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Tucker & Chouteau: Pedestrian Button Far From Curb Ramp

August 4, 2015 Accessibility, Downtown, Featured, Walkability 7 Comments

Yesterday’s post was about the bike lanes on Chouteau that aren’t there…yet. While I was photographing the absence of bike lanes late last month I noticed something else as I crossed Chouteau at Tucker. The annoying pedestrian crosswalk buttons aren’t next to the curb ramp where they should be.

I'm at the ramp to cross Chouteau going South, the pedestrian button is on the back side of the silver pole! The visible button the side of the pole to cross Tucker heading East. 
I’m at the ramp to cross Chouteau going South, the pedestrian button is on the back side of the silver pole! The visible button the side of the pole to cross Tucker heading East.
Looking back North you can see the pole and the ramp at the corner.
Looking back North you can see the pole and the ramp at the corner.

Pedestrian buttons should be reachable from the ramp, not 20 feet away! Personally I don’t think pedestrians should have to seek out and press button to get a walk signal — they should be automatic.  Imagine driving and having to know just where to stop at a red light to give you a green light.

Pedestrian buttons are great for the sight-impaired. If done properly, once activated, it’ll verbally announce to the user when the walk sign is on and that it’s ok to cross. The rest of us shouldn’t have to press a button to get a walk signal.

Chouteau is maintained by MoDOT, I’ll alert them and the city about this.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. Mark-AL says:

    Come on! Life isn’t perfect for any of us, and I wonder why it should be perfect for the handicapped! Sidewalks, curbs and driving pavement all across the country are in need of repair, and with shrinking budgets, municipalities are unable to address them. And you want a signal moved 10′ closer to the crosswalk just to save 20 seconds of your day? HA! You should be grateful that there is ANY activation device for the crosswalk signal! Even if you have to walk (or roll) 15′ to reach it, why would you complain, unless you are just looking for something to complain about?.There is a limited supply of money available for infrastructure maintenance and improvements, and I wonder why thousands of dollars should be spent to frivolously relocate a device that is otherwise very usable. Sure, it would be great if the pole were located within 3′ of the crosswalk–but it isn’t. Get over it. Creating a flawless society for the handicapped is hardly a life’s mission for the average US citizen, mine included. I personally don’t like grabbing a public toilet room door to exit a toilet room after I have just finished washing my hands, but that’s my personal pet peeve, and certainly can’t expect the public to pick up the tab to install automatic door openers all across the country to satisfy my issue. Don’t forget that non-handicapped people also have to walk 15′ to the button. Does that also bother you, and have you heard about anyone else bitching about having to negotiate those extra 15′? The handicapped are NOT ENTITLED because they are disabled. But they deserve accommodation because they are US citizens, just as non-handicapped people deserve accommodation….. because they too are US citizens. Why waste the limited funds on stupid projects?

    • I expect MoDOT to follow the ADA when doing new work. It shouldn’t need to be moved — it should’ve been done right the first time! Motorists would never tolerate this level of incompetence, why should pedestrians?

      • Mark-AL says:

        From my perspective, it doesn’t appear that the sidewalk (between the exposed aggregate pole and the cross walk) was recently poured. But even if the sidewalk was recently poured, I think you need to pick your battles with your eyes wide open. Why address this issue when there are so many more blatant violations all over the city? If there were no crosswalk there, or no button to activate the cross signal, you would have a legitimate argument, in my opinion. Or, to reach the button, if you had to travel a pathway impossible to navigate using a wheelchair, you would have a legitimate argument. But just because you have to travel a few feet out of your way (sometimes)–that’s NO argument. EVEN HANDICAPPED PEOPLE IN OUR COUNTRY HAVE TO REALIZE THAT THEIR SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT SHOULD HAVE LIMITATIONS! Why not ask the government to use part of your 19% to cover the cost of this insane request???…And if I were you, I wouldn’t hold my breath until the demolition crew arrives to rip up the concrete. I think (hope) the traffic engineers are astute enough to clearly see through this request and decide to put this one on the back burner until another major upgrade is made to the intersection…at a much later date when there might be more money available to waste.

        • This has nothing to do with the new sidewalk — it was done with the new parking lot. The polls and ped buttons were done by MoDOT a few years ago.

          I write about what I personally see and experience.

          • Mark-AL says:

            Excuse my ignorance, but how does the parking lot construction tie into the crosswalk button location? Are you suggesting that the developer of the parking lot should have relocated the button–as part of his work scope/contract to build out the parking lot? If so, should he also have repaired that broken curbing that I noticed at the corner of 15th and Washington, the last time I was in STL? How about the cracked driveway apron at the corner of Nottingham and So. Kingshighway?

            Actually, moving the button closer to the crosswalk wouldn’t cost a hell of a lot of $. An electrician could easily run an exposed conduit out of the existing pole, bury it in the planting area located to the right of the pole, run it underground to a location close the a new pole location, then bore the low voltage wiring to a new pole location. Don’t know what the new pole would cost, but the labor could be done in less than 4 hours by an experience 2-man crew. BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT! Any amount of money spent would be a frivolous misuse of public funds, IMO. …..even more so today than even yesterday morning, considering the results in yesterday’s election.

          • You brought up the new sidewalk, I just mentioned it was part of the parking lot project — done well after the signals.

            My points were: 1) use ped buttons only if they have audio to help those with visual impairments, 2) don’t made everyone else find & press a button to get a walk signal, 3) if installing ped buttons locate them in the right place.

          • Mark-AL says:

            I brought up the sidewalks because, typically, when the pavement surrounding a less-than-desirably-placed signal button/pole is removed and re-poured, any ADA improvements will be made.


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