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Accessing the Opening of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge

Despite the cold weather thousands came out Saturday to see the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge a day before it opened to vehicle traffic. The shuttle we rode from 9th near Washington onto the bridge was packed tighter than the #70 Grand bus during peak use.   I overheard some saying how nice the bus seamed, likely their first time on a bus.  Our shuttle passed by the last two stops because we couldn’t take on another passenger.

MetroBus shuttles were very popular
MetroBus shuttles were very popular
A shuttle stop on 9th St
A shuttle stop on 9th St., if only bus stops were this visible…

As we approached I wondered if there would be a break in the center dividing wall to get from the westbound lanes to eastbound lanes. There wasn’t, instead the had ramps to cross over.

Temporary ramps made it possible for everyone to cross over the center dividing wall.
Temporary ramps made it possible for everyone to cross over the center dividing wall.

I don’t have any stunning bridge photos, it was too cold & gray to attempt. We did stay through all the speeches at the ribbon cutting.

Seconds after Illinois Gov Quinn & Missouri Gov Nixon cut the ribbon
Seconds after Illinois Gov Quinn & Missouri Gov Nixon cut the ribbon

I look forward to driving across the bridge, and seeing it night. This is an interesting example of a very cost-effective structure type also being very beautiful, sometimes limited budgets can result in a better finished product than unlimited budgets.

Hopefully any new development at each approach will be worthy.

— Steve Patterson

 

Metropolitan Square Time Capsule Opened, Refilled For 2038

November 30, 2013 Downtown, Events/Meetings, Featured, History/Preservation Comments Off on Metropolitan Square Time Capsule Opened, Refilled For 2038

In August I posted about the 25-year time capsule at Metropolitan Square  that was placed in 1988. On November 20, 2013 the time capsule was opened.

August 2013
August 2013
It was retrieved from the exterior location and opened on November 20, 2013. Click image to view 10 minute video.
It was retrieved from the exterior location and opened in the lobby on November 20, 2013.
Click image to view 10 minute video.
One of the items was "A Plan for Downtown St. Louis: Visions for the Future"
One of the items was “A Plan for Downtown St. Louis: Visions for the Future”

The time capsule box was to be refilled and placed back into the front planter for opening in 2038. If I’m still alive then I’d like to attend. January 20, 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the opening of the building.

— Steve Patterson

 

Treasurer Jones Seeking Integrated Parking Management Bids, To Hold ‘Town Hall’ Events

I’ve now attended three meetings of the St. Louis Parking Commission (July, September, October). Here are the minutes from the prior meetings that were distributed:

These minutes are not available online so I scanned and uploaded them. Hopefully they will, in the interest of transparency, upload these in the future.

A sign facing Euclid near Lindell highlighting the fact these meters accept credit card payments.
A sign facing Euclid near Lindell highlighting the fact these meters accept credit card payments.

The “Liberty Meter” parking meter test being conducted in the Central West End has been mentioned each time.   In October specific reports were handed out showing payments by coin vs credit card. Unfortunately, the numbers don’t add up. The August total for credit card payments was copied into September, and other totals & percentages are incorrect.  Still, from the data presented we can see the use of credits cards during this trial are higher than the previous trial a few years ago on South Grand. We can also see credit card use has been increasing each month. It’s hard to know for sure given the spreadsheet errors.

Since I sold my car 18 months ago I haven’t had a chance to use these new meters, but I still think I’d prefer payment machines to individual meters. Anyone have any thoughts?

At the October meeting they went into closed session to discuss a recently issued Request for Proposal for an Integrated Parking Management System:

The City of St. Louis Treasurer’s Office is soliciting proposals from qualified companies to furnish and potentially install an easy-to-use on-street parking system that allows payment flexibility and convenience for users while allowing real-time monitoring, reduced cost of operating, increased flexibility in changing rates and increased compliance.

It was also announced that four “Town Hall” events are scheduled for the coming weeks:

The City of St. Louis Treasurer’s Office will host four town halls dedicated to the current and future state of parking in St. Louis. The Treasurer’s Office issued an RFP for parking meter management and processing on October 4 in efforts to modernize operations.

“We promised the citizens of St. Louis that all existing contracts would be reviewed and examined for their operational and financial efficiency. This is another step we’re taking to propel the office from the 19th Century to the 21st Century,” said Treasurer Tishaura Jones.

The town halls will provide more information on the RFP selection process and opportunities for citizens to provide feedback on the direction of parking in St. Louis. The RFP selection will consist of two phases. During the first phase a review committee will rank and score the proposals based upon the evaluation criteria. The Treasurer’s Office will select a limited number of vendors to proceed to the second phase which requires vendors to perform a six (6) month on-street field test evaluation of their equipment before a final selection is made. The field test will include installing parking equipment on both sides of one or more contiguous city blocks. Based upon the results of the trial and citizen feedback, the Treasurer’s Office may decide to proceed with an offer to one or more companies to furnish and potentially install units on a long-term basis throughout the City.

The town halls will take at the following locations:

Schlafly Branch Library, 225 N Euclid Ave.

Wednesday, October 23, 6:00pm-7:00pm

Central Library, 1301 Olive St.

Tuesday, October 29, 6:00pm-7:00pm

Carondelet Park Recreation Complex, 930 Holly Hills Ave.

Wednesday, November 6, 6:00pm-7:00pm

O’Fallon Park Recreation Complex, 4343 W Florissant Ave.

Tuesday, November 12, 6:00pm-7:00pm

Unfortunately, all are scheduled for 6pm on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Due to work schedules, not everyone will be able to attend. With four events it would’ve been nice to see four days of the week covered rather than just two, as well as other times besides 6pm-7pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum Opens Today in Midtown

October 4, 2013 Events/Meetings, Featured, Midtown, Popular Culture Comments Off on The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum Opens Today in Midtown

The International Bowling Hall of Fame left St. Louis a few years ago, but we’ve more than made up for the loss by attracting the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, the World Chess Hall of Fame, and this year, the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum.

IPHF was founded in Chicago, in Oklahoma City for a while, and now at 3415 Olive in midtown. This is the 2nd floor space over Triumph Grill.

Main gallery in the new location of the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum
Main gallery in the new location of the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum

Today is your chance to see it for free:

The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum is pleased to announce that it will celebrate the museum’s GRAND OPENING on Friday, October 4, 2013.

In conjunction with First Fridays in Grand Center, the IPHF will be providing FREE ADMISSION to the general public to celebrate its grand opening and will have extended hours from 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM. Regular museum hours and admission prices will begin on Saturday, October 5th from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM. You can find more information to help plan your visit on our website www.iphf.org/contact/plan-your-visit/

The fall exhibition, The Past, Present and Future of Nature Photography, will run from October 4, 2013 through January 25, 2014 and features Hall of Fame inductee Peter Dombrovskis, Noppadol Paothong, a photojournalist from the Missouri Department of Conservation, and select images from the National Geographic Young Explorers (ages 20-28) and North American Nature Photography Association High School Scholarship Students (ages 14-19). (source)

I had a chance to see the IPHF a few days ago, speaking with Executive Director John Nagel and board president Robert Wagner. Wagner is from Kirkwood, but is a practicing attorney in Oklahoma City.

Skylight over the entry stairs.
Skylight over the entry stairs.
Exterior entry is non-decript. Wheelchair access is through Triumph Grill.
Exterior entry is non-decript. Wheelchair access is through the Triumph Grill.

I’ll suggest they add transit directions to their website, the #10 MetroBus will get you there from the Central West End, Downtown, and from much of south city. And the #70 MetroBus is very close.

— Steve Patterson

 

Presentation: Neighborhood Change in the St. Louis Region Since 1970; What explains neighborhood success?

Two local professors will attempt to answer the question in the headline when they present their research findings one week from today:

The older parts of the St. Louis region have faced serious challenges in the past 40 years. Some neighborhoods have done better than others. Hank Webber, Washington University, and Todd Swanstrom, University of Missouri–St. Louis, will present their findings on St. Louis neighborhoods that rebounded from decline. The “rebound communities” will be the subject of future UMSL “What’s Brewing” breakfast forums that will take place in the neighborhoods with local activists telling their stories of neighborhood resilience.

Is there a secret formula for success? We can find out Thursday October 10th from 7pm-8:30pm, followed by a reception. The event is free.

Click image to see event page at Missouri Historical Society
Click image to see event page at Missouri Historical Society

The event will be held in the Lee Auditorium, lower level of the Missouri History Museum.

— Steve Patterson

 

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