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Crown Food Mart on Jefferson has an ADA access route thanks to me

January 28, 2010 Accessibility, Downtown, Planning & Design 13 Comments

Like so many new buildings in the city/region, the new Crown Food Mart at Jefferson & Clark was being constructed without any connection to the public sidewalk network.  This was the construction site in late September 2009:


The lack of an ADA route is no different than most of their other recent stations. But rather than wait until complete to complain, I decided to see if I could make a difference to change the construction.  I contacted the city’s ADA commissioner and 6th ward Alderman Kacie Starr Triplett.  Ald. Triplett was the first to respond and it wasn’t long before she forwarded me a revised drawing the owner had sent her.

As I had suggested, the solution was to include a ramp at the end of the sidewalk at the front of the station and a bit of concrete between the parking lot and sidewalk.  None of the concrete work had been started so the change was minor.

ABOVE: completed building with ramp to the North
ABOVE: looking North you see the short walk to reach the public sidewalk.

Is this ideal? Hardly.  Ideally the building would be at the corner of the property so pedestrians could easily enter.  The gas islands would be located behind the building, rather than out front.

As you can the building has zero relationship to the street it faces, Jefferson.  The ADA route is to the left of the building connecting pedestrians along Clark.  But anyone approaching the building on foot from Jefferson will face this vast expanse of pavement between them and the business.  Those of foot might be employees at UPS or guests at the hotel across Jefferson & I-64.

I had suggested a sidewalk be run down this side of the parking area and then have it connected to the building’s front walk as done on the other side.  Clearly that didn’t happen.  I got the minimum — by asking beforehand.  I do think if the city asked developers to include a minimum ADA access route so those in wheelchairs have a way to access a business from the public sidewalk they’d do it.  Before the concrete is poured it is no big deal.

I want to have our city codes embrace walkability.  They should require such a route from each street the property borders.  In this case, they would be required to have a sidewalk connecting to Jefferson. Eventually they will realize if the building is closer to both streets the sidewalk is either much shorter or completely unnecessary because the building entrance is directly on the public sidewalk.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "13 comments" on this Article:

  1. Chris says:

    This gas station should have never been built in the first place.

  2. JZ71 says:

    The new CVS at Gravois & Chippewa has a good/better connection. The question then becomes why do you (or any citizen) have to continue to ask, to “ride herd” over the city? This isn't rocket science. This should just be another checklist item for getting a building permit.

  3. Aragornman says:

    This should just be standard in all new developments (really the bare minimum come on!)

  4. This gas station is way too big. We didn't even need a gas station at this site. There's one less than a mile down Jefferson.

    Why would anyone want to live here when we advertise this suburban blight? What a great way to welcome people into our City.

  5. PC says:

    I'm wondering why any new construction is being approved without being ADA compliant to begin with. Does the city approve building plans? How come this doesn't get picked up sooner?

  6. gmichaud says:

    I think the best idea is, as you state, is to require sidewalk connection to city streets. Then take this one step further: only allow financial incentives for projects that meet these requirements.
    What would it do to Paul McKee and TIF? There would be a vast difference, and it is an excellent example how all of a sudden, through a government that actually serves the people, citizens begin to attain an understanding of what a project will look like and how it will interact with the community.

    But I must also agree with comments that the station probably should have not been built in the first place. There is a reasonable array of gas stations needed in the City. This ongoing building and rebuilding of gas stations has no place in heavily populated and established areas. And certainly the usage is marginal, especially going forward in time.

    I support free form capitalism as much as the next person. But this is predatory capitalism, fly by night money suckers who could care less about the neighborhood and merely want to extract as much money as possible. They will not visit the neighborhood, the neighborhood is only numbers on a sheet. They are presiding over destruction of whatever else they can buy with their greed.

    This is why citizens are forced to manage their communities aggressively and adopt a regulatory environment that accomplishes what are basically simple, people orientated goals. The government is not acting on their behalf. Certainly major corporations could care less as long as they only wish to walk off with pocketfuls of money. This is hardly a formula for building livable cities.

    After they have worked their ass off in the last few decades to destroy anything standing, yes this station is an improvement over nothing at all, and certainly convenient to many. The lack of an overall understanding and implementation of planning goals is the backdrop. Project after project contributes nothing to the development of the city into a meaningful whole.

    If the decision is made to build it, how does it work with the neighborhood? At least they responded to your suggestions partially. Maybe they actually realize there is something to be gained as a valued member of the community.

  7. xfactor says:


  8. chrisgrus says:

    Thanks for being you, Steve!

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