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Poll: Thoughts on On-Street Parking Downtown

November 27, 2011 Featured, Parking, Sunday Poll 8 Comments

The expectation of drivers to get free parking amuses me. You think the you don’t end up paying for the massive parking garages at malls like The Galleria & West County Center?

ABOVE: On-street parking on Locust across from Macy's, just before meters were installed

Parking downtown is very cheap but still some advocate completely free parking on the street.  The argument is downtown must compete with the malls and big box centers. Really? They are different animals. Downtown isn’t going to win big box shoppers and  the mall isn’t going to win the person seeking character & history. We could pay someone to park but the Bed, Bath & Beyond shopper still wouldn’t come downtown.

ABOVE: Metered parking on 10th Street

Now that we are into the holiday shopping season I figured downtown on-street parking is a good poll topic. The poll is in the right sidebar.

– Steve Patterson


Patronize Local Stores on Black Friday if You’re Shopping

November 25, 2011 Economy, Featured, Parking 6 Comments

The great thing about  not having any money is I have no need to subject myself to the crowds of people trying to get a cheap flat-screen television at midnight.

ABOVE: Parking lot at The Galleria Mall on Sunday August 1, 2010

But part of me is tempted to take transit to places the The Galleria Mall just to see the vast areas of surface parking on the only day of the year that much parked is needed.

If I were shopping it wouldn’t be at a generic mall. I’d be at a locally owned store so my money would stay in the community. What are your thoughts on Black Friday & Cyber Monday?

-Steve Patterson


US Bank Garage Need Not Be Razed, Just Rethought

ABOVE: US Bank parking garage at 8th & Washington as seen from our convention center

In May 2010 I  wrote that the US. Bank parking garage at 8th & Washington Ave should be replaced with something urban, with windows and doors. Since then I’ve spent more time looking at the design of the garage and I think it can be made less hideously oppressive through some relatively simple changes.

The upper levels of the garage could be screened with metal panels or even plant material. My biggest concern is the sidewalk level.

ABOVE: The sidewalk view along Washington Ave

Horrible, but this appears to be just a storage area based on what I can tell from the inside of the garage. There is a vent extending to the roof in the NW corner of the garage so some sort of equipment may be located in the space.

ABOVE: US Bank garage

The material at the sidewalk facing both Washington Ave and 8th are non-structural.  My thinking is the storage space become a small storefront space with glass walls facing each sidewalk. Outside add a few cafe tables & chairs plus an umbrella or two and the corner is humanized.

– Steve Patterson


Where is Vito’s Disabled Parking?

August 16, 2011 Midtown, Parking 14 Comments

Vito’s Sicilian Pizzeria & Ristorante has been at Lindell and Grand as long as I’ve been in St. Louis. They loved to their current location in the 90s when Saint Louis University bought & razed the building they were in at the NE corner of Grand and Lindell.

ABOVE: Vito's Pizza on Lindell just east of Grand

Building codes and the American’s with Disabilities Act have long required designated disabled parking when you have a parking lot. Which makes me wonder how Vito’s got away with not having a disabled space when they moved into their current location following a major rehab of the building.

ABOVE: The east side of Vito's parking lot with four full spaces

I know no reason the city would have exempted Vito’s from the requirement in the building code.

ABOVE: The west side of Vito's parking lot with five full spaces

The building and parking lot is owned by Saint Louis University, but that shouldn’t matter either. These pics were taken before 11am on a weekday so there is no shortage of close parking.  But at noon it’s a different story.  On weekend nights the metered spaces are taken for valet, $5 with restaurant validation. Do they have a permit for valet on the public road?

– Steve Patterson


Parking in Bus Stop Locations

Twice now in the last month I’ve departed the #10 bus on Forest Park on the east side of Euclid, in front of the Parkview Hotel (map). Both times a car has been parked in the bus stop.

ABOVE: BMW illegally parked in a bus stop on Forest Park

The first time the car was parked between the intersection and the bus stop sign, the bus had to let me off at the hotel driveway because the driver couldn’t get close enough to the curb. Tuesday the illegally parked car was further east so the bus had room to pull to the curb to let me off and pull back out into traffic.

The first time I jokingly asked the bus driver if it would be fun to push such cars out of the way, he affirmed. This time I thought of a recent news story from Europe:

Drivers who park in cycle lanes would normally worry about receiving a fine or perhaps having their vehicle towed. They probably do not expect to have their car crushed beneath the wheels of an armoured personnel carrier which has the local mayor at the controls.

But car owners in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, may be choosing their parking spaces a little more carefully after the city’s mayor, Arturas Zuokas, drove over – and wrecked – a Mercedes in a stunt to serve as a warning to anyone who thinks about parking illegally. (Source)

Here is the video:


Recently I was at another bus stop when a motorist parked in the stop where I was waiting. When she got out I asked her to move because the bus was due in minutes. On South Grabd I had to go into the FedEx store to find  the driver of a FedEx truck parked in the bus stop. He pulled out as the bus arrived.

I like and support on-street parking. When I chose to drive my car on-street parking is often the only choice I have to get me close enough to my destination I can walk there.  The road in Vilnius has zero on-street parking, no wonder they have a problem.

Anyone know where I can get a used tank?

– Steve Patterson