Charging Electric Vehicles Part 1: Charging Stations

 

 Though I’ve had a couple of car-free periods, I’ve owned a car most of the nearly 37 years since I got my driver’s license. All my 17 vehicles have had an internal combustion engine (ICE). I’ve wanted a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric vehicle (EV) for a while now. We …

Sunday Poll: Will Paul McKee’s Urgent Care, Hospital, and Medical School Open By June 2023?

 

 On Friday the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved a bill (103aa) worth $8 million in incentives for developer Paul McKee: The bill, which passed on a 23-2 vote, will help fund a three-bed urgent care center at Jefferson and Cass avenues that, along with infrastructure improvements, will cost about …

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 19 of 2019-2020 Session

 

 The St. Louis Board of Aldermen meet at 10am today, their 15th meeting of the 2019-2020 session. As previously noted, they have the first two meetings labeled as Week #1, so they list this as week/meeting 18. Today’s agenda includes six (6) new bills. B.B.#129 – Arnowitz – An ordinance authorizing and …

Readers Opposed To Loop Trolley Bailout

 

 I’m a huge fan of modern streetcars, like the line in Kansas City, but I’m indifferent to “heritage” trollies that use vintage or reproduction of early 20th century equipment. They’re great for nostalgia buffs, Instagram-worth photos, etc. Actual transportation?  Sorta, mostly for tourists. Many comments I read online said the …

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Sunday Poll: Should St. Louis City & County Help The Loop Trolley Co.?

October 13, 2019 Featured, Sunday Poll, Transportation Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should St. Louis City & County Help The Loop Trolley Co.?
 
Please vote below

The Loop Trolley, a short tourist ride featuring historic trolley cars, hasn’t met projected ridership numbers, causing budget problems. They’re asking for financial help.

The struggling Loop Trolley Co. is facing insolvency if it can’t come up with $200,000 by November and another $500,000 to operate into next year, its president said Saturday.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page told the County Council in a letter on Friday that the trolley company asked the county for the funding after the city of St. Louis refused to provide it.

The trolley will also reduce service starting Thursday to help make up for budget shortfalls, John S. Meyer Jr., the trolley board president, said in an email on Saturday. (Post-Dispatch)

Today’s poll is about this topic.

This poll will automatically close at 8pm tonight. Results and my thoughts Wednesday morning.

— Steve Patterson

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 18 of 2019-2020 Session

October 11, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 18 of 2019-2020 Session
 

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen meet at 10am today, their 18th meeting of the 2019-2020 session. As previously noted, they have the first two meetings labeled as Week #1, so they list this as week/meeting 17.

Today’s agenda includes three (3) new bills.

  • B.B. #124 – NOT USED THIS SESSION
  • B.B. #125 – Moore – An ordinance approving a blighting study and Redevelopment Plan for the Evans Ave./N. Newstead Ave./Pendleton Ave. Scattered Sites Redevelopment Area
  • B.B. #126- Roddy – An ordinance to submit a 2020 Annual Action Plan to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) as required to apply for funding under the Community Development Block Grant (“CDBG”), HOME Investment Partnership (“HOME”), Emergency Solutions Grant (“ESG”) and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (“HOPWA”) Entitlement Programs, authorizing and directing the Mayor and the Comptroller on behalf of the City of St. Louis to enter into and execute agreements with HUD for the receipt of 2020 CDBG, HOME, ESG and HOPWA funds.
  • B.B. #127-Clark-Hubbard – An ordinance amending the Redevelopment Plan for the West End Redevelopment Area (“Area”) approved by Ordinance # 64392 dated June 25, 1998 (Exhibit 1 attached) by adding the implementation schedule now calling for projects to be completed by May 1, 2029.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2019-2020 session.

— Steve Patterson

Most Don’t Yet Have A REAL ID

October 9, 2019 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Most Don’t Yet Have A REAL ID
 

Missouri only began issuing the new REAL ID earlier this year, so it’s no surprise most still don’t have one yet.

Here are the results of the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Do you have a new ‘REAL ID’?

  • No: 19 [65.52%]
  • Yes: 8 [27.59%]
  • Unsure: 2 [6.9%]

My husband had to renew his driver’s license in July so at that time we got the additional documents together so he could get a REAL ID instead of a regular license. The cost was the same.

My license is up for renewal in February 2020, I’ll get a REAL ID at that time. It’s been five years since either of us has flown, but we do hope to fly somewhere in 2020. After October 1, 2020 anyone hoping to fly domestically will need either a state-issued REAL ID or a passport.

Here’s summary of the legislative history of the REAL ID Act:

The Real ID Act started off as H.R. 418, which passed the House in 2005 and went stagnant. Representative James Sensenbrenner (R) of Wisconsin, the author of the original Real ID Act, then attached it as a rider on a military spending bill, H.R. 1268, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005. The House of Representatives passed that spending bill with the Real ID rider 368–58, and the Senate passed the joint House–Senate conference report on that bill 100–0. President Bush signed it into law on May 11, 2005. (Wikipedia)

Click the link about to see more detail, including links to the votes. Several votes I checked indicated Representative Clay (D) voted “no” each time. Democratic efforts to repeal the law failed.

All REAL IDs have a star in the upper right corner.

People mentioned costs, especially if their current ID has a few years left before expiring. So say your license or state ID is valid through say May 2022 — the fee will be waived so you can get a REAL ID before October 1, 2020.

What is the cost of obtaining a REAL ID-compliant driver license or nondriver ID card?

Transaction and processing fees for new and renewal applications will be the same as they are currently.

Click here for detailed fee information. You may also apply for an early duplicate license or ID card outside of your regular renewal period (which is six months prior to the expiration of your license or ID card).

Missouri law allows for a one-time waiver of the duplicate transaction fee for persons who have not been issued a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card. License office processing fees, however, will not be waived and are $6 (three-year issuance) or $12 (six-year issuance). Personal information may be changed as part of a duplicate one-time waiver transaction, but if you are applying for a different class of licensure or to add any endorsements or restrictions, the one-time waiver will not apply. (Missouri REAL ID page)

Illinois’ REAL ID page is here. If you want to fly, or enter secure federal facilities, then you need a REAL ID before October 1, 2020.

— Steve Patterson

St. Louis’ MLS Stadium Will Be Built On Site I Proposed In February 2016

October 7, 2019 Downtown, Featured, Planning & Design, Popular Culture Comments Off on St. Louis’ MLS Stadium Will Be Built On Site I Proposed In February 2016
 

In 2015 St. Louis officials were proposing razing historic buildings/districts in the North Riverfront area, between Laclede’s Landing and the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, to build a new NFL stadium to keep the Rams in St. Louis.  It never happened, in early January 2016 the Rams officially applied to relocate to Los Angeles.

The next month it was announced a group had formed to attempt to get a Major League Soccer (MLS) team in St. Louis — they were scouting for sites. I’d opposed the North Riverfront as a site for an NFL stadium, I also felt it wasn’t the best site for a smaller MLS stadium.

I weighed in:

The site they shouldn’t consider is the North riverfront one previously targeted for a significantly larger NFL stadium — we shouldn’t tear down buildings when we have vacant land available. We have land, mostly state owned, without any buildings and a target for redevelopment for years already. I’m talking about the 22nd Street Interchange area — an area on the West side of downtown I’ve written about numerous times over the 11+ years.

In that February 8, 2016 post I imagined fitting a stadium in between Pine, 20th, Market, and the hotel to the west. Busch Stadium fits in a space 2 blocks x 3 blocks, so a MLS stadium with less seating should fit in a smaller footprint. I emailed my post to a contact at St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC)

Looking West from the Pear Tree Inn at 2211 Market in February 2016.

That first group proposed a stadium in the 22nd Street Interchange area, but south of Market Street, not north. I don’t know if they were already looking at this location prior to my post & email, but the entire year before development officials were so focused on the North riverfront I can’t help but think they wanted to stick with what they knew and had so much time invested in.

When the state & city residents opposed public funding a of soccer stadium the ownership group was out.  When the current ownership group entered the picture in October 2018 they’d privately finance a stadium in the 22nd Street Interchange area many, including myself, assumed it’d also locate south of Market St.  In April 2019 they showed some renderings, but no site plan. Again, many of us assumed the larger area south of Market St.

I can now guess this view is looking east. The parking garage roof seen at the bottom is the existing Pear Tree Inn garage. Pine, to the left of the garage, would not go through from 20th to the new 22nd Street

We were wrong, it will be the area I’d proposed in February 2016! However, instead of stopping at Pine the site will go one more block north to Olive. A few buildings would be razed, businesses are already being forced to relocate on short notice.

The tenants of these buildings on Olive have been told to vacate. May 2013 photo
On the sidewalk in front of the buildings that’ll likely be razed. I’ve been a fan of the 2-story buff brick building for years. May 2013 photo.

I reviewed the ownership records for these and the remaining buildings to the west, none showed a recorded change of ownership — yet. I don’t like seeing businesses and/or residents forced to move. Hopefully they’ll be offered a financial package to compensate for their time, trouble, and loss of business.

I’m also not a fan of closing streets, though Pine has been an awful one-way street for decades. Hopefully the one-way couplet (opposite directions) of Chestnut & Pine will both be returned to two-way traffic as a result of the existing on/off ramps going away.

I still want to see an official proposed site plan. Despite holes from parking lots, Olive has clung to a urban feel with multi-story buildings on both sides. I also wonder if we’ll see a revised I-64 on/off ramp that ends at Market Street — I’d be disappointed, but not surprised.  Even if that happens, a lot less land could be devoted to highway on/off so the area would support additional development and tax revenue.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Do You Have A ‘REAL ID’?

October 6, 2019 Featured, Sunday Poll, Travel Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Do You Have A ‘REAL ID’?
 
Please vote below

In 2005 congress passed the REAL ID Act, but adoption has been slow. Missouri just began issuing REAL ID-compliant licenses this year. Three states (New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Oregon) still aren’t compliant.

What’s the big deal?

On October 1, 2020, travelers will need a “REAL ID-compliant” driver’s license, US passport, US military ID or other accepted identification to fly within the United States.

The REAL ID Act established minimum security standards for the issuing of state licenses and their production.
It also prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses from states not meeting those minimum standards for certain activities. That includes boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, entering nuclear power plants and entering federal facilities.

To get a REAL ID-compliant state driver’s license, the US Department of Homeland Security requires applicants provide documentation showing their full legal name, their date of birth, their Social Security Number, two proofs of address of principal residence and lawful status. (States may impose more requirements.) (CNN)

The REAL ID Act faced widespread opposition from numerous groups, states.  The final deadline is now less than a year away. If you have a passport, however, you can fly after October 1, 2020 without a REAL ID.

Today’s poll is very straightforward:

This poll will close at 8pm tonight. Wednesday morning I’ll share how you can tell if your license/ID is REAL ID-compliant or not.  Can’t wait?

— Steve Patterson

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