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Parking Space Half Into Public Sidewalk

In August 2011 I addressed part of the parking issue at Vito’s on Lindell (see Where is Vito’s Disabled Parking?). Last week I had dinner at Vito’s, going in I spotted another problem with how their parking lot is designed. 

ABOVE: Tail end of a car at Vito's takes up half the public sidewalk
ABOVE: Tail end of a car at Vito’s takes up half the public sidewalk

This car is parked in what appears to be a legitimate parking space in their lot. The problem is the space isn’t even long enough for a smart fourtwo so any car parked in the space sticks out into the public sidewalk.

The city has minimum requirements for the size of parking spaces, and the sidewalk can’t be counted toward the minimum.  Vito’s needs to redesign their parking lot to provide a disabled space and to eliminate this space that extends over the sidewalk.

— Steve Patterson



Unable To Use All MetroBus Stops

I have no problems using most of Metro’s bus stops using my power chair, bus there are exceptions that I can’t.

ABOVE: MetroBus stop on the north side of Market Street between 14th-15th, across from the Peabody Opera House
ABOVE: MetroBus stop on the north side of Market Street between 14th-15th, across from the Peabody Opera House. Taken Thursday January 31, 2013 @ 1:00pm.

I’m a huge fan of on-street parking, the fixed cars provide a nice buffer between pedestrians and moving vehicles. Unfortunately, this buffer becomes a barrier to anyone that can’t just step out into the street when the bus comes.

I’m thinking most days vehicles aren’t parked here and I’d have no problem using this stop. If so, that means an entire lane sits empty except for when a bus has to use it to pickup or drop off a passenger. But when cars are here the stop is useless to disabled riders. The solution?

Allow on-street parking, set up meters and generate revenue. In the space that would have one car build out the sidewalk so disabled riders, seniors and others can reach the bus stopped briefly in the travel lane.

— Steve Patterson


Wheelchair Users Unable To Pay Parking Fee In City Parking Lot

The City of St. Louis Parking Division operated by the Treasurer’s office recently built a surface parking lot at 3019-35 Olive Street to serve Midtown Alley businesses, including Hamburger Mary’s next door. The parking fee must be paid 24 hours per day.

ABOVE: Sign alerts drivers of conditions of parking in this public lot.
ABOVE: It is a short distance from the disabled parking spaces to the area with the central point of payment.
ABOVE: However, those disabled drivers that use a wheelchair are unable to reach the payment machine because no ramp up was provided.

I’ll be interested to find out if the Board of Public Service designed this for the Treasurer or if it was done separately. Regardless, it must be changed to comply with the ADA.

Larry Williams, the current Treasurer, is in his last month in office. Tishaura Jones will be sworn in as Treasurer on New Year’s Day. Jones indicated during the primary she’d work to remove parking as a responsibility of the office.

— Steve Patterson


More Thoughts on Bike Parking

November 30, 2012 Bicycling, Featured, Parking 2 Comments

Tuesday’s post was  about a bike locked to a lamp post while two empty bike were further from the building entry, see: Locate Bike Racks Near Building Entrances. Today is a similar post about trying to find a place to secure your bike.

ABOVE: Three bikes recently spotted locked to the construction fence at Washington Ave & Tucker.

Transportation cyclists are resourceful types for sure and the above is a perfect example. While this makes an interesting visual I’d much rather see our streets lined with bare-bones inverted-U bike racks located on the outer edge of the sidewalks, near the entrances to active spaces.

ABOVE: Bike parking for 22 bikes located around the corner from the nearest entrance to the Laurel Apartments. Architects love this design even though it doesn’t support the bike’s frame in two places when used as designed

Unfortunately too often things like bike parking are on a green checklist and they get checked off as being covered even though functionally few cyclists will ever use the supplied racks, much less 22 at once, opting instead for a sign or lamp post near their destination.  This space should’ve been planted to catch water runoff.

— Steve Patterson


Fixes For Stadium West, Stadium East

In 2016 the nearly identical parking garages known as “Stadium East” and “Stadium West” will turn 50 years old. Despite the milestone, I don’t expect preservationists to give tours, or oppose the alterations I propose below.

ABOVE: The 8th Street face of the Stadium West garage. The pedestrian ramp to the street crossing isn’t ADA-compliant, Stadium East doesn’t have a similar ramp.
ABOVE: The first thing is repaint the structure to something other than white, or red. White is so bright, it demands attention. Bright colors advance, dark colors recede.
ABOVE: Remove inaccessible walkway, freeing up space for small storefront spaces to be used during games or other special events.
ABOVE: A sidewalk vendor during one of the last Cardinals home games is the type of vender that could occupy a tiny storefront space.
ABOVE: Filling in the center recess with glass-friont retail will help lesson the visual impact of the massive garages facing the future “Ballpark Village”.
ABOVE: The garages will never disappear but they can’t be toned down considerably.

I’ve written before that I’d like to see these garages razed but they’re in good condition and fill a need.  They just need to fade into the background, a color change will accomplish that.

— Steve Patterson