9th & 10th Streets Need To Be Two-Way North of Cole Street

 

 Five years ago I suggested 9th & 10th Streets through the Columbus Square neighborhood (Cole to Cass) be uncoupled so that both are two-way streets again. See Columbus Square: 9th & 10th Streets from May 19, 2014. In short, 9th & 10th have been a one-way couplet (opposite directions) to facilitate …

Sunday Poll: Should Roe v. Wade Be Overturned?

 

 On Friday the Missouri House passed a restrictive abortion bill. Gov. Parsons is expected to sign it into law. Missouri’s Republican-led House on Friday passed sweeping legislation designed to survive court challenges, which would ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy. If enacted, the ban would be among the most …

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 5 of 2019-2020 Session

 

 The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their  5th meeting of the 2019-2020 session. Today’s agenda includes seven (7) new bills: B.B.#40 – Green/Ingrassia/Rice/Guenther/Navarro/Narayan – An ordinance submitting to the qualified voters of the City, a proposal to amend the Charter of the City by adding a new Article, …

Opinion: Climate Change Making Natural Weather More Intense, Frequent

 

 The St. Louis region has experienced flooding events since its founding, so it’s easy to think current flooding is usual Spring flooding. It’s not. The impact of climate change on snowfall in the Midwest and Plains is uncertain, but projections suggest that heavy snow events will become more likely in …

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No Surprise, Readers’ Top Transportation Choice is a Private Car

February 13, 2019 Featured, Transportation Comments Off on No Surprise, Readers’ Top Transportation Choice is a Private Car
 
In February 2009 a couple of friends noticed me on Google’s Street View, this would’ve been prior to 2/1/2008.

When I decided on the topic of the recent non-scientific poll, I’d planned to write more along with the results. However, the cold I had last weekend in Chicago continues.

Q: My primary mode of transportation is… (pick up to 3):

  1. Private vehicle, paid off (no loan/lease): 12 [25%]
  2. Private vehicle, outstanding loan: 11 [22.92%]
  3. Pedestrian, able-bodied: 9 [18.75%]
  4. Bicycling, my own bike: 5 [10.42%]
  5. Public transportation, bus/rail (use weekly/monthly pass): 4 [8.33%]
  6. TIE: 2 [4.17%]
    1. Car sharing: Lyft, Uber, etc
    2. Public transportation, bus/rail (pay cash)
  7. TIE: 1 [2.08%]
    1. Pedestrian, uses a mobility device (cane, walker, scooter, wheelchair, etc)
    2. Motor scooter
  8. Car sharing: Taxicab
  9. TIE — zero responses
    1. Bicycling, a bike share bike
    2. E-Scooter, owned
    3. E-Scooter, sharing like Bird Scooters
    4. Motorcycle
    5. Private vehicle, borrowed
    6. Private vehicle, leased

My three choices were pedestrian (with mobility device), public transit (cash), and a private car with a loan balance. I only drive once or maybe twice a week, usually for weekend shopping trips. Most days when I leave home I’m a pedestrian in my power wheelchair, but I combine with transit when I need to go further.

Me exiting the Downtown Trolley on the day it debuted in July 2010. The bright graphics are no longer used.
Photo by Jim Merkel, Suburban Journals

I like that the top poll answer was cars that were paid off, that would’ve been one of my answers a year ago. OK, time for bed.

— Steve Patterson

Thinking about the former Ackerman Toyota site on South Kingshighway

February 11, 2019 Featured, Planning & Design, South City Comments Off on Thinking about the former Ackerman Toyota site on South Kingshighway
 

For decades Ackerman Toyota was located on South Kingshighway Blvd, between Tholozan Ave on the North, and Beck Ave on the South. In 2015 they announced they’d build a new dealership on the NE corner of Hampton & I-44, the site of the former MSD headquarters.

Ackerman Toyota, the southern outpost of the decades-old string of St. Louis car dealerships on South Kingshighway, is hitting the road.

After nearly 27 years at 3636 South Kingshighway, the dealership plans to move to 2000 Hampton Avenue. The three-acre site owned by the city’s Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority is the former headquarters of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District at Hampton and Interstate 44.

Jerry Ackerman, the dealership’s owner, said Thursday he hopes to begin construction by December and open his new location as early as June. (Post Dispatch, August 2015)

Today’s post isn’t about their new location, this is about the location they recently vacated.

Their old address was listed as 3636 S. Kingshighway — the address for the building on the South, at Beck Ave. It dates to 1940, per city records online. The other building on Kingshighway, at Tholozan Ave. is from 1929. Both have been remodeled so many times neither has any historic value.  A 3rd building, an anonymous service structure,  facing Tholozan, was built in 1948.

The North building, at Tholozan, was their Scion showroom until Toyota pulled the plus on that youth-oriented brand. 2012 photo
That same building yesterday, all boarded up. Again, this structure was built in 1929. Note how it comes out to both Tholozan & Kingshighway. The city says the address here is 3608 S. Kingshighway.
The South building is mostly set back from the property line.
However, the corner at Beck Ave is out to the sidewalk. South of Beck Ave is Southtown Centre.

The former car dealership contains over 145k square feet, roughly 3.3 acres. It is made up of 6 different parcels. These could be combined, or developed separately. The most likely scenario is one developer will buy all six parcels and, after consolidating them into one, develop the total site.

Aerial view, from Apple Maps. The East edge of the site is a former railroad right of way, still owned by Union Pacific.

The bottom right section is 2 of the 6 parcels, it was still a field as late as 1971. It got paved for parking sometime between 1971 and 1991, based on historic aerials of the site. In the 2015 article, linked above, Jerry Ackerman is quoted as indicating they were seeing a franchise from another manufacturer for a dealership at this location. Given that they’ve boarded the buildings my assumption is that didn’t pan out.

Good.

This site needs to cease being about the sales & service of cars. It needs to be a mix of uses, including some residential. Two and three story buildings are very common on this stretch of Kingshighway, so a dense/urban site plan would be appropriate.

It’ll be interesting to watch to see what, if anything, becomes of this site.

— Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: What Is Your Primary Mode of Transportation?

February 10, 2019 Featured, Sunday Poll, Transportation Comments Off on Sunday Poll: What Is Your Primary Mode of Transportation?
 
Please vote below

Back from another trip to the annual Chicago Auto Show. To get there I took the bus to the Amtrak station, my husband met me there — leaving our car in long-term, parking. In Chicago we used the bus to reach the auto show.  Lots of miles covered in non-auto modes to see autos.

This got me thinking about getting around in St. Louis. How do readers of this blog get around? For many the top choice will be private automobile, no doubt. Is it paid off, leased, or still have a loan?

What’ll be interesting to me is to see how other modes fare. Hopefully this poll will get lots of responses, so please encourage others to weigh in.

Today’s poll includes a detailed list of options to select from. Respondents can pick up to 3 answers.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

Candidates in March 5, 2019 Primary

February 8, 2019 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Candidates in March 5, 2019 Primary
 

The March 5th partisan primary is coming up in less than a month, so I wanted you to begin thinking about voting. Typically when we go to the polls the worker will ask which ballot you want (non-partisan, Green, Republican, Democratic, etc). Next month only those in the 6th Ward will be asked. Why?  One Green candidate is running for President of the Board of Aldermen, one Republican is running for 6th Ward Alderman (MICHAEL J. HEBRON, SR.).  Because the Green Party received less than 2% of the vote in the last gubernatorial election Jerome Bauer will automatically appear on the April 2nd general election ballot.

Vintage photo of the former offices of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners. From my collection

There are no ballot questions and only even-numbered wards are electing aldermen, so those of us in odd-numbered wards will only have to vote for the President of the Board of Aldermen.

The following in all caps is taken from the sample ballot.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY CANDIDATES

FOR PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN: curious to see who wins this rave. Prediction: will NOT be Jimmie Matthews

  • JAMILAH NASHEED
  • MEGAN ELLYIA GREEN
  • LEWIS REED
  • JIMMIE MATTHEWS

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 2

  • LISA MIDDLEBROOK
  • THOMAS BRADLEY

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 4

  • SAMUEL L. MOORE
  • ROBERT DILLARD
  • LEROY CARTER
  • EDWARD MCFOWLAND

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 6: Incumbents generally don’t get 3 primary challengers, the only ward that will face a challenger in April

  • CHRISTINE INGRASSIA
  • CEDRIC REDMON
  • DEBRA CARNAHAN
  • HENRY GRAY

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 8

  • ANNIE LEE RICE
  • EMMETT L. COLEMAN

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 10

  • JOSEPH [JOE] VOLLMER
  • PAT HICKEY

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 12

  • LARRY ARNOWITZ
  • DERRICK NEUNER
  • CASSANDRA [CASSIE] DECLUE

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 14

  • CAROL J. HOWARD
  • TONY PECINOVSKY

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 16: unchallenged incumbent

  • THOMAS ROBERT OLDENBURG

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 18: Longtime 18th Ward Ald. Terry Kennedy isn’t running for reelection, so you’ve got a 5-way race to fill the seat. Kennedy was first sworn into office on April 18, 1989.

  • JESSE TODD
  • JEFFERY HILL, JR.
  • DARRYL GRAY
  • JUDITH ARNOLD
  • ELMER OTEY

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 20

  • CARA SPENCER
  • SATIA [SUNNI] HUTTON

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 22

  • TONYA FINLEY-MCCAW
  • JEFFREY L. BOYD

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 24: two-term Ald. Scott Ogilvie isn’t running for a 3rd term, so five candidates are running. Ogilvie easily defeated Tom Bauer in the 2011 general election.

  • LORIE CAVIN
  • BRET NARAYAN
  • TERI POWERS
  • DANNY SAMPLE
  • TOM BAUER

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 26: Longtime Ald. Frank Williamson resigned to take a job in the Treasurer’s office, he has been in office since April 15, 2003. Candidate Jake Banton is a licensed architect!

  • LEATA C. PRICE-LAND
  • SHAMEEM CLARK HUBBARD
  • JAKE BANTON

FOR ALDERMAN WARD 28

  • HEATHER B. NAVARRO: unchallenged incumbent

Please be sure to vote!

— Steve Patterson

Readers Not Rams Fans

February 6, 2019 Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Readers Not Rams Fans
 
Football will be back in the Dome beginning in 2020

Next year professional football will return to St. Louis when the XFL league begins play in 8 cities.  Can it compete with the NFL, will it outlast its initial 3 years of funding?  Hard to say, but it seems the NFL isn’t the sure thing it once was:

The lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history turned off fans Sunday, with the matchup between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams drawing the game’s smallest TV audience since 2008.

TV’s most-watched annual event drew 98.2 million viewers, down 5% from last year when 103.4 million viewers watched on NBC, according to Nielsen data.
 
Counting those who watched the game on streaming platforms, CBS put the total audience at 100.7 million viewers, down 4.5% from the 105.4 million who watched on all platforms last year when the Patriots played the Philadelphia Eagles. (Los Angeles Times)

On Sunday we asked Siri a couple of times for the current score, but we didn’t watch the game at all. Yawn.

Here are the results from the non-scientific poll:

Q: Who do you want to win in today’s NFL Super Bowl?

  • Don’t care: 16 [53.33%]
  • New England Patriots: 9 [30%]
  • Los Angeles Rams: 4 [13.33%]
  • Undecided: 1 [3.33%]

More backed the Patriots over the Rams, still far less than the “don’t care” crowd.

One Kansas City politician has a solution to the lack of an NFL team in St. Louis:

City Councilman and mayoral candidate Quinton Lucas told St. Louis television station KMOV that if it comes down to losing a home game, he thinks the Chiefs would be better off trying to build a regional footprint rather than an international following.

“I don’t think it’s just a pie in the sky thing,” Lucas told a St. Louis reporter.

The Chiefs lost a home game to play against the Detroit Lions in London in 2015.

The Chiefs were scheduled to play an away game in Mexico City in 2018 only to have that game moved to Los Angeles due to poor field conditions. They’re scheduled again for an away game in Mexico City in 2019.

Lucas thinks the team would be better off playing across the state than across the world. (KMBC)

Interesting. Given that the XFL plays at a different time of year than the NFL there wouldn’t be a venue conflict. The NFL’s reason for playing a home game abroad is an attempt to compete with football (aka soccer).

— Steve Patterson

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