Home » STL Region » Recent Articles:

Poll: Should St. Louis City & St. Louis County Reconcile? If So, How?

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

For decades now there have been efforts to nullify the “Great Divorce of 1876“, when the City of St. Louis removed itself from St. Louis County, becoming an independent city with municipal & county offices. All have failed.

Past failure, however, doesn’t deter some from pushing the idea again. An editorial from last month: Time to go public on mediation talks for the Great Reconciliation. A perfect subject for a poll.

Here are the  options, in order from no change to big change:

  1. St. Louis City & St. Louis County should remain completely separate (no change)
  2. St. Louis City & St. Louis County should remain separate, but partner more
  3. St. Louis City should rejoin St. Louis County as the 91st municipally
  4. St. Louis City & St. Louis County (and all its municipalities) should become one government body
  5. St. Louis City & St. Louis County (and all its municipalities, schools districts, fire districts, etc) should become one government body

The answers will be presented in random order in the poll, located in the right sidebar. Interestingly, any change would require a statewide vote since the state constitution would need to be amended.

— Steve Patterson

 

Poll: What Three (3) St. Louis Area Restaurants Have Closed That You Wish Were Still Open?

Many restaurants I remember from my childhood in Oklahoma City have since closed: Split-T, Al’s Hideaway BBQ, Nicolosi’s, etc. In my 23 years in St. Louis I’ve seen many restaurants come and go too. All I have left are fond memories.

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

The poll this week asks: What three (3) St. Louis area restaurants have closed that you wish were still open? So put on your nostalgia hat and review the list of 30 I’ve included as options in the poll:

  1. 94th Aerosquadron
  2. Bleeding Deacon
  3. Brandt’s
  4. Busch’s Grove
  5. Chez Leon
  6. Chuy Arzola’s (Dogtown)
  7. Del Taco
  8. Delmar Lounge
  9. Duff’s
  10. El Burrito Loco
  11. Empire Sandwich Shop
  12. Flaco’s Tacos
  13. King Louie’s
  14. Marty’s Baking
  15. Minions Cafe
  16. Miss Hullings
  17. Monarch
  18. O’Malley’s
  19. Papa Fabare’s
  20. Parkmoor
  21. Pestalozzi Place
  22. Red Moon
  23. Rossino’s
  24. Sunshine Inn
  25. The Salad Bowl
  26. Shangri La Diner
  27. The Stable
  28. Tangerine
  29. Tin Can
  30. Zoe’s Panasian

They’re alphabetical here but will be presented in random order in the poll (right sidebar). Here are more closed restaurants you might want to include in the other field:

  1. Colorado
  2. Gulf Coast Cafe
  3. Kitchen K
  4. Kopperman’s
  5. La Fourchette
  6. Mattingly’s
  7. Mojo Tapas
  8. Moxy
  9. Pelican
  10. Sage
  11. Simply Fondue
  12. Shuggas
  13. Southern Belle Supper Club
  14. Tanner B’s
  15. Terrene

You can also review a list of closed restaurants on UrbanSpoon.com.

Thanks to my Facebook friends with help generating all these names, I’d forgotten about many. Please share your memories in the comments below.

— Steve Patterson

 

Reflections on the Great Flood of 1993

Twenty years ago today we saw record flooding in the St. Louis region:

The Mississippi River at St. Louis crested at 49.6 feet on August 1, nearly 20 feet above flood stage and had a peak flow rate of 1.08 Million cubic feet per second. At this rate, a bowl the size of Busch Stadium would be filled to the brim in 69 seconds. (source

Flooding like this in May 2010 is typical for St. Louis, the 1993 flood was substantially worse, over this track.
Flooding like this in May 2010 is typical for St. Louis, the 1993 flood was substantially worse, over this track.

Here’s a more detailed look at flooding that year leading up to August 1st:

At St. Louis, the first spring flooding on the Mississippi River was recorded April 8, cresting at .2 feet above flood stage and lasting only that day. The Mississippi rose above flood stage again on April 11 and stayed above flood stage until May 24. The city got a respite as the Mississippi stayed below flood stage May 24 to June 26. On June 27, the Mississippi again went above flood stage and didn’t drop below flood stage for the year until October 7—a total of 146 days above flood stage. The Mississippi River was above the old record flood stage for more than three weeks at St. Louis from mid July to mid August. Prior to 1993, the historic flood of record on the Mississippi River at St. Louis had been 43.2 feet, recorded April 28, 1973. That record was broken July 21, 1993, with a level of 46.9 feet and broken again 11 days later with a record stage of 49.58 feet on Aug. 1. St. Louis is located near the confluence of the Missouri, Illinois and Mississippi rivers, all of which were in flood at the same time. (source

In the  two decades since, Chesterfield’s Monarch Levee was rebuilt and substantial commercial development has happened within the Chesterfield  valley. For example. THF’s Chesterfield Commons:

THF's Chesterfield Commons has over 2 million square feet, this site was flooded 20 years ago.
THF’s Chesterfield Commons has over 2 million square feet, this site was flooded 20 years ago.

And now we have two competing outlet malls opening very close to each other on land flooded 20 years ago. In the market for a new Bentley, Maserati, or Aston Martin? Head to STL Motorcars showroom in the floodplain, at 1 Arnage Blvd.  Not even close to St. Louis, but it sounds better than Gumbo Flats Motors on Floodplain Ave.

— Steve Patterson 

 

Lack of Land-Use Controls Among Reasons Why So Little Transit-Oriented Development At MetroLink Stations After Two Decades

Today is the 20th anniversary of the opening of our original MetroLink light rail line. Since then we’ve added a line in Illinois and one in St. Louis County.

MetroLink train leaving the North Hanley station
MetroLink train leaving the North Hanley station

One thing we haven’t really seen much of is transit-oriernted development (TOD). We’ve had a few projects that are, at best, transit-adjacent development (TAD).

TAD is TOD gone bad, development that is adjacent to transit but breaks all the rules that make TOD work, like making public spaces the focus of building orientation and neighborhood activity; creating pedestrian-friendly street networks that directly connect local destinations; and providing a mix of housing types, densities and costs. (TOD’s Evil Twin: Transit-Adjacent Development)

In the poll last week I asked about the lack of TOD in the last two decades:

Q: Why do you think our MetroLink light rail stations haven’t seen much transit-oriented development in the last 20 years? (Pick up to 3)

  1. Lack of proper land-use controls, like form-based zoning 42 [13.21%]
  2. Nobody pushed for TOD 37 [11.64%]
  3. Regional fragmentation of leadership 37 [11.64%]
  4. Regional job & population growth have been stagnant 37 [11.64%]
  5. The station designs aren’t conducive for infill development 31 [9.75%]
  6. Located in bad locations. 29 [9.12%]
  7. The alignment isn’t convenient to many 27 [8.49%]
  8. No demand for transit-oriented development 23 [7.23%]
  9. We naively thought if we built it they’d come 17 [5.35%]
  10. Used mainly for games, events, to reach Lambert airport 15 [4.72%]
  11. Another reason not listed 10 [3.14%]
  12. Our laissez-faire love of the free market 8 [2.52%]
  13. Naysayers muted initial enthusiasm, halting TOD potential 4 [1.26%]
  14. Park & ride lots are the best use of the land at the stations 1 [0.31%]
  15. Unsure/no answer 0 [0%]

All of the above (except #14) are valid reasons, I think they ended up in about the right order too. A form-based code at the Wellston station would’ve required St. Louis County Economic Council building to acknowledge the presence of light rail.

The St. Louis County Economic Council building abuts the station but doesn’t even have a sidewalk to the front door, located as far away from transit riders as physically possible.

When the county government doesn’t do set a good example, how can we expect others to do better on their own?

In the last couple of years there has been a TOD push. Better late than never or too little, too late?

— Steve Patterson

 

Poll: Why So Little Transit-Oriented Development In The Last 20 Years?

The 20th anniversary of the opening of our light rail sys system, MetroLink, is next week.For the last 12-18 months there has been a big push by Citizens for Modern Transit and East West Gateway Council of Governments to kickstart development around the stations.

ABOVE: Looking west toward the Union Station MetroLink Station from 16th & Clark
Looking west toward the Union Station MetroLink Station from 16th & Clark. The offices on the left aren’t oriented to transit, just adjacent.
ABOVE: The only thing at the station currently is 1,583 parking spaces (926 surface, 657 in garage)
The only thing at the North Hanley station  is 1,583 parking spaces (926 surface, 657 in garage)
ABOVE: After the shortcut through the park the residents still have to walk through a parking lot. Pedestrians shouldn't have to walk through a parking lot, they're among the least appealing places to walk.
Not much exists around the Wellston Station, the jobs center in the background is hard to reach on foot, easy by car though

The poll this week lists many possible reasons why development hasn’t happened around the stations, you can pick up to 3. The choices are presented in random order.

On July 31st, MetroLink’s 20th anniversary, I’ll share my thoughts on why development hasn’t happened  and what we need to do so the next 20 years are more productive.

— Steve Patterson

 

Advertisement



Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe