As always, the promptly responded.

Here’s one of the many images of street lights on during the day included on my April 12th post.

These lights are supposed to be pedestrian-scaled are also used frequently throughout the neighborhood. Many have the globe canted like this one. Carr at 8th 

The CSB said lighting department was to respond by April 17th. On May 3rd the lights were still on so I replied asking what’s going on.

Click above to view the thread on Twitter

Yes, the lights have been on in my entire neighborhood for months (years?) because a concrete barrier is blocking access. I went searching to see if I could figure out the location of the blocked access to the electrical station.

Manhole cover at 6th & Carr Streets. This might be the blocked electrical station

I”m not sure the above is the blocked location in question. In September 2014 it’s partially covered, and more so in August 2017.  Another nearby cover remains accessible.

Again, I don’t know if this is the correct location for the neighborhood electrical station workers need to access to get the street lights to come on only at night. All I know is the street lights, except the ones that are burnt out, remain on 24/7 a month after I notified the city.

We must have extra money to burn.

— Steve Patterson

 

We Switched to 50% Wind-Generated Electricity to Save Money & the Environment

March 29, 2019 Environment, Featured Comments Off on We Switched to 50% Wind-Generated Electricity to Save Money & the Environment

In December the New York Times had an interesting article on how each state generates their electricity. No surprise, Missouri has been predominantly coal with nuclear secondary:

Missouri’s electricity generation mix hasn’t changed much in nearly two decades. Coal provided the vast majority of power generated in the state between 2001 and 2017, declining only slightly during that time as older coal-fired plants went offline or switched to burning natural gas.

Missouri will require utilities to get at least 15 percent of the electricity they sell from renewable sources by 2021, including a small amount from solar power. (New York Times)

I looked at other states, envious of some.   Here’s a visual of Missouri’s electric sources going back to 2001.

Missouri’s main source of power is coal, followed by nuclear & natural gas. The aqua blue at the bottom is hydroelectric and the darker blue is wind. Source: New York Times, click image to view article

Primarily coal, with nuclear & natural gas. Tiny amount of hydroelectric & wind.  Other states do a better job of mixing in renewables, however, none of the states compare to countries like Germany — from earlier this month:

Renewable energy sources supplied nearly 65 percent of Germany’s electricity last week, with wind turbines alone responsible for 48.4 percent of power production nationwide, Clean Energy Wire reported. As a result, fossil fuel plants ran at a minimum output and nuclear facilities were shut down at night.

“These figures show that the envisaged goal [of the German government] of 65 percent renewables by 2030 is technically feasible,” Bruno Burger, a researcher with the solar research institute Fraunhofer ISE, said in a statement.

Lignite coal generated an average 24 percent of Germany’s electricity in 2018. Last week, that share was down to just 12 percent. Solar contributed 5.1 percent of Germany’s electricity last week, biomass 7.6 percent, and hydropower 3.5 percent. (Yale Environment 360)

For years I’ve wanted to have access to renewable energy sources, a few years ago my oldest brother installed solar panels on the roof of his California home. I’d spent 11 years in a loft where I couldn’t add solar or wind even if I could afford to do so, just signed a lease on an apartment where solar/wind wasn’t an option either.

This month half of our electricity was generated by the wind. How you ask? Renewable energy certificates.

Renewable energy certificates (RECs) represent the property rights to the environmental, social and other non-power attributes of renewable electricity generation. They are either kept by the renewable electricity generator (i.e. wind farm) or they become a part of the generators’ revenue and sold on the market. One megawatt-hour (MWh) represents one REC. 

When you purchase RECs (or when we purchase them on your behalf), you are taking ownership of wind energy that’s being fed onto the grid. Once energy reaches the grid, it mixes together with the energy from coal and hydroelectric plants, solar farms, landfill gas, etc.

Utility companies then pull indistinguishable electrons off the grid and deliver them to homes and businesses. It is impossible to determine where the electrons came from – all consumers can do is ensure that wind energy is being matched through the purchase of RECs.

Wind farms rely on the revenue from RECs to offer their energy at a price that is competitive against fossil fuels. Anybody who says they’re using renewable energy – even big companies like Google – are purchasing both physical electrons from the grid and RECs.

By purchasing RECs, you’re increasing the demand for clean energy – which expands access and availability, helps the environment, and reduces our reliance on fossil fuels – without having to install and maintain your own equipment.  (Arcadia Power)

Here’s a video explanation of the above:

You’re probably thinking these RECs are expensive to purchase. Well, we got our first bill yesterday — we saved $5! Plus, we can pay via credit card instead of bank withdrawal, so we’ll get cash back on our credit card statement. It’s free to sign up.

Proof that we’re reducing our carbon footprint by supporting renewable energy.
Our circle, on the right, shows how we now exceed the national average when it comes to renewables.

We still have an Ameren Missouri account, that’s who we use to get our energy from the grid. However, our bill goes to Arcadia Power, then they bill us & pay Ameren.  After we’ve been in our apartment a year we’ll consider paying 1.5¢ extra per kWh to go to 100% wind.

For full disclosure, the link about to Arcadia Power is a referral link. They have working relationships with power companies nationwide, not just Ameren Missouri. Click here to find out more.

Further reading, just please use my referral link if you sign up:

Feels good to be able to support renewable energy sources without costing more money.

— Steve Patterson

 

New Book — ‘Life After Carbon: The Next Global Transformation of Cities’ by Peter Plastrik and John Cleveland

December 21, 2018 Books, Environment, Featured Comments Off on New Book — ‘Life After Carbon: The Next Global Transformation of Cities’ by Peter Plastrik and John Cleveland

It usually takes me weeks/months to post about new books I receive, but another book arrived earlier in the week — just when I needed a subject for today.

The future of our cities is not what it used to be. The modern-city model that took hold globally in the twentieth century has outlived its usefulness. It cannot solve the problems it helped to create—especially global warming. Fortunately, a new model for urban development is emerging in cities to aggressively tackle the realities of climate change. It transforms the way cities design and use physical space, generate economic wealth, consume and dispose of resources, exploit and sustain the natural ecosystems, and prepare for the future.

In Life After Carbon, urban sustainability consultants Pete Plastrik and John Cleveland assemble this global pattern of urban reinvention from the stories of 25 “innovation lab” cities across the globe—from Copenhagen to Melbourne. A city innovation lab is the entire city—the complex, messy, real urban world where innovations must work. It is a city in which government, business, and community leaders take to heart the challenge of climate change and converge on the radical changes that are necessary. They free downtowns from cars, turn buildings into renewable-energy power plants, re-nature entire neighborhoods, incubate growing numbers of clean-energy and smart-tech companies, convert waste to energy, and much more. Plastrik and Cleveland show that four transformational ideas are driving urban climate innovation around the world, in practice, not just in theory: carbon-free advantage, efficient abundance, nature’s benefits, and adaptive futures. And these ideas are thriving in markets, professions, consumer trends, community movements, and “higher” levels of government that enable cities.

Life After Carbon presents the new ideas that are replacing the pillars of the modern-city model, converting climate disaster into urban opportunity, and shaping the next transformation of cities worldwide. It will inspire anyone who cares about the future of our cities, and help them to map a sustainable path forward. (Island Press)

The primary chapters are divided into three parts:

Part I: On the Innovation Pathway

  • Innovation Proliferation
  • Urban Climate Innovation Laboratories
  • Goals, Systems, Clusters, and Waves
  • Making a Better City
  • The Rebel Alliance

Part II: Toward Global Urban Transformation

  • The Power of Transformational Ideas
  • Carbon-Free Advantage
  • Efficient Abundance
  • Nature’s Benefits
  • Adaptive Capacities

Part III: Challenges of Urban Evolution

  • The Edge of City Climate Innovation
  • Assembly Required
  • The Next Urban Operating System
  • Going Global

Here’s a three and a half minute video from their website:

I do think cities that resist changing will suffer as the next century nears, whereas those that innovate and adapt will fare better.

— Steve Patterson

 

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