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Ninth Anniversary of UrbanReviewSTL.com!

Me pre-stroke in the December issue of St. Louis Magazine. Photo by Dillip Vishwanat
Me pre-stroke in the December issue of St. Louis Magazine. Photo by Dillip Vishwanat

Today marks the ninth anniversary of this blog. I began writing to focus on something other than my dad recovering from a heart attack. During the last nine years over 3,500 posts generated nearly 42,000 comments.

I write because I enjoy sharing my thoughts, many often disagree with me. I like to describe my vision for areas, how they might change in the future. Frequently comments suggest I’m just dreaming, the city’s broke, etc.   Well, change starts when someone dreams up an idea that’s different than the current reality.

Money is tight, but here are some public projects completed during the nine years I’ve been blogging.

  • Washington Ave streetscape east of Tucker
  • Shrewsbury MetroLink extension
  • Rebuild of I-64/Highway 40
  • Jefferson Viaduct
  • Grand Viaduct
  • Jefferson over I-64
  • Grand streetscape
  • Grove streetscape
  • Tucker rebuild

No money, huh? These and other projects weren’t free. Ideas must be generated first, then you seek out funding. No government says they have extra money for the taking, the ideas are put into proper form to see about getting funded. Yesterday I saw a 2002 newsletter which had information on the idea for a new Mississippi River bridge. This idea has been hashed around for years, the scope revised numerous times as two states tried to figure out how to fund the project. It’ll open in 2014.

List of plans for bidders as of yesterday, The four circled are items I might review in the future.
List of Board of Public Service plans for bidders, as of yesterday. The four circled are items I might review in the future.

According to Board of Public Service President Richard Bradley, they annually oversee projects totaling “$30-40 million which includes BPS projects at Lambert Airport.”

So I’m going to continue to share my ideas even though I don’t have a funding plan at that moment.  I know that public infrastructure change often takes 5-20 years from idea to ribbon cutting, with only a small percentage making it to the end.

My tenth year begins tomorrow…

— Steve Patterson

 

Day Trips Are A Nice Getaway

A week ago my boyfriend and I thought it was such a nice day, we should go do something.  We’d bought a Living Social voucher for two to see the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower in Hartford IL, just a 30 minute drive north on Route 3.

This post is about the wonderful day trip that we ended up having through several counties in Illinois, two ferry rides, and returning to Missouri through St. Charles County.

As you approach the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower
As you approach the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower
Cyclists on the trail on top of the levee
Cyclists on the trail on top of the levee
From the top level of the tower (150 feet high) you get a great view of the confluence of the Mississippi & Missouri rivers.
From the top level of the tower (150 feet high) you get a great view of the confluence of the Mississippi & Missouri rivers.
We didn't stop in Alton but we stopped just north to see the Piasa, click image for more info
We didn’t stop in Alton but we stopped just north to see the Piasa image on the limestone, click image for more info
The Village of Elsah is one of my favorite stops along the River Road, click image for more info
The Village of Elsah is one of my favorite stops along the River Road, DFS liked it too!  Click image for more info
We took the scenic drive through Pere Marquette State Park, click image for more info
We took the scenic drive through Pere Marquette State Park, click image for more info
On the Golden Eagle Ferry from Calhoun Co IL to St. Charles Co MO
On the Golden Eagle Ferry from Calhoun Co IL to St. Charles Co MO

We both took many more pictures on our 5+ hour unplanned adventure. I say unplanned because I didn’t think beyond the Tower, we barely had enough cash on us for the mixed berry cobbler at The Cultured Table Bistro in Elsah plus the ferry into St. Charles Co, the Brussels Ferry is free.

We had a great day for very little money! We’re in Springfield IL this weekend, but later this fall I’m going to the DFS on a wine country tour through Augusta & Washington. What’s your favorite day trip from St. Louis?

— Steve Patterson

 

Now Part of a One-Car Household

ABOVE:
ABOVE: Steve & Dave

Personal mobility is a big part our lives, it often consumes a large percentage of our income. Over the 8+ years of this blog I’ve written about the many changes to my own transportation modes.

I had a car when I started, added a 49cc scooter after Katrina, got rid of the car in 2007, sold the scooter and bought a car in 2008 after my stroke, began using transit and then finally in April 2012 I sold my car.

Here are the posts:

  1. 9/2005: My Way of Dealing With Rising Gas Prices
  2. 7/2007: First Time in 25 Years, I Don’t Own A Car!
  3. 6/2008: My Beloved Honda Metropolitan Scooter Has Been Sold
  4. 7/2008: I Drove My Car Today
  5. 2/2010: No longer bus-averse
  6. 4/2012: I’m Car-Free…Again!

I have one more change, my boyfriend and I have been living together for more than two weeks and his car makes me part of a one-car household. Many one-car couples I know both drive the car, just depending upon who needs it. In our household, for now at least, he’ll be the sole driver.

This new status prompted me to look into some demographics of car ownership.

ABOVE:
ABOVE: From the Summary of Travel Trends: 2009 National Household Travel Survey, click image to view PDF

Interesting how the number of vehicles per household has increased over four decades even as the number of persons per household has decreased. However, the number of licensed drivers per household has increased. No surprise seeing the highest auto ownership in the Midwest.

Dave’s not averse to using transit so there will be times we will go places on the bus.

— Steve Patterson

 

Really Get A Life!

“Really get a life!” was a comment left on a imagine I posted to this blog’s Facebook page Monday afternoon, I was complaining at the offices of St. Louis Parking about them pushing snow off their private parking lot and subsequently blocking the public sidewalk. The photo got 19+ likes by Monday evening but “Yippee Skippee” felt differently:

ABOVE: Comment left on Facebook

I get such a comment every so often when I’m speaking out about what I feel is an injustice.  What is the meaning of such a comment?

“Get a life” is an idiom and catch phrase usually intended as a taunt, to indicate that the person being so addressed is devoting an inordinate amount of time to trivial or hopeless matters. (Wikipedia)

So basically Yippee is a bully that’s unwilling to use his real name on social media. Here is the pic he commented on.

ABOVE: This is the image he commented on, I'd said I was complaining about then pushing snow onto the sidewalk .
ABOVE: This is the image he commented on, I’d said I was complaining about then pushing snow onto the sidewalk .
ABOVE: I'd posted this image an hour or so earlier of snow blocking the 11th street sidewalk
ABOVE: I’d posted this image an hour or so earlier of snow blocking the 11th street sidewalk

Have a great day!

— Steve Patterson

 

 

An Amazing Five Years!

February 1, 2013 Featured, Steve Patterson 4 Comments
ABOVE: Steve Patterson in his vehicle of choice
ABOVE: Steve Patterson in his vehicle of choice

February 1, 2008 was also on a Friday. It was cold. That evening I was supposed to meet a friend for dinner but I didn’t make it. That afternoon I had a hemorrhage in the right side of my brain — a less common form of stroke. For 15-16 hours I was curled up on my cold floor unable to get to my phone to dial 9-1-1. The next morning a worried friend found me, I responded but I don’t remember doing so.  I returned home on April 30, 2008 after staying in three hospitals for medical treatment and therapy.

Since then I’ve learned to deal with my short-term memory loss, ease of exhaustion and physical limitations. When I woke up from the medically induced coma 3+ weeks after my stroke I thought my best days were behind me, but I was wrong. The last five years have been amazing! The next five will be even better.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

 

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