Home » St. Louis County » Recent Articles:

East-West Gateway’s ‘Great Streets’ Examined W. Florissant In Jennings, Ferguson, & Dellwood

Looking South on W. Florissant in Dellwood, MO
Looking South on W. Florissant in Dellwood, MO

A reader comment on West Florissant Ave Part 2: QuikTrip to Chambers Rd alerted me to the fact the Great Streets Initiative, through the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, had recently looked at West Florissant:

Vision Statement:
The Vision for West Florissant Avenue comes from community and stakeholder input received through multi-faceted outreach efforts. These have included public workshops and virtual walking tours, interviews with community leaders, input from the Community Committee and Technical Advisory Committee, an Agency workshop, and an online survey and mapping tool. The Vision Statement has distilled this community and stakeholder input, with the most significant community values expressed as how the corridor should look, feel, and contribute to the community’s future. 

Project Area:
The West Florissant Avenue Great Streets Project area is located in North St. Louis County, within the cities of Ferguson and Dellwood (Map 1.1). The Project area extends for approximately 2.6 miles, beginning at I-270 in the north and continuing to the East-West rail line at Emerson Electric headquarters and Buzz Westfall Plaza in the south (Maps 1.2 and 1.3; note change in map orientation). Th e Project area includes parcels that front the corridor, plus additional parcels along the key intersecting streets of Pershall Road and Chambers Road. Th e street corridor itself is owned and maintained by St. Louis County. Th e Project area parcels are about evenly divided between the cities of Ferguson and Dellwood; a few parcels also fall within Jennings city limits at the southeast end of the corridor. Several key landmarks and retail centers are located within or near the Project area. Dellwood City Hall is near the intersection of West Florissant Avenue and Chambers Road. The Project area also includes Dellwood Park and Dellwood Recreation Center. St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley Campus is just outside the northwest end. In addition to these landmarks, there are 160 acres of open space or park within one mile of the Project area, including open space associated with Maline Creek. A major shopping center is at the northern end of the corridor, with access to I-270. Just outside the southern end of the Project area, Buzz Westfall Plaza is another major retail center. The West Florissant Avenue corridor has been designed primarily to serve motorized vehicles, which is reinforced by the direct access to and from I-270 the road provides. The corridor is served by Metro Transit bus route #74, one of the most heavily-used lines in the system, and a future transit center is planned for Pershall Road in the northeast part of the Project area; its estimated completion date is in 2015. While sidewalks are present, many other pedestrian amenities are not, and the corridor is not pedestrian-friendly. The corridor currently does not have designated bicycle facilities, and is little used by bicyclists. As communities take an increasingly holistic view of streets and incorporate more of these Great Streets principles, our streets will serve multiple functions and become better places.

The supporting documents are on their West Florissant page, I’ve uploaded each to Scribd for quick reference:

The collection of the above can be viewed here.

I hope to dig into these documents soon, but I’m happy to know so much effort has already gone into planning for a better W. Florissant!

— Steve Patterson

 

Poll: Thoughts On Flordell Hills Police, Pop 822, Starting Its Own Police Force On Oct 1st

Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar
Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar

Starting October 1st St. Louis County will have another police force:

Flordell Hills has decided to form its own police department even though the city only has 822 residents.
The city said the move has been in works for months. The department will feature six full time officers, and it will cost more than what the city paid to have County Club Hills patrol the municipality. The city will have one officer for every few square blocks. (KMOV)

There are different ways one might view this change, so I thought this would be a good poll topic this week. The exact poll question is “Starting Oct 1st the north county suburb of Flordell Hills, pop 822, will have its own police force again. Thoughts:” I’ve provided a few answers but you can also type in your own if you don’t like mine. The poll is in the right sidebar. Mobile users need to switch to the desktop layout.

— Steve Patterson

 

Perfect Location For Centene’s New Ferguson Claims Center

Earlier this week one local company stepped up to invest in Ferguson:

Centene Corp. has selected Ferguson, the site of unrest for more than three weeks following the police shooting of Michael Brown, as the location for a new claims processing facility, with plans to bring up to 200 jobs to the city. The unrest following Brown’s death prompted Centene to select the city for the expansion. (stltoday)

This is potentially great news! I say potentially because most major call centers fit perfectly in an exurban office park; generic building sounded by massive surface parking lots, all fenced in. Ferguson needs these jobs, but it needs them in an engaged environment. Where? What would it look like? The where is quite simple: Emerson owns the perfect site on the SW corner of W. Florissant & Ferguson Ave., 9001 W. Florissant Ave.

This corner is 7+ acres
This corner is 7+ acres
Looking north from an adjacent Ameren substation
Looking north from an adjacent Ameren substation, the Ferguson Market is in the background
Looking north from in front of the Ameren substation
Looking north from in front of the Ameren substation
Looking south from Ferguson Ave
Looking south from Ferguson Ave
Map of the site consisting of two parcels, both owned by Emerson
Map of the site consisting of two parcels, both owned by Emerson, right of the purple line is Jennings

I’m not sure why Emerson bought this property, likely to raze the structure that was on the site as of 1971. Having a neighbor like Centene could be beneficial to Emerson, more workers means more lunch places. Hopefully Emerson would be willing to sell to Centene, or partner on a project to develop the site. And build what?

What they shouldn't build is a building surrounded by parking
What they shouldn’t build is a building in the center surrounded by parking
Instead, the building should be pushed out to the corner so pedestrians can easily reach the entrances.
Instead, the building should be pushed out to the corner so pedestrians can easily reach the entrance(s).

Ideally the building would be at least two floors, with the first floor for retail. I’d like to see a St. Louis Bread Co (aka Panera*) or Chronicle Coffee on the corner. This would provide additional jobs and more places for these 200 employees and those who work in the area to get breakfast, lunch & dinner. Nearby locally-owned places like Ferguson Burger Bar & More would also benefit. Parking can be located behind the building. If Centene doesn’t need this much space the site could be planned for more than one building facing W. Florissant.  * Disclosure: I have a handful of Panera stock

If Ameren built a new substation at the back corner, an auto entrance could be created at the traffic signal at Solway Ave.

A project at this corner could be a great way to implement East West Gateway’s Great Street master plan for W. Florissant!

— Steve Patterson

 

West Florissant Ave Part 2: QuikTrip to Chambers Rd

September 4, 2014 Accessibility, Featured, Ferguson, Planning & Design, St. Louis County, Walkability Comments Off on West Florissant Ave Part 2: QuikTrip to Chambers Rd

Yesterday I looked at the W. Florissant streetscape from the Ferguson Market to the QuikTrip, today I’ll continue northward making our way from Ferguson into Dellwood.

Burnt out QT at 9420 West Florissant on Monday Aug 11, 2014, 9:37am
Burnt out QT at 9420 West Florissant on Monday Aug 11, 2014, 9:37am. What will replace the QT? A new QT? A used car lot? A new commercial development? A park?
North of the QT the area changes from suburban commercial to suburban residential, W. Florissant is served by the 74 MetroBus route
North of the QT the area changes from suburban commercial to suburban residential, W. Florissant is served by the 74 MetroBus route
A woman walking her dog on Nesbit Dr
A woman walking her dog on Nesbit Dr in the Northland Hills subdivision of late 1950s ranch homes
On the east side, after Nesbit Dr, you get a long stretch with no intersecting streets, a concrete creek separates W. Florissant from backyards
On the east side, between Nesbit Dr & Highmont Dr, you get a long stretch with no intersecting streets, a concrete creek separates W. Florissant from backyards. But look, street trees!
The bus stops along W. Florissant were recently improved to be accessible, which benefits all users.
The bus stops along W. Florissant were recently improved to be accessible, which benefits all users.
Just past the bus stop is the  Dellwood city limits, W. Florissant returns to being commercial.
Just past the bus stop is the Dellwood city limits, W. Florissant returns to being commercial.
Commercial starts up sooner on the west side of W. Florissant
Commercial starts up sooner on the west side of W. Florissant
In this area of W. Florissant the pedestrian experience is odd; different surfaces, different distances from the road. Very unplanned!
In this area of W. Florissant the pedestrian experience is odd; different surfaces, different distances from the road. Very unplanned!
The grass between the sidewalk and parking lot is a welcomed relief from all the paving
The grass between the sidewalk and parking lot is a welcomed relief from all the paving
The former Fox Trap club is becoming an urgent care facility.
The former Fox Trap nightclub is becoming an urgent care facility.
Like the McDonald's in Part 1, this Taco Bell fails to have the required ADA access route from the public sidewalk. This was built in 2007.
Like the McDonald’s in Part 1, this Taco Bell fails to have the required ADA access route from the public sidewalk. This was built in 2007.
Almost to Chambers Rd
Almost to Chambers Rd., here the pedestrian space blends with parking lots
Between the Taco Bell and the corner gas station is a rare vacant parcel of land.
Between the Taco Bell and the corner gas station is a rare vacant parcel of land.
This image sums up how pedestrians are treated, The bus in the background is heading WB on Chambers.
This image sums up how pedestrians are treated. The bus in the background is the #61 heading WB on Chambers Rd.

b

b

b

b

b

b

b

b

 

West Florissant Ave Part 1: Ferguson Market To QuikTrip

For 3+ weeks now I’ve been thinking about the physical environment of West Florissant from the burnt out QuikTrip location south to the elevated train tracks, just under half a mile. Let’s take a look:

The former Ponderosa was built in 1972, it closed sometime between September 2012 and August 2014. A Google Streetview camera from 9/2012 showed the business open
The former Ponderosa at 9200 W. Florissant was built in 1972, it closed sometime between September 2012 and August 2014. A Google Streetview camera from 9/2012 showed the business open
Jack in the Box built this in 1969, now it's a locally owned business
Jack in the Box built this in 1969, now it’s a locally owned business
The streetscape design is pure 1960s, lacking anything that would appeal to a pedestrian
The streetscape design is pure 1960s, lacking anything that would appeal to a pedestrian. The absence of curbs & street trees make you feel vulnerable to traffic. What is this like during heavy rains?
Drains for runoff water
Drains for runoff water
The West side of W. Florissant is very similar to the East. lots and lots of paving
The West side of W. Florissant is very similar to the East. lots and lots of paving
Very few crosswalks exist, the ones that do are poorly designed. Here the crosswalk and ramp have no relationship to each other. One of the rare spots where curbs exist.
Very few crosswalks exist, the ones that do are poorly designed. Here the crosswalk and ramp have no relationship to each other. One of the rare spots where curbs exist.
Pedestrians are many but they're subjected to narrow broken sidewalks
Pedestrians are many but they’re subjected to narrow broken sidewalks
Neither of these storefronts are accessible in a wheelchair. Why hasn't the Chesterfield-bsaed company that owns several buildings made required ADA improvements in the last 21+ years?
Neither of these storefronts are accessible in a wheelchair. Why hasn’t the Chesterfield-bsaed company that owns numerous buildings on W. Florissant made required ADA improvements in the last 21+ years?
The McDonald's was built in 1989, but recently remodeled inside & out. An ADA accessible route was forgotten in the remodeling though.
The McDonald’s was built in 1989, but recently remodeled inside & out. An ADA accessible route was forgotten in the remodeling though.
Pedestrians arriving in wheelchairs must roll into the site from the public sidewalk to nest the rear of the building before finding a ramp.
Pedestrians arriving in wheelchairs must roll into the site from the public sidewalk to nest the rear of the building before finding a ramp.

The area looks & feels tired. Ferguson, Jennings, Dellwood, St. Louis County, Emerson, etc. all need to look at updating the public streetscape along W. Florissant. The use of rain gardens on both sides would visually improve the look as well as absorbing considerable water runoff. Walk Score gives the area a low 36 (Car Dependent) rating, embarrassing for an area with so many pedestrians and frequent transit users.

In Part 2 I’ll look at similar issues a little further North, in Dellwood.

— Steve Patterson

b

b

b

 

Advertisement



FACEBOOK POSTS

This message is only visible to admins.

Problem displaying Facebook posts.
Click to show error

Error: An access token is required to request this resource.
Type: OAuthException

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe