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New Book — The Heart of the City: Creating Vibrant Downtowns for a New Century by Alexander Garvin

May 6, 2019 Books, Featured Comments Off on New Book — The Heart of the City: Creating Vibrant Downtowns for a New Century by Alexander Garvin

Downtowns are often critical to the perception & success of entire regions, but making them vibrant isn’t always easy.

Downtowns are more than economic engines: they are repositories of knowledge and culture and generators of new ideas, technology, and ventures. They are the heart of the city that drives its future. If we are to have healthy downtowns, we need to understand what downtown is all about; how and why some American downtowns never stopped thriving (such as San Jose and Houston), some have been in decline for half a century (including Detroit and St. Louis), and still others are resurging after temporary decline (many, including Lower Manhattan and Los Angeles). The downtowns that are prospering are those that more easily adapt to changing needs and lifestyles.

In The Heart of the City, distinguished urban planner Alexander Garvin shares lessons on how to plan for a mix of housing, businesses, and attractions; enhance the public realm; improve mobility; and successfully manage downtown services. Garvin opens the book with diagnoses of downtowns across the United States, including the people, businesses, institutions, and public agencies implementing changes. In a review of prescriptions and treatments for any downtown, Garvin shares brief accounts—of both successes and failures—of what individuals with very different objectives have done to change their downtowns. The final chapters look at what is possible for downtowns in the future, closing with suggested national, state, and local legislation to create standard downtown business improvement districts to better manage downtowns.

This book will help public officials, civic organizations, downtown business property owners, and people who care about cities learn from successful recent actions in downtowns across the country, and expand opportunities facing their downtown. Garvin provides recommendations for continuing actions to help any downtown thrive, ensuring a prosperous and thrilling future for the 21st-century American city. (Island Press)

Here are the eight chapters from the contents.

Chapter 1: What is Downtown?
Chapter 2: Where is Downtown?
Chapter 3: How and Why Downtown America is Changing
Chapter 4. People Who Are Changing Downtown
Chapter 5. Organizations that are Changing Downtown
Chapter 6. Lessons for Any Downtown
Chapter 7. Emerging 21st Century Downtowns
Chapter 8. Creating Vibrant Downtowns for a New Generation

St. Louis is mentioned in two chapters: How and Why Downtown America is Changing & Lessons for Any Downtown.

In November 2016 I posted about another book by Alexander Garvin: What Makes A Great City

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Sunday Poll: Are Local Governments Corrupt Because We Often Elect Democrats?

May 5, 2019 Featured, St. Louis County, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Are Local Governments Corrupt Because We Often Elect Democrats?
Please vote below

Local politics was rocked last week. On Monday Steve Stenger, just re-elected to a 2nd term in November 2018, resigned as St  Louis County Executive.  I posted about it on Facebook, one of the first comments was:

”How many crooked democrats does it take to ruin a city? Hard to say since idiots keep reelecting them.”

On Friday Stenger pled guilty.

Former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger pleaded guilty Friday to three counts of public corruption for steering county contracts to campaign donors andfaces prison time when he is sentenced in August.

Based on the offense level calculated in his guilty plea under federal guidelines, Stenger could get around three to four years in prison. Judge Catherine Perry emphasized she’s not bound by those guidelines, and set Stenger’s sentencing for Aug. 9. He will also be required to pay restitution. Although the exact amount isn’t clear it could be several hundred thousand dollars. The maximum sentence is 20 years and a $250,000 fine on each count.

Perry accepted Stenger’s guilty plea on charges of bribery, mail fraud and theft of honest services. The 44-page indictment made public on Monday accused Stenger of steering county contracts to his campaign donors and political supporters.

The week and comments I saw in various places helped me decide on the poll for today.

Today’s non-scientific poll will automatically close at 8pm tonight.  Results and my thoughts on the subject Wednesday morning.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 3 of 2019-2020 Session

May 3, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 3 of 2019-2020 Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their  3rd meeting of the 2019-2020 session

Today’s agenda (Version 4) includes all the new bills from last week plus some more. Bills 2-26 are repeated, but 1, 27-34 are new. Of course version 5 or later of this week’s agenda may change. Version 4, pulled at 3:45pm yesterday, is labeled Week 2 instead of Week 3.

  • B.B.#1 – Pres. Reed/Vollmer – Budget for Fiscal Year 2020; containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#2 – Coatar – An ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission pertaining to the Zoning Code, Title 26; amending Chapter 26.08 of the Revised Code by adding a cross-reference in the definition section for marijuana related uses; adding a new Chapter to the Zoning Code, Title 26, pertaining to the regulation of medical marijuana facilities and including sections on the purpose, definitions, use regulations and site requirements for Medical Marijuana Facilities; and containing a severability and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#3 – Davis – An ordinance recommended and approved by the
    Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Director of Airports and the Comptroller, to enter into and execute the Land Lease Agreement between the City and the United States of America, Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, granting to Lessee, certain rights and privileges in connection with the occupancy and use of the Premises; containing a severability and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#4 – P. Boyd – An ordinance establishing a four-way stop site at the intersection of Garesche and Goodfellow regulating all traffic traveling north-westbound and south-eastbound on Garesche at Goodfellow and regulating all traffic traveling north-eastbound and south-westbound on Goodfellow at Garesche, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#5 – Bosley – An ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission to change the zoning of property as indicated on the District Map in City Block 1179, from “B” Two Family Dwelling District to the “F” Neighborhood Commercial District, at 1500-04 Salisbury; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#6 – Moore – An ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission, to change the zoning of property as indicated on the District Map in City Block 1880, from“C” Multiple Family Dwelling District to the “H” AreaCommercial District, at 3614 & 3616 Cote Brilliante; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#7 – Muhammad – An ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission, to change the zoning of property as indicated on the District Map in City Block 3399, from “F” Neighborhood Commercial District to the “B” Two FamilyDistrict, at 1913 & 1925 E. College; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#8 – NUMBER NOT USED THIS SESSION
  • B.B.#9 – Arnowitz – An ordinance authorizing and directing the Director of the Department of Health to enter into and execute an Agreement with St. Louis University and St. Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice as part of a Missouri Foundation for Health grant to fund an Academic Health Department, upon approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, and to expend funds by entering into contracts or otherwise for the grant purposes and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#10 – Clark-Hubbard – An ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission, to change the zoning of property as indicated on the District Map and in City Block 4549, from “B” Two Family Dwelling District and “E” Multiple-Dwelling District to the “G”Local Commercial and Office District, at 5505, 5535-55 & 5559-79 Delmar and 713-27 & 731 Belt, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#11 – Muhammad – An ordinance submitting to the qualified voters of the City a proposed amendment to the Charter of the City of St. Louis to maintain the Board of Aldermen as a body of twenty-eight Aldermen representing twenty-eight wards and preventing its reduction beginning December 31, 2021 to a body of fourteen Aldermen representing fourteen wards as called for under Article I, Section 3 of the City Charter; proving for an election to be held for voting on the proposed amendment and the manner for the voting; and for the publication, certification, deposit, and recording of this ordinance; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#12 – Vaccaro – An ordinance repealing Section One of Ordinance No. 68605, and codified as 2.08.430 in the City Revised Code of Ordinances, which pertains to election rules and procedures relating to the payment of taxes by candidates for elective Office in the City, and replacing said section of Ordinance 68605 with a new Section One requiring all candidates for elective public in the City to have paid in full at the time of their filing those taxes and bills for services set forth herein and to provide evidence thereof in a sworn affidavit at said time.
  • B.B.#13 – Davis – An Ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing (i) the issuance by The City of St. Louis, of its Airport Revenue Bonds, St. Louis Lambert International Airport, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed Thirty Five Million Dollars ($35,000,000) (as further defined herein, the “Series 2019 Project Bonds”) in one or more series as part of the $3,500,000,000 of bonds approved by the voters of the City in 1991 and 2003, to finance the cost of the purchasing, extension, improvement or enlargement of the airport, reimbursement for certain prior airport capital expenditures, the funding of capitalized interest, if any; and (ii) the issuance by the City of its Airport Revenue Refunding Bonds, St. Louis Lambert International Airport, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed One Hundred Million Dollars($100,000,000) (as further defined herein, the “Series 2019 Refunding Bonds”; and containing a severability and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#14 – Davis – Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name of Fr. Biondi S.J. Way, which shall begin at the intersection of Lindell and Grand and run south on Grand to the intersection of Grand and the eastbound entrance ramp to Highway 44
  • B.B.#15 – Coatar – An ordinance promoting the use of energy efficient heating through the connection to the Downtown Steam Distribution system; promoting the continual use of the Downtown Steam Distribution System for any development project occurring Downtown St. Louis seeking Municipal Financial Incentives; prohibiting the Clean Energy Development Board from approving financing for any project that would result in a commercial building disconnecting from or no longer using the Downtown Steam Distribution System for heat; a portion of the net profits be remitted to the SWMDC and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#16 – Coatar – An ordinance amending Ord. No. 50258, which ordinance relates in part to the vacation of Russell from DeKalbto Second Street (the “Russell Vacation”) with conditions,authorizing the termination of the fire lane on the Russell Vacation in order that Soulard Second Street, L.L.C. or its successors and assigns may build a project on certain land (the“Subject Property”) located at 161-181 Trudeau.
  • B.B.#17 – Roddy – An ordinance submitting to the qualified voters residing in the Central West End Southeast Special Business District, as established in Ord. No. 63780, approved May 31, 1996, amended in Ordinance No. 64550, approved January 15, 1999 and amended in Ordinance No. 68236, approved January 16, 2009, a proposal to extend the levy of a tax on the real property located in said district for an additional ten years and increasing the amount of such tax to an amount not to exceed $0.85 per $100 assessed valuation; submitting said proposal to the voters of said district as a Special Election on August 6, 2019; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#18 – Roddy An ordinance approving the petition to establish the Newstead West Community Improvement District, establishing the Newstead West Community Improvement District.
  • B.B.#19 – Spencer/Ingrassia/Guenther/Green/Navarro/Arnowitz/Rice –An ordinance requiring a City-wide vote to approve any proposal aimed at or having the effect of privatizing the St. Louis Lambert International Airport by the City’s renting, leasing ortransferring its control of the Airport, either in whole or in part, pursuant to the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Privatization Pilot Program and the Modernization and Reform Act of 2012; and containing a severability clause and emergency clause.
  • B.B.#20 – Roddy – An ordinance repealing paragraph (f) of Section Two of Ord. 63780, approved on May 31, 1996, as amended in Ordinance 64550, approved January 15, 1999, and Ordinance 68236 approved January 16, 2009 and in lieu thereof a new paragraph (f) is enacted extending the period of time during which the Central West End Southeast Special Business District shall be permitted to collect a tax within the boundaries of the district and increasing the amount of such tax to an amount not to exceed $0.85 per $100.00 of the assessed valuation of all real property within such district and to amend and restate the use for which the additional revenue produced by such tax may be put to include cleaning, landscaping and maintenance, security and public safety, purchase and installation of public infrastructure, public transportation, administration, and contingency fund for such categories; and containing effectiveness and emergency clauses.
  • B.B.#21 – Cohn/Clark-Hubbard – An ordinance approved and recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment approving and authorizing the execution and delivery of an Operating Lease Agreement of the property known as the West End Community Center; between the City of St. Louis as lessor, and Demetrious Johnson Charitable Foundation, Inc., as lessee; with an emergency provision.
  • B.B.#22 – Howard – An ordinance pertaining to parking within the “5347 Nottingham Parking District; “establishing the locationand restrictions for curb parking in the restricted parking zone within the “5647 Nottingham Parking District;” authorizing the placement of Permit Parking Only signs within the District; and prohibiting the parking, within the District, of any vehicle which does not display the authorized permit; containing definitions, a penalty clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#23 – Middlebrook – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment for 1920 North Broadway.
  • B.B.#24 – Vollmer – An ordinance to provide for the borrowing of funds in anticipation of the collection of tax payments levied by the City For deposit in its General Revenue Fund for the calendar year ending December 31, 2019 and remaining uncollected and other revenues remaining to be collected and deposited in the General Revenue Fund for fiscal year ending June 30, 2020; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#25 – Guenther – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 3230 Oregon.
  • B.B.#26 – Guenther – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 2911-2915 Ohio.
  • B.B.#27 – Vaccaro – An ordinance requiring the Board of Election Commissioners to post on its website the qualifications and requirements that must be met by an individual in order to file Declaration of Candidacy for elected office in the City and the procedure for filing a Declaration of Candidacy which are codified in Chapter 2.08 of the City of St. Louis Revised Code of Ordinances; and to update said posting within three days following the effective date of any City of St. Louis ordinance or Missouri state stature which change or modify said requirements, rules and procedures.
  • B.B.#28 – Davis – An Ordinance recommended and approved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Director of Airports and the to enter into and execute onbehalf of the City the “Assignment and Assumption of Interest inDual Customs Agreement and Consent of The City of St. Louis” agreement (“Assignment Agreement”) whereby the City consents to the assignment by Bi-National Gateway Terminal, LLC to Brownsville International Air Cargo, Inc., all of Assignor’s right, title and interest in the Dual Customs Agreement AL-353, between the City and Assignor, dated January 9, 2015; said Assignment Agreement was approved by the Airport Commission and is attached hereto as ATTACHMENT “1”;containing a severability clause; and containing an emergency clause.B.B.#29 – Davis – An ordinance recommended by the Airport Commission and the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing the Director of Airports to approve and execute on behalf of the Citythe “Consent to Change In Ownership and Control Structure ofBi-National Gateway Terminal LLC” substantially in the form as set out in ATTACHMENT “1” to this Ordinance, which is attached hereto and incorporated herein, whereby the City consents to the change in ownership of Bi-National Gateway Terminal, LLC(“Bi-National”), the lessee, under that certain Second Restatedand Amended Lease Agreement AL-094, dated February 14, 2019 and authorized by City Ordinance No. 70909 approved February 11, 2019, between the City and Bi-National (“Lease Agreement”), as such consent by the City is required in accordance with Section 1001 entitled “Assignment” of theLease Agreement; providing that the provisions set forth in this Ordinance will be applicable exclusively to the document approved or authorized by this Ordinance; and containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#30 – NUMBER NOT USED THIS SESSION
  • B.B.#31 – Roddy – An Ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the issuance and delivery of not to exceed in aggregate $17,259,000 plus issuance costs principal amount of tax increment revenue notes (Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, and Phase 4 City Foundry Saint Louis RPA2 Redevelopment Project) Series 20__- A/B, of The City of St. Louis; prescribing the form and details of such notes and the covenants and agreements made by the City to facilitate and protect the payment thereof; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#32 – J. Boyd – An Ordinance authorizing the establishment of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council through an intergovernmental cooperative agreement by and between the City, the Sheriff, the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit Court, the Circuit Attorney, the Missouri State Public Defender and the Director of the Missouri Department of Corrections; authorizing the Mayor to enter into the intergovernmental cooperative agreement with the respective parties and; containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#33 – P. Boyd – An ordinance directing the Director of Streets to make such changes in the present traffic pattern controlling traffic on Thrush in the 5200 block of Thrush between Theodore and Thekla so that as reconfigured the traffic pattern developed and in place as a result of the changes directed by this ordinance are as follows, namely: Thrush – 5200 block – traffic to flow one-way northeast between Theodore and Thekla.
  • B.B.#34 – Howard – An ordinance submitting to the qualified voters of the City of St. Louis, a proposal to revise Section 2 of Article VIII of the City of St. Louis Charter which requires City employees to reside within the boundaries of the City of St. Louis and thus allow said employees, except for City Agency and Department Directors appointed by the Mayor, to reside outside of the boundaries of the City, and; providing for an election to be held for voting on the proposed revision and the manner of voting thereat and; for the publication, certification, deposit, and recording of this ordinance; and containing an emergency clause.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2019-2020 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

— Steve Patterson

 

Opinion: A Few Misinformed People Putting Many More at Risk

May 1, 2019 Featured Comments Off on Opinion: A Few Misinformed People Putting Many More at Risk
I recently asked my doctor to confirm my immunity, the last sentence in blue indicates I’m immune to the measles.

Less than two decades after eradicating a highly contagious, measles disease it is back:

In 2000, the Pan-American Health Organization announced a monumental public health achievement: Widespread vaccination efforts, overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had effectively eliminated measles from the United States.

The disease, which before the vaccination era affected 3 to 4 million people in the U.S. each year, was now isolated to small, contained outbreaks connected to international travel.

This year’s record-setting outbreak threatens that achievement. (NPR)

Why? An increasing number of misinformed among us are putting greater numbers at risk. The idea of herd immunity is a simple, but highly effective.

Just as a herd of cattle or sheep uses sheer numbers to protect its members from predators, herd immunity protects a community from infectious diseases by virtue of the sheer numbers of people immune to such diseases. The more members of a human “herd” who are immune to a given disease, the better protected the whole populace will be from an outbreak of that disease.

There are two ways an individual can become immune to an infectious disease: by becoming infected with the pathogen that causes it or by being vaccinated against it. Because vaccines induce immunity without causing illness, they are a comparatively safe and effective way to fill a community with disease-resistant people. These vaccinated individuals have protected themselves from disease. But, in turn, they are also protecting members of the community who cannot be vaccinated, preventing the chain of disease from reaching them and limiting potential outbreaks. Every vaccinated person adds to the effectiveness of this community-level protection. (PBS/NOVA)

Dr. Spock said it best: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

The US epicenter right now is in the Orthodox Jewish community, a group targeted by an anti-vaccination group”

(Rebecca) Feldman and 14 other Orthodox Jewish nurses are going line by line through a 40-page handbook that New York City health officials have identified as propaganda that’s helping to fuel a measles outbreak in the region. Written by an anonymous group that calls itself Peach — Parents Educating and Advocating for Children’s Health — the document laces largely unproven anti-vaccination theories with passages from Jewish religious texts.

With the outbreak sickening more than 300 people in the city since October, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency under which people who don’t get their children vaccinated face fines. With the start of Passover this past weekend, the risk of spreading measles increases as families gather for the eight-day holiday.

Feldman, who is on maternity leave, said she has personally been putting in more than four hours a day debunking misinformation in the booklet, which is being passed around in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in two Brooklyn neighborhoods. (CNBC)

These people have been brainwashed into thinking they’re doing to right thing. Instead they’re putting many at risk.

Complications
Measles can be a serious in all age groups. However, children younger than 5 years of age and adults older than 20 years of age are more likely to suffer from measles complications.

Common Complications
Common measles complications include ear infections and diarrhea.

  • Ear infections occur in about one out of every 10 children with measles and can result in permanent hearing loss.
  • Diarrhea is reported in less than one out of 10 people with measles.

Severe Complications
Some people may suffer from severe complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). They may need to be hospitalized and could die.

  • As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.
  • About one child out of every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or with intellectual disability.
  • For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it.

Measles may cause pregnant woman to give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby. (CDC)

This is why I think the government, not parents, must dictate who gets immunized. Not everyone can get immunized, it’s up to the rest of us to make sure they stay safe — that means everywomen else must be vaccinated.

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

Q: Agree or disagree: Parents, not government, should determine if their kids get the measles vaccine.

Strongly agree: 1 [3.7%]

Agree: 1 [3.7%]

Somewhat agree: 0 [0%]

Neither agree or disagree: 1 [3.7%]

Somewhat disagree: 1 [3.7%]

Disagree: 7 [25.93%]

Strongly disagree: 16 [59.26%]

Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

A majority agree, but we really need 100%!

Herd immunity against measles requires that 90-95% of the entire population are immune, whereas vaccination coverage is measured as the percentage vaccinated of the target population – which only includes people who are eligible for vaccination. This means that to achieve 95% immunity in the population for measles, vaccination coverage needs to be higher than 95%. This is the scientific argument for a public health policy that aims at 100% vaccination coverage.

More importantly, there is an ethical argument to be made for the goal of 100% vaccination coverage. It sends the right message. Everyone who can get vaccinated, should get vaccinated – not only to protect themselves, but to protect those who can’t, through herd immunity. (IFL Science)

If you’re not vaccinated, go immediately. If you’re older like me and not sure if you got the required doses in the 1970s be sure to ask your doctor to check the next time s/he are doing blood tests.

— Steve Patterson

 

Proposed MLS Stadium, Sans Site Plan

April 29, 2019 Downtown, Featured, Planning & Design Comments Off on Proposed MLS Stadium, Sans Site Plan

Last week artist renderings were released for a proposed soccer-specific stadium, it’ll be built if the local ownership group becomes an MLS expansion team. The MLS recently approved expanding the league from 28 to 30 teams, so it seems increasingly likely we’ll get an MLS team & stadium. Images from MLS4THELOU

When people see colorful drawings of proposed projects they’ll often get drawn into the images, letting down any critical thinking they might’ve had — they’ve served their purpose of increasing support and reducing criticism. Absent from the documents was a proposed site plan.

Site plans are never sexy, but they help explain relationships between buildings. Without a site plan it’s impossible to fully understand the quality of the design.

I’m very familiar with the area where the proposed stadium would be built. In fact, in February 2016 I posted about it when another ownership group was trying to get a MLS team following the Rams’ return to LA:

The site they shouldn’t consider is the North riverfront one previously targeted for a significantly larger NFL stadium — we shouldn’t tear down buildings when we have vacant land available. We have land, mostly state owned, without any buildings and a target for redevelopment for years already. I’m talking about the 22nd Street Interchange area — an area on the West side of downtown I’ve written about numerous times over the 11+ years.

The state-owned land is the remnants of what was to be a 1950s West loop around downtown.

The second portion of the Distributor Freeway includes ramps from Interstate 64 & U.S. 40 north to Pine Street at 20th Street. This includes short roadways from the Market Street overpass south to I-64. Plans coinciding with the construction of Truman Parkway included the 22nd Street Parkway. Officially cancelled in October 2003, the four-lane parkway was a version of the late 1950s North South Distributor Freeway running north from U.S. 40 to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. The project included the reconfiguring of the interchange with I-64 & U.S. 40 and required condemnation of land north of Pine Street. Increasing costs associated with acquiring land needed for the parkway ultimately led to its demise. (Source)

The 4th of the above images is the only one that might give us a clue about the site. Let’s take a closer look.

The top of a parking garage is shown at the bottom.

This garage is either an inaccurate representation of the garage attached to the Drury Inn at Union Station, located in the old railway YMCA, or a new garage. Here are a couple of views from 2016 looking at the proposed site.

Looking southwest, 21st & Clark with an I-64 off ramp behind it
Looking northwest, that’s 21st Street on the right

Here’s what I think about the site, both north & south of Market Street:

  • The stadium & new buildings should take advantage of the existing hole for basement or underground parking.
  • Market Street between 20th & 21st is a deteriorating bridge, it should be removed. Under it can be filled in with foam so a new road/sidewalks can be built at grade.
  • Market Street should be redesigned to be friendly to pedestrians. This means narrowing the road (fewer, narrower lanes) and more crossing points. Right now there’s a crosswalk at 20th and at Jefferson –this is nearly a half a mile without a crossing.
  • Hopefully the changes at Union Station, including the upcoming Farris Wheel along 20th Street, will mean easier access under the train shed between the Union Station MetroLink platform on the East side of 18th to the new MLS stadium.
  • Metro will need to rethink downtown circulation with a revised Union Station, a MLS stadium, and hopefully active surroundings.
  • Pine & Chestnut have been a one-way couplet for decades. Once the on/off ramps to/from I-64 are gone both streets should be returned to two-way traffic. The revised Soldiers Memorial, however, has only one eastbound lane on Chestnut between 13th-14th.  Chestnut has our only protected bike lane.

I’ll probably think of more issues, hopefully the site planning being done now will address at least some of these.

— Steve Patterson

 

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