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The ‘Great Streets’ Project on Natural Bridge, Part 1

In May 2012 I posted about a plan to make a stretch of Natural Bridge in St. Louis County less hostile to pedestrians, see Redeveloping Natural Bridge & The UMSL South MetroLink Station.  Natural Bridge was to become one of East-West Gateway’s “Great Streets Initiative“:

Great Streets are representative of their places. A Great Street reflects the neighborhood through which it passes and has a scale and design appropriate to the character of the abutting properties and land uses.

Great Streets allow people to walk comfortably and safely. The pedestrian environment on, along and near the street is well?designed and well?furnished. The relationship between the street and its adjacent buildings is organic, conducive to walking, and inviting to people.

Great Streets contribute to the economic vitality of the area. Great Streets facilitate the interaction of people and the promotion of commerce. They serve as destinations, not just transportation channels. They are good commercial addresses and provide location value to businesses that power the local economy.

Great Streets are functionally complete. Great Streets support balanced mobility with appropriate provision for safe and convenient travel by all of the ground transportation modes: transit, walking, bicycling, personal motor vehicles and freight movement.

Great Streets provide mobility. Great Streets strike an appropriate balance among the three elements of modern mobility: through travel, local circulation and access. The right balance varies with the function of the street and the character of its neighborhoods and abutting properties.

Great Streets facilitate placemaking. Great Streets incorporate within them places that are memorable and interesting. These may include plazas, pocket parks, attractive intersections and corners, or simply wide sidewalks fostering an active street life.

Great Streets are green. Great Streets provide an attractive and refreshing environment by working with natural systems. They incorporate environmentally sensitive design standards and green development techniques, including generous provision of street trees and other plantings and application of modern storm water management practices. (From Natural Bridge study)

For that 2012 post I traveled about 3.5 miles as a pedestrian in my wheelchair. I started on the North side of Natural Bridge, just East of Lucas & Hunt, traveled Westbound to Hanley, then returned on the South side of Natural Bridge. See map.

Last month, on April 18th, I repeated this journey. Today’s post, part 1, will compare & contrast my experience as a pedestrian from Lucas & Hunt to Hanley Rd. Tomorrow, part 2 will do the same from Hanley back to Lucas & Hunt. Part 3, on Wednesday, will summarize and discuss positive & negative feedback received from readers who use the area on a daily basis.

In my 2012 post I used only 25 of the 382 photos I took, last month I took only 151.

In 2012 the places to cross Natural Bridge were very limited, but that has changed
In 2012 the places to cross Natural Bridge were very limited, but that has changed
In 2012 I didn't talk about the historic Pasadena Hills subdivision, or the beautiful entrance marker
In 2012 I didn’t talk about the historic Pasadena Hills subdivision, or the beautiful entrance marker
But I couldn't get past the median -- I had to roll in the Natural Bridge Roadway around this curb!
But I couldn’t get past the median — I had to roll in the Natural Bridge Roadway around this curb!
Now there are no obstacles
Now there are no obstacles
In fact, I was able to go through the arch and explore the landscaping maintained by the subdivision.
In fact, I was able to go through the arch and explore the landscaping maintained by the subdivision.
Approaching Florissant Rd in 2012, the little pedestrian space available was invaded by a vehicle parked on the narrow sidewalk
Approaching Florissant Rd in 2012, the little pedestrian space available was invaded by a vehicle parked on the narrow sidewalk
Now the pedestrian has defined space
Now the pedestrian has defined space
In 2012 the intersection of Natural Bridge & Florissant Rd was ugly, confusing to motorists, and a nightmare for pedestrians. It was a non-place.
In 2012 the intersection of Natural Bridge & Florissant Rd was ugly, confusing to motorists, and a nightmare for pedestrians. It was a non-place.
Now it's still confusing to motorists -- some stop rather than yield -- at the circle. For pedestrians it is now easy and safer to cross. More importantly, it now feels like a real place. I hope to see restaurants open with patio seating.
Now it’s still confusing to motorists — some stop rather than yield — at the circle. For pedestrians it is now easy and safer to cross. More importantly, it now feels like a real place. I hope to see restaurants open with patio seating.
Continuing WB in 2012, sidewalks were narrow. There was no accessible connection to adjacent residential neighborhoods on the right
Continuing WB in 2012, sidewalks were narrow. There was no accessible connection to adjacent residential neighborhoods on the right
Now sidewalks are generous, pedestrians feel protected from passing vehicles
Now sidewalks are generous, pedestrians feel protected from passing vehicles
Two ramps now provide access to the houses up the hill. This helps those of us in wheelchairs, but also parents pushing strollers or seniors returning home with groceries
Two ramps now provide access to the houses up the hill. This helps those of us in wheelchairs, but also parents pushing strollers or seniors returning home with groceries
At St Ann's Ln I was confused why pedestrians wouldn't automatically get a WALK signal with traffic on Natural Bridge has a green light
At St Ann’s Ln I was confused why pedestrians wouldn’t automatically get a WALK signal with traffic on Natural Bridge has a green light
In 2012 the sidewalk on the bridge over the MetroLink light rail tracks was a narrow tunnel
In 2012 the sidewalk on the bridge over the MetroLink light rail tracks was a narrow tunnel
Now it's still narrow, but just less tunnel-like
Now it’s still narrow, but just less tunnel-like
Just after going over the MetroLink tracks I spotted a woman and child cross Natural Bridge at a point without a crossing
Just after going over the MetroLink tracks I spotted a woman and child cross Natural Bridge at a point without a crossing
It was a mom walking her child to elementary school, they'd come from the UMSL South MetroLink station
It was a mom walking her child to elementary school, they’d come from the UMSL South MetroLink station
Yes, this project failed to provide a crossing point at a transit hub. D'oh!
Yes, this project failed to provide a crossing point at a transit hub. D’oh!
After walking 2/10ths of a mile to reach Natural Bridge, pedestrians going to/from this school are expected to walk another 2/10th of a mile out of their way to cross at this light
After walking 2/10ths of a mile to reach Natural Bridge, pedestrians going to/from this school are expected to walk another 2/10th of a mile out of their way to cross at this light
Up at the light we can see extra space for a MetroBus to stop without stopping traffic
Up at the light we can see extra space for a MetroBus to stop without stopping traffic
Diagonally across the intersection I noticed a child waiting for the walk signal to cross the side street
Diagonally across the intersection I noticed a child waiting for the walk signal to cross the side street
Unfortunately, he didn't bother pressing to button to get a walk signal to cross Natural Bridge
Unfortunately, he didn’t bother pressing to button to get a walk signal to cross Natural Bridge
Just after the bus stop I saw where a street tree had been run over, did someone try to pass in the bus area?
Just after the bus stop I saw where a street tree had been run over, did someone try to pass in the bus area?
Next up was another crossing point. Here the median is wide enough to job the pathway o people are less likely to dart out into traffic on the other side
Next up was another crossing point. Here the median is wide enough to job the pathway o people are less likely to dart out into traffic on the other side
West of UMSL the sidewalks were narrow in 2012
West of UMSL the sidewalks were narrow in 2012
Now the sidewalks are wider and parallel parking exists in this commercial area
Now the sidewalks are wider and parallel parking exists in this commercial area
In 2012 I was ab;re to get past this building, but it didn't look great
In 2012 I was ab;re to get past this building, but it didn’t look great
Now it looks & functions better
Now it looks & functions better
Here's where it became challenging in 2012
Here’s where it became challenging in 2012
And now
And now
In 2012 I had to be up next to this building to continue going west
In 2012 I had to be up next to this building to continue going west
Now there's more room
Now there’s more room
Looking West toward Hanley Rd, 8519 Natural Bridge was razed between Aug 2012 and September 2014
Looking West toward Hanley Rd, 8519 Natural Bridge was razed between Aug 2012 and September 2014
Like earlier, the sidewalk has switched to the South side of the electric poles.
Like earlier, the sidewalk has switched to the South side of the electric poles.
In 2012 I had to be up against the last building
In 2012 I had to be up against the last building
But this presented issues getting out to the upcoming sidewalk and ramp at Hanley to cross Natural Bridge
But this presented issues getting out to the upcoming sidewalk and ramp at Hanley to cross Natural Bridge
No longer an issue
No longer an issue
The actual bus stop is just West of the older bus shelter. The indent of the sidewalk to the right is to give room to load/unload wheelchairs from the bus
The actual bus stop is just West of the older bus shelter. The indent of the sidewalk to the right is to give room to load/unload wheelchairs from the bus

Tomorrow will look at the South side of Natural Bridge from Hanley Rd to North & South (map).

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Deutsch Family Has Profited From Public Right-Of-Way For Nearly Two Decades

Some take big all at once, but others take just a little over a long period — the latter can continue with few noticing and nobody able to stop it. Seven years ago I posted about theft of public property, see Stealing a Sidewalk (images since lost). Since then nothing has changed.

Much of city block 823 bounded by 11th, Locust, Tucker, & St. Charles, is surface parking. Miss Hullings Cafeteria was located on the NW corner of 11th & Locust for decades.
Much of city block 823 bounded by 11th, Locust, Tucker, & St. Charles, is surface parking. Miss Hullings Cafeteria was located on the NW corner of 11th & Locust for decades.

In the late 1990s, Larry Deutsch was finally allowed to raze the historic 4-story building at 1101 Locust St. that housed Miss Hullings Cafeteria for decades. After the demolition crew left, new sidewalks were poured and the lot was covered in asphalt for surface parking. That’s when the line dividing private from public property was moved more than 3 feet. Legally the lot is 121 feet x 102 feet 6 inches. But by narrowing the public sidewalk, they made their lot 124.33′ x 105.83′ — a gain of 6%! This is roughly 750 square feet of public space that has been used privately for years.

This allowed them to have 5 additional parking spaces. The current daily rate is often $10, but let’s say $5/day. With about 300 revenue days a year, that’s $7,500 in additional revenue per year. Over 18 years the total estimate is $135,000. Serious money made by taking from the public right-of-way.

Looking West we can see how the sidewalk doesn't relate to the building line
Looking West we can see how the sidewalk doesn’t relate to the building line next door.
It's a difference of 3 feet 4 inches
It’s a difference of 3 feet 4 inches

 

Looking South along 11th you see the difference. The sidewalk in the foreground is owned by someone else, but it narrows at Deutsch's lot across the alley
Looking South along 11th you see the difference. The sidewalk in the foreground is owned by someone else, but it narrows at Deutsch’s lot across the alley

It’s very obvious in person and pictures. You might be thinking the legal property lines are different than the adjacent properties to the North & West. Typically the Public Right-Of-Way (PROW) doesn’t narrow suddenly by more than 3 feet. I know from a Sanborn Fire Insurance map the line was straight in February 1909 (see for yourself).

As we know, the city has been vacating streets & alleys for decades — perhaps this was changed when nobody was looking? So last week I went down to city hall to look at the official plat records.

Photo of the plat of city block 823
Photo of the plat of city block 823
Photocopy of the page shows the adjacent property aligns -- the PROW isn't 3+ feet narrower
Photocopy of the page shows the adjacent property aligns — the PROW isn’t 3+ feet narrower

The owner is Double Delta Arizona LLC. This Missouri LLC was created in July 2009 by Larry Deutsch, 14 Wydown Terrace in Clayton, MO. It is to register a foreign (non-Missouri) entity of the same name, but located in Arizona and created on October 27, 1993.  A search of the Arizona Corporation Commission confirms that Double Delta Arizona LLC was formed on that date. The current agent is Michael Benjamin Deutsch, 33 Oakwood Hills, Chandler AZ. Maricopa County Assessor’s records show the owners as Michael & Jill Deutsch.   Double Delta Arizona LLC is a property management company located at 2130 West Chandler Boulevard, Chandler, AZ. Chandler is a suburb of Phoenix.

Back in our city hall, I stopped by the Recorder of Deeds office to look up public records on 1101 Locust. The most recent was from April 2006, a Quit Claim Deed (Wikipedia) to transfer ownership.

Signatures transferring ownership on page 2. Click image to view 2-page PDF on Scribd
Signatures transferring ownership on page 2. Click image to view 2-page PDF on Scribd

The 1101 Locust Street Corporation was created in June 1993, dissolved in November 2007.  What I don’t know is if the PROW was reduced deliberately or accidentally.

Here’s what I’d like to see happen:

  1. The Deutsch family acknowledge they’ve been using part of the PROW for years.
  2. The Deutsch family pay the city for the cost to a) remove asphalt and pour additional concrete or b) pour new sidewalks up to the legal property line.
  3. The Deutsch family update the surface parking lot to the city’s current parking lot standards. including physical separation (fencing, landscaping) between private & public property.
  4. The city remove/reduce the existing curb cuts, requiring access via the alley on the North side of the property.

Some of you might be thinking this is not big deal — a sidewalk still exists. Yes and no. At the drives there is basically zero ADA-compliant sidewalk width. Zero.  This is a pain for many besides myself — families with a baby stroller, for example.

This is yet another example of the awful pedestrian experience in St. Louis. The problem has been identified, now it should be corrected!

— Steve Patterson

 

Olive & Tucker Designed for Pedestrian-Vehicle Conflict

The intersection of two major downtown streets — Olive St & Tucker Blvd — is poorly designed for pedestrians. The are a number of problems, but this post is about poor communication to pedestrians that puts them in harms way. Specifically, vehicles that get a left-turn arrow from Tucker to Olive are on a collision course with pedestrians that don’t realize cars will be turning left into their path.

Vehicles traveling Northbound & Southbound on Tucker each get a dedicated left-turn lane onto Olive, Westbound & Eastbound. respectively.  Each gets a left arrow, so drivers assume they have the right-of-way. “What’s the problem?” you ask. Pedestrians can also think,due to a lack of pedestrian signals, they have the right-of-way.

  1. At the start of the cycle SB vehicles on Tucker get a green light, left onto EB Olive get an arrow.
  2. After a bit the arrow goes away and NB traffic gets a green.
  3. Later the SB traffic gets a red and those going NB get a left arrow onto WB Olive.

Pedestrians & vehicles can’t both have the right to be in the same place at the same time!

You might be thinking “pedestrians should just look at the vehicle signals to know when it’s OK to cross Olive.” For SB pedestrians on the East side of Tucker & NB pedestrians on the West side of Tucker the vehicle signals don’t indicate vehicles have a left-turn arrow.

SB on the East side of Tucker we can't see the signal on the right -- it's turned toward cars in the left-turn lane.
SB on the East side of Tucker we can’t see the signal on the right — it’s turned toward cars in the left-turn lane.
NB on the West side of Tucker we see a woman crossing with the green. What you can't see ifs the left-turn lane has an an arrow to turn right in her path!
NB on the West side of Tucker we see a woman crossing with the green. What you can’t see ifs the left-turn lane has an an arrow to turn right in her path!

So the first should be a relatively easy to get to achieve minimally acceptable communications — turn the signal head so pedestrians can see the green & left arrow. But the second isn’t as simple.

If possible, the bare minimum would be to change the signal head so it includes an arrow. The problem with this is the arrow might suddenly appear as a person is halfway across Olive. This really needs a pedestrian signal with a countdown timer. Another option is to redo the signal configuration — allow both left turns to happen simultaneously — then give them a red while NB/SB vehicles get a green.

Ok, so one intersection — fix it and move on, right? If the woman in blue in the 2nd image keeps waking North she’ll encounter the same conflict one block up at Locust St!

As at Olive, the signal is green but pedestrians walking North don''t know a left-turn arrow is going to send vehicles into their path.
As at Olive, the signal is green but pedestrians walking North don”t know a left-turn arrow is going to send vehicles into their path.

These are just a few examples of the dangers designed into our auto-centric system. I’ve been through these intersections many times, but had never noticed the conflict — because I’m familiar with the vehicle flow. A downtown visitor, however, might not be confused, or worse, became a pedestrian death statistic. If a pedestrian is hit by a left-turning car in these examples it’s no “accident” — it’s by design! Sadly, these conflicts have likely existed for years — perhaps even decades!

Every intersection in the city/region needs to be critically evaluated to catch conflict by design. Prioritize then and then set about correcting them. I pointed out the conflicts at Olive to St. Louis’ new Bike/Pedestrian Coordinator, Jamie Wilson, last week as we walked/rolled to lunch.

I’ve volunteered to:

  • Start a custom Google map where I can catalog problems I encounter.
  • Go out with him and other, upon request, to demonstrate the problems with out pedestrian infrastructure

Below is time-lapse video looking South and then North

— Steve Patterson

 

Downtown>Hampton>IKEA>Downtown Part 2

Yesterday, in Part 1, I talked about the two different transit I’d taken (MetroLink, #90 & #32 MetroBus) and issues faced as a pedestrian trying to navigate in between.  I’d made it to IKEA for shopping, followed by lunch.

I'm obsessed with food so naturally I took a pic of my plate: Veggies balls with vegetarian black bean sauce,, steamed veggies, Swedish apple cake, and tap water.
I’m obsessed with food so naturally I took a pic of my plate: Veggies balls with vegetarian black bean sauce,, steamed veggies, Swedish apple cake, and tap water.
When I was done with lunch the rain had resumed.
When I was done with lunch the rain had resumed.

I checked the transit options, it would be a while before a MetroBus stopped out front. Plus, that would only get me to Lindell where I’d have to wait in the rain for the #10. The Grand MetroLink is closer than the CWE MetroLink, but Forest Park is the most direct route and I recall some access issues the last time. Plus, my transfer from earlier was now long expired.

No matter what I’d be in the rain, so I decided to just roll home — 2.9 miles. I’ve done it a few times before, though not in the rain. I’m still wearing a poncho to keep me and the controller on my chair dry. My shoes, however, get soaked.  North on Vandeventer to Lindell. I stayed on the West side of Vandeventer because I’m bot sure if the city ever got around to the huge gaps in front of the curb ramps on the NE corner of Vandeventer & Forest Park. At Lindell, I checked the schedule again — I can get home before the next bus would arrive.

Because of the rain I only took a few pictures. The following week I took the bus to Lindell & Spring to backtrack and take pictures of things I saw in the rain.

Lindell & Spring, the crowd passed the walk button. Not sure if required.
Lindell & Spring, the crowd passed the walk button. Not sure if required.
New traffic signals being installed at the Lindell/Olive intersection. April 6th
New traffic signals being installed at the Lindell/Olive intersection. April 6th
This signal is long overdue! In the background the Hotel Ignacio is getting its EFIS facade repaired
This signal is long overdue! In the background the Hotel Ignacio is getting its EFIS facade repaired
How many years ago did I post about the need for painted crosswalk lines here? August 2011 -- click image for post.
How many years ago did I post about the need for painted crosswalk lines here? August 2011 — click image for post.
Olive & Compton, no need to push the button tho cross Compton. If you want to cross Olive you must press the button.
Olive & Compton, no need to push the button tho cross Compton. If you want to cross Olive you must press the button.
At Ewing is a ramp my powerful chair cannot get up -- the vertical height is too much. April 6th
At Ewing is a ramp my powerful chair cannot get up — the vertical height is too much. April 6th
The same ramp again. Like hundreds/thousands of curb ramps it was built too high relative to the paving. Plus, like so many, the paving right in from is partially missing. I have to role in Ewing a little bit to get to a driveway.
The same ramp again. Like hundreds/thousands of curb ramps it was built too high relative to the paving. Plus, like so many, the paving right in from is partially missing. I have to role in Ewing a little bit to get to a driveway to get onto the sidewalk.
The West side at Ewing & Olive is another issue. The concrete at the top has caved in. .
The West side at Ewing & Olive is another issue. The concrete at the top has caved in between the top of the ramp and the access panel.
I've not tried to go up this ramp. it might also be impossible
I’ve not tried to go up this ramp. it might also be impossible
At Leffingwell you must press the button to get a walk signal to cross Olive -- even when traffic has a green light
At Leffingwell you must press the button to get a walk signal to cross Olive — even when traffic has a green light
At Olive & 20th I saw the buttons in the rain, they were far away. To cross 20th you needed to be over by Olive and vice versa.
At Olive & 20th I saw the buttons in the rain, they were far away. To cross 20th you needed to be over by Olive and vice versa.
When I went back I confirmed no button is needed to cross 20th but you do need to press a button top cross Olive. The signs are wrong, the button next to each crosswalk is what is wired.
When I went back I confirmed no button is needed to cross 20th but you do need to press a button top cross Olive. The signs are wrong, the button next to each crosswalk is what is wired.

Used to be — but no curb ramp is missing for the nearly 3 mile trip. If I tried to use Locust there are many missing curb ramps.

I still fail to understand why all the cost of the buttons when they don’t need to be pushed in the East-West direction. And why have to press a button to get a walk signal when vehicles from side streets get a green light?  This is how we’ve spent money — building infrastructure that frustrates this pedestrian!

— Steve Patterson

 

Downtown>Hampton>IKEA>Downtown Part 1

The morning of April 6th I had a 9am appointment on Hampton Ave, between Columbia & Elizabeth. It was raining off and on that day. Today’s post is about the journey there & back.

I had originally planned to take MetroBus there, but I didn’t have any two-hour passes so I’d get a transfer for the 2nd bus. So I went to the Union Station MetroLink station, purchased a few passes, validated one, boarded a Westbound train to the Forest Park MetroLink station. Just before a Southbound #90 (Hampton) MetroBus arrived it began to sprinkle. I left home in a poncho to keep  and my wheelchair’s controller dry.

View out a Southbound #90 MetroBus on Hampton about to cross over I-64. Traffic was backed up on the highway and WB on ramp
View out a Southbound #90 MetroBus on Hampton about to cross over I-64. Traffic was backed up on the highway and WB on ramp

After taking care of business at two places on Hampton, I wanted to visit IKEA to shop and have lunch. The most direct route was a short ride on a Northbound #90 (Hampton) MetroBus, then take a #32 (Chouteau-Manchester) MetroBus to Vandeventer. But when I was ready to leave it was going to be a while before the next #90 arrived, I might as well just roll it.

I’ve gone up to Clayton Ave before, so I knew  I could manage — it was about 3/4 of a mile from my starting point to Lloyd Ave. where I’d go right to make my way down to Manchester (map).   As I turned off Hampton onto Lloyd I was pleasantly surprised a sidewalk existed — I wasn’t sure that would be the case. However, a the bottom of the hill there was no sidewalk along Sulphur. Well, there is along the East side, but because of curbs, I couldn’t get to it.

At this point I had two options:

  1. Roll on the Sulphur Ave roadway, or
  2. Go back up to Hampton, cross, reach Manchester on the other side.

Looking at the time I thought I’d miss the next #32 if I went with the safer #2 option. So, when there was no traffic I quickly rolled South to Manchester. Whew…

The ADA ramp to cross Manchester is covered in a fine gravel. I can power over it but others would have difficulty.
The ADA ramp to cross Manchester is covered in a fine gravel. I can power over it but others would have difficulty.
Looking back where I'd been
Looking back where I’d been
The EB MetroBus stop. I wish it had a curb at the far right edge to prevent backing up too far and rolling down the hill.
The EB MetroBus stop. I wish it had a curb at the far right edge to prevent backing up too far and rolling down the hill.
Looking West to see the #32 coming. In September I posted about the danger of reaching one bus stop to the West -- clock image to view that post
Looking West to see the #32 coming. In September I posted about the danger of reaching one bus stop to the West — clock image to view that post

So the #32 MetroBus came right on time, my transfer was still valid, and it had stopped raining. I’d get off at Vandeventer Ave and roll North to IKEA — about a half a mile. So I got off at the last MetroBus stop before Vandeventer Ave., just had to cross one side street first.

Hemp Ave is between the bus stop and Vandeventer, but no curb ramp is visible. But be just out of view
Hemp Ave is between the bus stop and Vandeventer, but no curb ramp is visible. But be just out of view
Nope, just 100 feet from a bus stop there's no curb cut! I found a driveway I was barely able to use to get onto the sidewalk
Nope, just 100 feet from a bus stop there’s no curb cut! I found a driveway I was barely able to use to get onto the sidewalk
Looking North I'd hoped to cross here to stay on the West side of Vandeventer -- but pedestrians aren't allowed ri cross at this point
Looking North I’d hoped to cross here to stay on the West side of Vandeventer — but pedestrians aren’t allowed ri cross at this point
So I crossed Vandeventer, them crossed Manchester. The sidewalk design makes it clear to not go East on Chouteau.
So I crossed Vandeventer, them crossed Manchester. The sidewalk design makes it clear to not go East on Chouteau.
QuikTrip thinks this is a compliant pedestrian route. It's not.
QuikTrip thinks this is a compliant pedestrian route. It’s not.
Heading North, but I see a problem ahead. Initially I thought no sidewalk existed after the building on the right
Heading North, but I see a problem ahead. Initially I thought no sidewalk existed after the building on the right
But the tiny sidewalk has been blocked by Laclede Cab. Looking at city records, the public right-of-way is as wide as it is ned to the building -- the sidewalk should be wider!
But the tiny sidewalk has been blocked by Laclede Cab. Looking at city records, the public right-of-way is as wide as it is ned to the building — the sidewalk should be wider!
Continuing, I'm almost to Market St. JJs Clubhouse, a gay bar, is to the right
Continuing, I’m almost to Market St. JJs Clubhouse, a gay bar, is to the right
Turning left, I can see my destination--almost there!
Turning left, I can see my destination–almost there!
Rough surface that would be a challenge for many
Rough surface that would be a challenge for many
When the side on the right is soon developed, this sidewalk will be redone. Still, this was great compared to what I had just experienced
When the side on the right is soon developed, this sidewalk will be redone. Still, this was great compared to what I had just experienced
But when IKEA was built one time section was left as gravel and my chair couldn't get up over the vertical edge -- not with me in it. Unlike many, I'm fortunate enough to be able to stand on level ground. So I got up and the chair could then get up to the sidewalk.
But when IKEA was built one time section was left as gravel and my chair couldn’t get up over the vertical edge — not with me in it. Unlike many, I’m fortunate enough to be able to stand on level ground. So I got up and the chair could then get up to the new sidewalk.
Looking back we can see the tiny section left unfinished and inaccessible for more than half a year .
Looking back we can see the tiny section left unfinished and inaccessible for more than half a year .
Finally, I can now cross to IKEA.
Finally, I can now cross to IKEA.

Combined with public transit, I can cover miles as a pedestrian in my wheelchair — though our public rights-of-way are far from ideal. Looking at Google Maps it suggests using Sarah to reach IKEA instead of Vandeventer — no matter where you start from: Commerce, QuikTrip, Laclede Cab, even JJs Clubhouse! Yes, if you’re at Vandeventer & Market where you can see IKEA it suggests you cross Vandeventer and go West on Clayton Road to Sarah.

This isn’t a lack of money issue — it’s a lack of concern issue. Money is spent building infrastructure that doesn’t work for actual users. This mentality needs to change!

Tomorrow’s post will be about my trip back downtown from IKEA.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

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