St. Louis Board of Aldermen: Board Bills 37-41

 

 A new Board Bill was introduced at last week’s Board of Aldermen meeting without being on the published agenda. A vote to suspend the rules and introduce another bill was part of the proceeding. This happened at 36 minutes into the meeting (see video). The bill not on the agenda introduced after …

Readers: Gov Greitens Should Veto Minimum Wage Bill

 

 Nearly 85% of those who voted in the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll disagreed with the statement that Gov Greitens should sign the bill that would strip St. Louis of setting its own minimum wow higher than that of the state. More than half picked the “strongly disagree” option. Here’s the …

A Look At The New Kiener Plaza (Photos & Videos)

 

 A week ago I posted many photos of the old Kiener Plaza, see Remembering The Old Kiener Plaza. Today we take a close look at the new Kiener Plaza that opened over the weekend. The first three images were taken the afternoon of May 8, 2017 from the SE corner of …

Sunday Poll: Should Gov Grietens Sign The Minimum Wage Bill?

 

 On Friday May 12th, in the final minutes of the session, the Missouri legislature sent a bill to Governor Greitens that would nullify St. Louis’ recent increase in the minimum wage.  The House failed to adopt an emergency clause on the bill, meaning it won’t immediately take effect should Gov. …

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Sunday Poll: Should Stricter Emissions & Fuel Economy Regulations Be Eased?

April 30, 2017 Environment, Featured, Sunday Poll, Transportation Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Stricter Emissions & Fuel Economy Regulations Be Eased?
 
Please vote below

Stricter emissions & corporate fuel economy (CAFE) regulations established by the previous administration, seen as too cumbersome, may not be funded.  From last month:

In a March 21 budget document posted online by the Washington Post, the Trump administration proposed eliminating $48 million in federal funding for EPA vehicle and fuel testing and certification.

It represents a 99 percent federal cut to the vehicle testing budget and would require “pretty much shutting down the testing lab,” said Margo Oge, who headed the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality under President Barack Obama. (Reuters)

Some argue the regulatory goals are attainable while others say they’re hurting manufacturing jobs. Today’s unscientific poll seeks to find out reader views on the issue.

The poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills 4/28/2017 (#2-#8)

April 28, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills 4/28/2017 (#2-#8)
 
St. Louis City Hall
St. Louis City Hall

The following are the first seven (7) board bills, being introduced today, in the 2017-2018 session of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen:

  • B.B.#2 – Davis –An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing (i) the issuance by the City of its Airport Revenue Refunding bonds, St. Louis Lambert International Airport, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed two hundred forty million dollars ($240,000,000) in one or more series to effect the refunding of a portion of the City’s outstanding Airport Revenue Bonds; (ii) the issuance by the City of its Airport Revenue Bonds, St. Louis Lambert International Airport, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed seventy million dollars ($70,000,000) in one or more series as part of the $3,500,000,000 of bonds approved by the voters in 1991 and 2003; and containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#3 – Roddy –An ordinance authorizing and directing the Mayor and Comptroller to execute, upon receipt of and in consideration of the sum of One Thousand Two Hundred Dollars and other good and valuable consideration, a Quit Claim Deed to remise, release and forever quit?claim unto FOPA Partners, certain City?owned property located in City Block 2198, which property is known by address as 3699 Market St.
  • B.B.#4 – Ogilvie –An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission on February 1, 2017, to change the zoning of property as indicated on the District Map, from “B” Two?Family Dwelling District and “J” Industrial District to the “G” Local Commercial and Office District in City Block 4616 (6510 Mitchell Avenue); and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#5 – Coatar –An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission pertaining to the Zoning Code; repealing Section Three of Ordinance 62588, pertaining to the “A” Single Family Dwelling District, and enacting a new Chapter in lieu thereof; and amending, in part, Section Twenty?One of Ordinance 59979, pertaining to conditional uses, and enacting in lieu thereof a new section on the same subject matter; repealing Section Two of Ordinance 67607, pertaining to the “H” Area Commercial District, and a enacting in lieu thereof a new Chapter on the subject matter; containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#6 – Flowers –An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission on March 13, 2017, to change the zoning of property as indicated on the District Map and in City Block 9121, from “A” Single?Family Dwelling District to the “H” Area Commercial District, at 11050 and 11110?80 Riverview Drive, aka 11110R, 11110?80 & 11192 Riverview Drive; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#7 – Flowers –An ordinance pertaining to Special Use Districts; establishing The Lighthouse Area Special Use District; providing definitions and findings pertaining to said District; further providing use and conditional use regulations for said District; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#8 – Cohn –An ordinance repealing Ordinance 68830, and approving the petition to establish the Dutchtown Community Improvement District, authorizing the district to impose special assessments and retail sales tax, finding a public purpose for the establishment of the Dutchtown Community Improvement District, and containing a severability clause.

Today’s agenda is here. The meeting begins at 10am, it can be watched online here. Board Bill #1 is reserved for the budget.

— Steve Patterson

Readers: Missouri Should Not Close Rest Areas

April 26, 2017 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy, Transportation Comments Off on Readers: Missouri Should Not Close Rest Areas
 

A majority of those who voted in the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll think Missouri shouldn’t close interstate rest areas as a way to close budget shortfalls.

Florida, Michigan, Ohio and South Dakota are among the states that have closed traditional rest stops in the last two years. And a battle is brewing in Connecticut over a proposal to shut down all seven stops on its interstate highways to save money. (USA Today)

I’m not aware of any plans in Missouri to do the same as these other states

Route 66-themed Welcome Center on I-44, click image for more information

I know I like rest areas when I’ve driving — a restroom without having to buy something. Those few minutes out of the car improves my alertness.

The poll results:

Q: Agree or disagree: Missouri should NOT provide rest areas along our interstate highways

  • Strongly agree 3 [5.17%]
  • ]Agree 5 [8.62%]
  • Somewhat agree 2 [3.45%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree 3 [5.17%]
  • Disagree 11 [18.97%]
  • Strongly disagree 34 [58.62%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

I am curious about the cost of a rest area vs a welcome center.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Reading: Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities For All by Philip Langdon

April 24, 2017 Featured, Reading, Walkability Comments Off on Reading: Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities For All by Philip Langdon
 

Last week I received a new book that immediately caught my attention. Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities For All speaks to a core personal issue for me — walkability. Before the personal automobile displaced public transit, most everything in American cities was within walking distance. For nearly a century now Euclidean, AKA single-use, zoning has actively created places that are well beyond walking distance.

I’m not alone in seeking out walkable places:

For five thousand years, human settlements were nearly always compact places. Everything a person needed on a regular basis lay within walking distance. But then the great project of the twentieth century—sorting people, businesses, and activities into separate zones, scattered across vast metropolises—took hold, exacting its toll on human health, natural resources, and the climate. Living where things were beyond walking distance ultimately became, for many people, a recipe for frustration. As a result, many Americans have begun seeking compact, walkable communities or looking for ways to make their current neighborhood better connected, more self-sufficient, and more pleasurable.

In Within Walking Distance, journalist and urban critic Philip Langdon looks at why and how Americans are shifting toward a more human-scale way of building and living. He shows how people are creating, improving, and caring for walkable communities. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Starting conditions differ radically, as do the attitudes and interests of residents. To draw the most important lessons, Langdon spent time in six communities that differ in size, history, wealth, diversity, and education, yet share crucial traits: compactness, a mix of uses and activities, and human scale. The six are Center City Philadelphia; the East Rock section of New Haven, Connecticut; Brattleboro, Vermont; the Little Village section of Chicago; the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon; and the Cotton District in Starkville, Mississippi. In these communities, Langdon examines safe, comfortable streets; sociable sidewalks; how buildings connect to the public realm; bicycling; public transportation; and incorporation of nature and parks into city or town life. In all these varied settings, he pays special attention to a vital ingredient: local commitment.

To improve conditions and opportunities for everyone, Langdon argues that places where the best of life is within walking distance ought to be at the core of our thinking. This book is for anyone who wants to understand what can be done to build, rebuild, or improve a community while retaining the things that make it distinctive. (Island Press)

I’ve visited Portland’s Perl District and Philadelphia’s Center City, in July we’ll go to Chicago’s Little Village. Learning from other places is one of the smartest ways to get the inspiration to tackle neighborhoods that have great potential.

Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities For All by Philip Langdon, releasing next month, is available via Island Press, Left Bank Books, and Amazon.

— Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: Should Missouri Close Interstate Rest Areas?

April 23, 2017 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll, Transportation Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Missouri Close Interstate Rest Areas?
 
Please vote below

Missouri has low fuel taxes and the legislature is unwilling to increase it. Maintenance needs remain. Some states in this situation have opted to closer rest areas:

For more than half a century, old-fashioned, no-frills highway rest stops have welcomed motorists looking for a break from the road, a bathroom or a picnic table where they can eat lunch.

But in some states, these roadside areas are disappearing.

Cash-strapped transportation agencies are shuttering the old ones to save money, or because they don’t attract enough traffic or are in such bad shape that renovating them is too costly. Or, the stops have been overtaken by tourist information centers, service plazas that take in revenue from gasoline and food sales, or commercial strips off interstate exits. (USA Today)

How many rest areas does Missouri have?

Missouri maintains 8 Welcome Center’s, 14 Rest Areas, and 23 Truck-Only Parking sites across the state. Located on seven different Interstates, the facilities feature a variety of easy-to-access amenities to serve travelers. (MoDOT)

Below is today’s poll:

This poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

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