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Parking On Clark Still Police-Only A Year After Old Headquarters Vacated

August 6, 2015 Downtown, Featured, Parking 17 Comments

A year ago the St. Louis Metropolitan Police moved from their old headquarters at Tucker & Clark to their new HQ on Olive, between 19th-20th. Back in April 2011 I wondered what would become of police-only parking on Clark between Tucker & 14th once the move happened. It seems nothing would happen.

Privately-owned vehicles now park where police vehicles used to park. July 23, 2015
Privately-owned vehicles now park where police vehicles used to park. July 23, 2015

The old police headquarters is, presumably, vacant. So who’s parking on Clark in spaces marked for “police vehicles only”? My guess is the police academy at Tucker & Spruce, just south of the old police HQ.

When the police left their old building the on-street parking on Clark should’ve become metered parking for the general public.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "17 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    Yes, I agree, completely.

  2. Mark-AL says:

    Well, let’s see: to run a police academy you need recruits, instructors, administrative staff, support for administrative staff, maintenance personnel. I’m guessing they don’t ride bicycles to work. Just a guess. And on occasion, special units police personnel from active duty, stationed at the 19th street location, probably stop by to offer insight to the recruits into specific areas of special policing. And I’m guessing they don’t walk from 19th Street to the Tucker location, nor take a bus or a bicycle. Maybe this proves that buildings should be designed to include parking to accommodate their customers, personnel and vendors.

    • The police academy has existed for decades without using parking on Clark.

      • JZ71 says:

        There is parking available inside the police building (overhead door off of Tucker), in the city lot, to the north, and in the city garage, to the east.

        • Mark-AL says:

          The academy garage is very small. Is the overhead door off Tucker equipped with remote opener ? If not, how do you get fobs into the hands of users….and then keep track of their usage? Does revenue control equipment exist at the academy garage to limit access to the space? I’ll answer that. Not the last time I looked! Would the cost of stationing a full-time human door monitor exceed the cost of any revenue that might be gained from metering those 20 or so spaces along Clark? How difficult would it be to monitor security if that particular garage were “open” for daily use? And what’s wrong with offering parking convenience to certain policemen who, for whatever reason, have a legitimate reason to stop by the academy on occasion? Good grief! What’s the harm here?

      • Mark-AL says:

        …..and your point ?
        The Justice garage, while City-owned, is subject to bond restrictions and cannot offer free parking to anyone. The other city-owned garage just east of the police station lacks revenue control equipment and therefore is not set up to accommodate hourly/daily parking. (Or at least this was the case 1 year ago when I walked through that particular garage.)
        If a city hall visitor needs to park, he can use the pay lot adjacent to city hall. Why should parking convenient to the academy be removed from Clark Street when it can easily be left there to accommodate the needs of the academy?

  3. Mark-AL says:

    THE POLICE ARE N O T THE ENEMY HERE, GUYS! With all the crap that they take today, dealing with thugs who lack respect for everyone including themselves, why not accommodate them, especially when to do so costs so little money and DOESN’T INCONVENIENCE A N Y O N E ! ?

    • Who said they were the enemy? They had an entire street reserved in front of their building — which they vacated a year ago.

      I would’ve liked to have seen a public discussion about this parking and what will become of the building.

      • Mark-AL says:

        I agree that a discussion about future building use would be appropriate. (I read today that Clayton is moving forward with plans for their old police headquarters.) Given the Clark Street building’s existing structural condition, a headache ball might be the most cost-effective solution. But WHY should there be a “public discussion” about the parking on Clark Street? At what point is a public discussion deemed inappropriate and non-productive…and inconsequential?
        The real issue here is that SLPD cannot finalize their divorce with the Clark Street building. And apparently, the City either cannot afford to relocate the academy (and the gym) at this time, or they have no space available to which to relocate it. And I suspect that, until they can figure out what to do with Clark Street and commitments from developers , they are financially unable to move forward with a new academy plans of any nature….so in the meantime, they have to do the best they can.

        • Huh? The academy is in a separate building facing Spruce & Tucker. Clark is part of the public right-of-way (PROW), hence the need for a public discussion on how it’s used.

          Perhaps the spaces on the south side remain used by the police, with some additional for the coroner’s office next door.

          I’d like to see the spaces on the North side be public — this will provide more space for the general public visiting city hall.

          • Mark-AL says:

            ….single heating system….fed by Trojan steam loop… Shared electrical systems. Can you justify the cost to provide separate services given the City’s current financial condition–and for how long? The two were never intended to be operated separately.

            Given City Hall’s proximity and the difficulty of maintaining security on the streets of STL, I wonder if it isn’t smarter to limit north side parking to police personnel as well? Plus, there MUST be some demand for it. It’s obviously being used, isn’t it?

          • A few minutes ago you said “Given the Clark Street building’s existing structural condition, a headache ball might be the most cost-effective solution.”

            And yes, there are cars parked in the spaces — private vehicles.

          • Mark-AL says:

            Headache ball is likely a cost effective alternative vs renovation. Sometimes they ain’t worth savin’.Now if you find a developer for the site and sell it to them, you might be able to afford to either relocate the academy, or provide a separate HVAC system for the academy.

            Private vehicles? I’ll just bet they’re private “city hall employee” vehicles.

          • Right, though stil marked “police vehicles” we have no idea who is parking here. Could be city employees, could be police academy employees and/or cadets, city hall visitors. All we do know is the city isn’t collecting any revenue.

      • Mark-AL says:

        I remember sitting in a meeting almost 9+ years ago, when a true visionary brainstormed about a development plan for the City garage located across Tucker, immediately east of the old Clark Street headquarters. This was before the Justice Center garage was seriously being discussed. This visionary suggested that the existing aged garage and outdated fire station be nixed, and that a new structure be developed that would incorporate the replacement fire station, a modern police headquarters and academy, as well as public parking AND non-public parking necessary to support the academy, fire and police station employees and support staff. In hindsight, this would have been a sweet deal, IMO.

        • Public services operating out of public buildings — should be discussed in public.

          • Mark-AL says:

            Oh, I agree. Before proceeding with the new fire station/police station/academy/parking structure, there should have been some public input. But I don’t think it was necessary before allowing the police to continue parking on Clark Street.


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