It was recently suggested by former St. Louis Mayor Vince Schoemehl that a new NFL/MLS stadium be built across the river in Illinois. Over the last few years I’ve thought this as well, regular reader & prolific commenter “JZ71″ has mentioned several times building a stadium specifically between the approaches to the MLK & Eads bridges. It would be visible from downtown St. Louis and be located adjacent to an existing MetroLink light rail station. I’ve thought that was too tight but knew there’s lots of vacant land there awaiting new use.
In June I got married at the beautiful Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park — directly across from the Arch — maybe South of there? Or to the North of the MLK bridge approach? Looking at maps and serial images only gets you so far, so Saturday afternoon I drove around checking out the Metro East riverfront/bottoms.
I crossed the river on the Eads Bridge since it was direct, I quickly ruled out the land to the South of the Martin Memorial/geyser because of access issues and future CityArchRiver plans, wildlife, etc. So then I looked at the space between the Eads & MLK approaches — as I suspected it appears way too tight for a stadium with enough buffer to keep the bridges open game days.
So access here kinda sucks too — but not for long. Since it opened in February 2014 I’ve driven across the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge (I-70) many times, but this weekend was my first seeing how it connected to IL Route 3. Later this year will mark 25 years I’ve lived in St. Louis, I know the region pretty well, including the Metro East — but the new I-70 approach to the new bridge is very different than it has been. Connectivity is greatly improved and will get better.
This is within St. Clair County, an analysis of future MetroLink light rail expansion into neighboring Madison County four of seven possible alignments would pass by to the East along the Route 3 corridor. Additionally transportation officials are working to improve Amtrak speeds between Alton & St. Louis while also considering a new stop in St. Clair County. No historic buildings/districts razed, fewer/no businesses/residents displaced.
A new NFL/MLS stadium, light rail expansion into Madison County, and an Amtrak stop could transform this area and further connect the St. Louis region. Sorry Gov Nixon, Illinois make much more sense!
East-West Gateway’s Public Involvement Plan helps EWG to ensure quality engagement and interaction with all of the citizens in the St. Louis metropolitan area. We need to know how we can design our outreach efforts in a way that makes your involvement easier, fuller and more likely. This survey will begin to form our public involvement plan. Please take a few minutes to respond. We appreciate your participation…Take Survey
Please take a few minutes to take the survey, then come back and share your thoughts on the questions being asked. They also just released the 7th update to most recent Where We Stand report (2011).
This update introduces new data on three measures of social mobility and discusses some of the community characteristics that are correlated with upward mobility.
The term “social mobility” refers to the idea that individuals can achieve a high standard of living, regardless of the circumstances into which they were born. The notion that even a poor child can work hard and get rich (or at least reach the middle class) has long had a hold on the American imagination, although numerous studies have documented that the United States has a far lower level of social mobility than most of the other wealthy nations around the world.
I’ve not had a chance to do more than scan the update, but I wanted to pass along the link.
My views towards homelessness have changed over the years; I wasn’t a supporter of the “housing first” model, it didn’t make sense to me. Now, after looking into it with an open mind, I see it is very logical. We know from decades of experience that how we’ve been attempting to address the issue of chronic homelessness hasn’t worked, requiring the chronic homeless to jump through hoops doesn’t work. and is costly and detrimental to the community at large. A different approach is needed.
For years, homeless service providers worked to offer medical and mental health care, addiction counseling, job training and countless other services to people living on the streets. Most homeless people were told they had to earn their way to permanent housing by checking these supplementary boxes.
While the intentions behind this approach were good, the unfortunate result was that very few people ever escaped the streets.
100,000 Homes communities believe this traditional approach is backwards, and the data agrees with them. Countless studies have now shown that we must offer housing first, not last, if we want to help people out of homelessness. An immediate connection to permanent supportive housing can ensure that over 80% of homeless individuals remain housed, even among clients with severe substance abuse and mental health conditions. (read more)
Know Who’s Out There:
Person-specific data is the key to ending homelessness for our most vulnerable (and often anonymous) homeless neighbors.
100,000 Homes communities identify their homeless neighbors by name through an event called a Registry Week, the organizing backbone of the 100,000 Homes Campaign. The Registry Week process is based on a simple idea: communities should work to identify their most vulnerable or at-risk homeless residents and prioritize them for permanent housing. Medical research published in highly regarded, peer-reviewed journals highlights several health and social conditions that make people more likely to die on the streets. We’ve created a survey tool, the Vulnerability Index, that screens for those conditions and helps communities identify the most vulnerable people in their midst.
After an extensive volunteer training, Registry Week volunteers comb the streets of their communities block by block to ask as many people as possible to complete the Vulnerability Index questionnaire. This process occurs early in the morning, usually between the hours of 4 and 7 a.m. to ensure that those surveyed are among the unsheltered homeless population. Unsheltered individuals and families tend to reflect those who are not seeking or engaging with local service systems independently, and thus, those who are most likely to remain unhoused without proactive assistance. (read more)
Track Your Progress:
Solving a problem is impossible without a broad-based team and a reliable way of measuring success. Without regular performance data, we have no way of knowing whether or not the methods that communities are employing to end homelessness are working. That’s why 100,000 Homes communities commit to reporting their housing progress monthly and measuring that performance against clear and carefully determined benchmarks.
Each month, local advocates report the total number of people they have housed to the 100,000 Homes data team which uses that information to prepare detailed, individually tailored performance reports for each community enrolled in the Campaign. These reports outline a community’s progress toward its goal of ending homelessness and compare its efforts to the performance of similarly sized and resourced communities around the country.
When communities report consistently for three months in a row, they are placed on the 100,000 Homes Fully Committed List, a list regularly shared with national funders and media representatives in an effort to highly communities who are committed to using data to improve performance. (read more)
Improve Local Systems:
In most cases, the solution to homelessness is apparent– it’s implementing that solution that often proves challenging. This is because most communities have no clear, intentionally developed process for moving homeless people from the streets to permanent housing quickly and efficiently. Typically, different local agencies and organizations own different pieces of the housing process and rarely communicate with one another. These various groups require redundant forms, applications, and interview steps and often fail to process these requirements in a regular or timely way. As a result, it often takes more than a year to move a single individual from homelessness to a home, even with sustainable funding in place.
100,000 Homes communities are committed to pulling together their multiple overlapping service systems into a single, well-oiled housing placement machine capable of moving homeless individuals into permanent housing in as little time as possible. By applying process improvement techniques drawn from industry and the private sector to local housing and human service work, many communities have been able to dramatically reduce the amount of time required to house a single homeless person by as much as 80 percent. (read more)
St. Louis is listed as a community on the organization website but clicking on the dot on the map is disappointing:
I emailed St. Louis’ director of human services William Siedhoff who replied;
“St. Louis might be listed as a community as part of the 100k effort but we have never been a participant in this program and, to my knowledge, none of the surrounding counties are involved either. Therefore, there would be no reporting of data on people being housed in the St. Louis region to this program.”
That’s good to know. Siedhoff also sent me a link to an article from a few days ago:
TAMPA — In 2002, local leaders adopted a 10-year plan to end homelessness in Hillsborough County based on the “housing first” philosophy sweeping the nation. In 2005, the city of St. Louis adopted a similar plan.
Nine years later, St. Louis’ plan has lowered its homeless population by more than 30 percent.
Q: Do you support giving the chronically homeless apartments?
Yes, it’s likely cheaper 36 [29.27%]
Yes, but only after completing work/treatment programs 30 [24.39%]
Maybe, I need to learn more 29 [23.58%]
No, they need to work like the rest of society 24 [19.51%]
Unsure/No Opinion 4 [3.25%]
The 24 who said no are probably the same ones who complain the loudest about the homeless, lots of talk but no actual solutions. Likewise the 30 who said only after completing programs need to understand how housing improves the success rate. Without housing social workers have less success helping these individuals.
The government and public are spending billions annually already, the question is how effective are we? There’s evidence to support the idea that getting the chronic homeless off the streets first lessons the burden on the community and has a greater chance of helping the individuals long term.
Q: Best thing expected to happen in the St. Louis region in 2014?
Opening of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge 21 [19.63%]
Loop Trolley construction begins 21 [19.63%]
St. Louis’ 250th anniversary 19 [17.76%]
Phase One of Ballpark Village opens 15 [14.02%]
Other: 14 [13.08%]
Unsure/no opinion 6 [5.61%]
Fields Foods grocery store opens 4 [3.74%]
Same-sex marriage in Illinois (June 1st) 3 [2.8%]
Medical marijuana in Illinois 3 [2.8%]
March Madness (Basketball tournaments) 1 [0.93%]
The fourteen “other” answers supplied by readers were:
None of the above
Progress on CityArchRiver
american airlines merger
Groundbreaking on Paul McKee’s Northside project (if it actually happens)
City wide form based zoning is adopted
Not getting my car ganked downtown cuz now I park in a garage – only $140/month.
northside project starts
Rams Make a Deal to Stay in STL
Buildings around old post office get redeveloped/ Further cwe/cortex development
City re-enters the County
Freeman Bosley Jr and Charlie Dooley go to jail.
Continued neighborhood redevelopment and rehab.
move toward city/county consolidation
Announcement for Pevely reuse
My point was to look at things actually expected to happen. In the comments on the original post someone unhappy with my choices asked “Boeing decision?”
The company called off its nationwide site search in the wee hours of Saturday morning, immediately after word came that its Seattle-area Machinists union had voted to accept a pension-cutting contract to assemble the plane in the Puget Sound area, 51 percent to 49. (stltoday.com)
It was potentially an exciting thing for the region, but with 20+ states competing it wasn’t something we could’ve expected. In the end, Boeing used Missouri and other states to get their contract accepted in Seattle.
McKee’s vision calls for many projects, the first was completed a few years ago (new building on the north edge of downtown). The city will not reenter the county in 2014, though the topic may come up. The Rams will reach a decision about the Edward Jones Dome, but we’ll see if anyone is excited by their decision.
I think 2014 will be a decent year, but 2015 will be a bigger year.
2014 will be a busy year in the region with a number of positive things:
Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge opens to traffic
St. Louis celebrates 250th anniversary
Phase One of Ballpark Village opens
March Madness basketball tournaments
Fields Foods opens
Some things that are controversial in some circles:
Same-sex marriages begin in Illinois (mine’s June 8th!)
Medical marijuana in Illinois
Loop Trolley construction starts
The poll this week asks you to pick one thing you think is the best thing for the region. Because there may be other things happening I didn’t list you can add your own item in the poll (right sidebar).
There are many ways to measure and compare regions/states on how auto-centric they are. For the poll last week I selected number of vehicles per licensed driver. The results of the poll are near the end but first I want to share other data.
I see this as good evidence our region is too auto dependent, 76 metro areas had less vehicles miles per person than we did in 2005! But maybe we’ve peaked:
When adjusted for population growth, the number of miles driven in the United States peaked in 2005 and dropped steadily thereafter, according to an analysis by Doug Short of Advisor Perspectives, an investment research company. As of April 2013, the number of miles driven per person was nearly 9 percent below the peak and equal to where the country was in January 1995. Part of the explanation certainly lies in the recession, because cash-strapped Americans could not afford new cars, and the unemployed weren’t going to work anyway. But by many measures the decrease in driving preceded the downturn and appears to be persisting now that recovery is under way. The next few years will be telling. (New York Times)
Even if we’ve declined since 2005 like everyone else, we’re still driving considerably more miles per capita than 76 other regions.
Here are the results from last week’s poll:
Q: How many vehicles per licensed driver in your household?
One+, but less than two 33 [45.21%]
Less than one, more than zero 21 [28.77%]
Two+, but less than three 9 [12.33%]
Zero 6 [8.22%]
Three+ 4 [5.48%]
I’ll admit I broke an important rule when it comes to polls — keeping the answers uniform. It appears the readers who responded don’t have an excess of vehicles, with over 8% saying their household has zero cars per licensed driver.
More than ninety percent of readers that voted in the poll last week favor some form of reconciliation between the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County. Voting was nearly double the usual.
Q: Should St. Louis City & St. Louis County Reconcile? If So, How?
St. Louis City should rejoin St. Louis County as the 91st municipally 65 [36.31%]
St. Louis City & St. Louis County (and all its municipalities, schools districts, fire districts, etc) should become one government body 52 [29.05%]
St. Louis City & St. Louis County (and all its municipalities) should become one government body 45 [25.14%]
St. Louis City & St. Louis County should remain separate, but partner more 12 [6.7%]
St. Louis City & St. Louis County should remain completely separate (no change) 5 [2.79%]
Unsure/No Opinion 0 [0%]
More than 54% favor some form of consolidated government, not just becoming the 91st municipality. If St. Louis became the 91st municipality it would be the largest in terms of population and 2nd largest in land area, Wildwood is slightly larger in area.
For years I’ve favored a super consolidation — all municipalities, school districts, fire districts, etc being made into one. But I recognize this wouldn’t be a magic bullet to solve issues of poverty, unemployment, stagnant/declining population, in the city & county. Some regional problems would be solved, but others would be created in the process — unintended consequences tend to pop up.
What needs to take place isn’t a discussion of solutions, but a discussion of problems facing the region. From there we can work toward a collective solution(s). Our history has been a group or individual has pushed a change in governance out of selfish interests. There’s been some mild effort to give the appearance of a grassroots movement rather than what it is.
I want change, I think the region needs change. But we must learn from the consequences of other city-county consolidations.We shouldn’t do this so one person can get his wish to end income taxes and fund government largely through sales taxes. As a low-income person I know the burden sales taxes place on the poor. I’m not willing to suffer so millionaires can reduce their obligation to society.
Here are some groups currently working on consolidation/merger:
Right now I’m still research each to see if they’re legit, or just a front. Part of that includes reading from a variety of sources, for example:
If the city’s current system of having “county” offices that operate independently of the city is an absurd waste of resources and duplication of services, then what is to be said of a county that has 43 fire districts and more than 60 police departments? Compared outright to St. Louis County, St. Louis city is a model of economy and streamlined public services. It may be ridiculous that the city has a comptroller, treasurer, collector of revenue and license collector, but for many of its square miles the county is nothing – governmentally speaking – more than a speed trap that feeds money into one strip mall city hall or another. (St. Louis American)
I believe we can have a better government structure that makes us competitive with other regions, bettering the lives of everyone, not just a few. It’ll take open dialog to get there.
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.
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:
Chuy Arzola’s (Dogtown)
El Burrito Loco
Empire Sandwich Shop
The Salad Bowl
Shangri La Diner
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:
Yesterday in the Post-Dispatch came word a huge music event planned for Memorial Day weekend will not take place this year: City officials confirmed on Friday that Summer Rocks, billed as an annual country music concert series on the scale of Lollapalooza in Chicago, will not take place over Memoria…