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Wayfinding In St. Louis

The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission has been rolling out a new wayfinding system in the region for a couple of years now. From a January 2011 Post-Dispatch editorial:

The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission has launched a $2.9 million initiative to design, build and install an attractive and comprehensive system of street, road and highway signs. The idea is to direct tourists and residents to a rich array of sites and attractions in the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

The project has been in the works since 2008. So far, about 300 signs — highway, street-level and pedestrian — have been installed or are slated for installation. The signs aren’t cheap: Fabricating and installing a large highway “guide” sign costs more than $20,000. (stltoday.com)

For example:

Wayfinding sign on Arsenal just east of Grand

Lately these have begun to turn up downtown.

Large wayfinding sign (right) at the 14th Street exit from I-64
Large wayfinding sign (right) at the 14th Street exit from I-64
wayfinding olive
Wayfinding sign at Olive & 15th
wayfinding olive
Wayfinding sign at Olive & Tucker
Wayfinding sign at Tucker & Washington
Wayfinding sign at Washington between 13th & 14th

Until the other day all the signs I’d seen have been like the ones shown above, or larger highway exit signs. Them I finally spotted, at Citygarden, a sign to help pedestrians downtown.

Wayfinding sign at Citygarden

But it was placed in the middle of a planter bed so I wasn’t able to get close enough to evaluate its effectiveness. Great planning!

I get asked directions often and I enjoy helping others. Two common requests are for places very close to my loft: the Social Security office at  717 N 16th St and City Museum across the street at 701 N 15th St. The other day at 10th & Washington a woman asked where to find the “landmark Arch.” I pointed east on Washington Ave.  When she asked if she should then turn right I told her she’d see it.

The following describes the process that took place to establish the system:

The Missouri Department of Transportation, along with the CVC, St. Louis City, Laumier Place, Grand Center and Forest Park funded the research needed to implement the program. Three “attraction corridors” were created in determining the locations of the signs. The first corridor is Broadway, second is Grand, and third is Kingshighway, with all three connecting major attractions and districts in the city. The entire program, including the research to implement the program cost 1.5 million dollars. CVC did apply for grants but was not successful in receiving any funding. The CVC worked with MODOT to identify those organizations that would provide funding for the wayfinding program. An important goal of the program for MODOT was to reduce sign clutter on the interstates in order to comply with Federal Highway standards. (continue at Cherokee Street News)

Hopefully I’ll be able to locate another pedestrian-oriented wayfinding map to evaluate. I don’t have a clear picture of the overall system and the CVC website wasn’t helpful.

Searching the CVC website for "wayfinding" and "way-finding" produced the same results.
Searching the CVC website for “wayfinding” and “way-finding” produced the same results.

Have you seen any of these new wayfinding signs? If so, what do you think?

— Steve Patterson


Poll: Favorite St. Louis Brewery?

Eight years ago today beer drinkers rejoiced:

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signature repealed the Volstead Act, legalizing 3.2 percent beer. It also paved the way for the December ratification of the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment and deep-sixed Prohibition altogether.

The Volstead Act, which is how the National Prohibition Act was widely known, was pushed hard by religious and temperance groups and passed Congress in 1919 over the veto of President Woodrow Wilson.

The prohibition movement had been active in the United States for 80 years before its adherents finally succeeded in ramming through an outright national ban on alcohol. The original movement lost some steam during the Civil War (soldiers drink; deal with it) but was revived with a vengeance by the Prohibition Party and Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. (Wired)

Remaining breweries in St. Louis were also relieved to be able to legally produce beer once again after 13+ long years.

Fast forward to today and beer is a popular beverage in St. Louis with breweries &  brewpubs in many parts of the region. Which brings us to the poll question for this week: What is your favorite St. Louis Brewery?

The list of breweries was taken from STL Hops:

The poll is in the right sidebar. Check out the St. Louis Beer Map for breweries, brewpubs, beer bars, etc. Of course, if you are 21 and choose to drink, please do so responsibly.

— Steve Patterson


Thank You Stray Rescue

Stray Rescue Welcomed Animals From St. Louis’ Shelter on July 19, 2010. At the time the front of the new facility was unfinished raw space.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (center) looks on as Randy Grim (right) accepts a $550,000 check to Stray Rescue from Terry Block, President, Nestlé Purina Pet Food-North America.
7/19/2010: St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (center) looks on as Randy Grim (right) accepts a $550,000 check to Stray Rescue from Terry Block, President, Nestle Purina Pet Food-North America.

Since that first day when the dogs were transferred to the kennels in the new facility the front has been completed.

Stray Recue
Stray Recue is located at 2320 Pine, click image to view website

Thank you to Randy Grim, the staff, and volunteers behind Stray Rescue for the last 15 years!

— Steve Patterson


St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study: First Round of Open House Meetings Scheduled March 28, April 2, and April 5

The following is a press release:


Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) announced the first round of public open houses focusing on a new St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study scheduled for March 28, April 2 and April 5. The study is another step toward fulfilling Metro’s long-term goal of offering efficient, competitive and attractive transit services to more residents and more places in the St. Louis region.

The study, led by the Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) and the Transportation Corridor Improvement Group, will identify two transit investment projects to move forward in pursuit of federal funding. It is anticipated at least one project will be implemented as a result of this effort.

The St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study is a direct result of Moving Transit Forward, the long-range transit plan that highlighted the potential of using the region’s existing network of highways and major streets to provide higher-speed, limited-stop transit services. The general transportation corridors identified by the public as significant opportunities for high-performance transit are Interstates 70, 44, 64, and 55, major streets near those highways, and Grand Boulevard in St. Louis.

“By improving the connections between people and jobs, education, and other opportunities, we can maximize the potential not only of our transportation network, but of our residents and businesses as well,” said Jessica Mefford-Miller, Metro Chief of Planning and System Development.

The study takes a data-driven approach to identify and evaluate potential projects. Final recommendations will be shaped by several objectives, including improved access to transportation that supports economic growth; expansion of access to opportunities; enhanced employer access to a broader and more diverse labor pool; reduction of traffic congestion and air pollution; and financial feasibility.

The partners leading the St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study will answer questions and encourage discussion at the three upcoming public meetings. The meetings will be conducted in open-house style, with the attendees invited to participate in interactive activities designed to gather community input on project goals and transit performance criteria. Residents will also learn about the range of possible options for expanding cost-effective rapid transit service in St. Louis.

The same information will be presented at each of the public open houses.

· Thursday, March 28 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. A formal presentation will be made at 5:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Located at the JC Penney Conference Center at the UMSL Campus. The meeting will be in the 1st Floor Lobby of the building located at 1 University Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63121.

· Tuesday, April 2 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. A formal presentation will be made at 5:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Located at the World Trade Center on the 10th Floor. The building is located at 121 S. Meramec Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105.

· Friday, April 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A formal presentation will be made at noon. Located at St. Louis City Hall on the 2nd Floor Hall and in the Kennedy Room. City Hall is located at 1200 Market Street St. Louis, MO 63103.

More information and futures updates on the St. Louis Rapid Connector Study can be found at www.movingtransitforward.org/stlrapidtransit.

About the Transportation Corridor Improvement Group

The St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study is being conducted by the Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) in partnership with the Transportation Corridor Improvement Group, a partnership between East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGCOG), St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis, and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).


Poll: Support 3/16th Cent Sales Tax For Arch Grounds & City/County Parks?

Concept drawing at Arch grounds
Concept drawing of changes at Arch grounds

In two weeks voters in St. Louis City & St. Louis County will be asked to approve a 3/16th of a cent sales tax. The ballot language reads:

For the purpose of increasing safety, security, and public accessibility for the Gateway Arch grounds and local, county, and regional parks and trails for families and disabled and elderly visitors, and for providing expanded activities and improvements of such areas, shall St. Louis County join such other of St. Charles County and the City of St. Louis to impose a three sixteenths (3/16) of one cent sales tax in addition to the existing one-tenth (1/10) of one cent sales tax applied to such purposes, with sixty percent of the revenues derived from the added tax allocated to the Metropolitan Park and Recreation District for Gateway Arch grounds and other regional park and trail improvements, and the remaining forty percent allocated to St. Louis County for local and county park improvements as authorized by the County Council of St. Louis County, with such tax not to include the sale of food and prescription drugs and to be subject to an independent annual public audit? (source

Originally the tax proposal was also supposed to be on the St. Charles County ballot but they didn’t add it. The measure must pass in both St. Louis County and St. Louis City to take affect. For more information on Prop P see yesonpropp.com.

For the poll this week I’d like to see how readers feel about this proposed tax increase. The poll, as always, is in the right sidebar.

— Steve Patterson




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