In November I suggested that Stifel missed an opportunity for good urbanism by putting a sculpture at Broadway & Washington corner of their building, One Financial, rather than corner a corner retail space. Here’s how the corner looks now:
I finished that post with “They can still create an active corner on the west side, at 6th — facing MetroLink.” I still wish something more active was on the front corner, but the 6th Street side is made for retail.
I’m very aware there’s already lots of vacant retail space available, but this large space in One Financial has great visibility at a corner busy with locals and visitors: location, location, location! Retailers looking for the right space are going to hire a commercial broker to search listings to find the right location, it it’s not listed they’re not going to consider it.
I’d much rather see a “retail space for lease” sign than closed office blinds. Stifel needs to relocate anyone in this space to another floor in the building and get this space on the market.
In early November I visited the site of a new grocery store opening on January 4th, Fields Foods. I was disappointed with respect to pedestrian access:
I’m very glad to see the store nearing completion. It’ll provide needed jobs, though jobs may be lost elsewhere as people change where they buy groceries. Sadly, it doesn’t appear any consideration to the many who will arrive daily on foot, some pushing strollers, and even the occasional wheelchair user. <snip>
Hopefully, somehow, I’ll be proven wrong when the grocery store opens January 4th.
I visited again last Thursday, and with the site work done I can say it isn’t what I expected: it’s both better and worse!
Last Thursday I contacted several St. Louis officials to alert them to the issues I discovered. I suggested they withhold the occupancy permit until the walkway is retrofitted to be ADA-compliant with a curb ramp, crosswalk, and curb ramp on the building side. Providing pedestrian access not accessible to all is a very clear ADA violation. I gave my card to the BSI employee I talked to last week, he said he’d give it to the owner. I’ve not heard back from anyone.
It would’ve been fairly easy to design & build this to be highly accessible/walkable from all directions, new construction shouldn’t need to be retrofitted. When the city is vacating public streets pedestrian access from that direction should be provided.
The parties involved in the project are collectively incompetent with respect to pedestrian access. The ADA is more than grab bars in the bathroom. I’ll be there on January 4th to see if the situation is improved.
— Steve Patterson
UPDATE 12/23/2013 @ 9:45am — I just talked with Fields Foods owner Chris Goodson, he said workers are correcting the situation. The sidewalk shown wasn’t part of the original design, it was added after the fact after my November post.
I’ve been checking to see any change and finally the other day something was different: a temporary ramp. I snapped the following photo and continued.
I was told by a tenant employee the building’s owner, The Lawrence Group, is “curing wood” to be used for their final solution. It’ll need to extend three times as far out to be ADA-compliant, the sides will also need to be sloped. This is necessary because the architects at The Lawrence Group forgot it was necessary to make this tenant space accessible as part of the $70 million dollar renovation of the building that opened in 2011.
Once I spot the next wood ramp in place I’ll check the slopes, take pics, and post again.
An overwhelming majority of readers like bike lanes, at least according to the unscientific poll last week:
Q: Which of the following best fits your view of bike lanes:
Bike lanes are important, should be incorporated into street designs 75 [48.7%]
Bike lanes are a great idea that needs to be taken to the next level 44 [28.57%]
Bike lanes help keep cyclists out of my way when driving 16 [10.39%]
Bikes are traffic, shouldn’t be segregated to the side 10 [6.49%]
Bike lanes aren’t needed, give novice riders a false sense of security 3 [1.95%]
Bicyclists should use sidewalks, not have their own lane 3 [1.95%]
Doesn’t matter to me 2 [1.3%]
Unsure/no answer 1 [0.65%]
This is despite some serious flaws in how they’re often implemented, especially in St. Louis.
The bike lane often becomes part of the automobile right turn lane, novice cyclists move over the right instead of holding their position. A cyclist going straight ahead shouldn’t be to the right of a car turning right — that’s a formula for conflict. Other cities do a much better job.
Bike lanes are great at keeping the cyclist to the right of vehicles, but leave the novice cyclist at a loss as to how to make a left turn. To turn left a skilled cyclist on the roads will make their way from the right lane, to left lane, to the left turn lane — just as you would if driving a car. However, with bike lanes present, motorists get upset with cyclists who don’t stay in their bike lane. How do you get from point to point without left turns?
If we’re going to have bike lanes I think they need to be designed far better, not just be a way to deal with excess roadway width.
In April 2006 it looked like Opus Development would be moving forward on a high-rise condo tower at the NE corner of Lindell & Euclid. They’d revised the base and been granted a variance to permit the height. However, the project was abandoned even before the economy crashed.
Now Opus is back with a new proposal for the corner, Ald. Lyda Krewson tweeted on December 6th “Lindell Residences proposed for Lindell/Euclid – 217 first class apts.” with this pic attached:
Back in 2006 the historic code required heights to be relative to other buildings. The language, like many of our historic codes, was poorly written. Today the Central West End’s form-based code isn’t wishy-washy: maximum of 12 stories at this location.
The new form-based code and the mixed-use project one block south with apartments over a Whole Foods likely renewed interest in this conner. Ok, it is apartments instead of $300k condos. No big deal, when I rented an efficiency in The President 2 doors to the east in 1990 an A.G. Edwards VP rented the large apartment next door! Rental apartments aren’t a bad thing at all.
While a tall tower makes the skyline more interesting, the latest proposal will have a bigger positive impact. The decision to go underground with most of the parking makes the base more appropriate.
I’m glad the 26-story building proposed in 2006 didn’t happen, the new proposal was worth the wait.
I’m not a huge fan of vintage/heritage streetcar/trolley lines — I much prefer modern streetcar lines using 21st century low-floor vehicles (see Kansas City’s streetcar). I have ridden vintage/heritage lines in San Francisco, Little Rock, New Orleans, and Memphis. I wanted to ride the one in Dallas…