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St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study: First Round of Open House Meetings Scheduled March 28, April 2, and April 5

The following is a press release:


Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) announced the first round of public open houses focusing on a new St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study scheduled for March 28, April 2 and April 5. The study is another step toward fulfilling Metro’s long-term goal of offering efficient, competitive and attractive transit services to more residents and more places in the St. Louis region.

The study, led by the Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) and the Transportation Corridor Improvement Group, will identify two transit investment projects to move forward in pursuit of federal funding. It is anticipated at least one project will be implemented as a result of this effort.

The St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study is a direct result of Moving Transit Forward, the long-range transit plan that highlighted the potential of using the region’s existing network of highways and major streets to provide higher-speed, limited-stop transit services. The general transportation corridors identified by the public as significant opportunities for high-performance transit are Interstates 70, 44, 64, and 55, major streets near those highways, and Grand Boulevard in St. Louis.

“By improving the connections between people and jobs, education, and other opportunities, we can maximize the potential not only of our transportation network, but of our residents and businesses as well,” said Jessica Mefford-Miller, Metro Chief of Planning and System Development.

The study takes a data-driven approach to identify and evaluate potential projects. Final recommendations will be shaped by several objectives, including improved access to transportation that supports economic growth; expansion of access to opportunities; enhanced employer access to a broader and more diverse labor pool; reduction of traffic congestion and air pollution; and financial feasibility.

The partners leading the St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study will answer questions and encourage discussion at the three upcoming public meetings. The meetings will be conducted in open-house style, with the attendees invited to participate in interactive activities designed to gather community input on project goals and transit performance criteria. Residents will also learn about the range of possible options for expanding cost-effective rapid transit service in St. Louis.

The same information will be presented at each of the public open houses.

· Thursday, March 28 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. A formal presentation will be made at 5:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Located at the JC Penney Conference Center at the UMSL Campus. The meeting will be in the 1st Floor Lobby of the building located at 1 University Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63121.

· Tuesday, April 2 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. A formal presentation will be made at 5:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Located at the World Trade Center on the 10th Floor. The building is located at 121 S. Meramec Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105.

· Friday, April 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A formal presentation will be made at noon. Located at St. Louis City Hall on the 2nd Floor Hall and in the Kennedy Room. City Hall is located at 1200 Market Street St. Louis, MO 63103.

More information and futures updates on the St. Louis Rapid Connector Study can be found at www.movingtransitforward.org/stlrapidtransit.

About the Transportation Corridor Improvement Group

The St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study is being conducted by the Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) in partnership with the Transportation Corridor Improvement Group, a partnership between East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGCOG), St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis, and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).


Poll: Support 3/16th Cent Sales Tax For Arch Grounds & City/County Parks?

Concept drawing at Arch grounds
Concept drawing of changes at Arch grounds

In two weeks voters in St. Louis City & St. Louis County will be asked to approve a 3/16th of a cent sales tax. The ballot language reads:

For the purpose of increasing safety, security, and public accessibility for the Gateway Arch grounds and local, county, and regional parks and trails for families and disabled and elderly visitors, and for providing expanded activities and improvements of such areas, shall St. Louis County join such other of St. Charles County and the City of St. Louis to impose a three sixteenths (3/16) of one cent sales tax in addition to the existing one-tenth (1/10) of one cent sales tax applied to such purposes, with sixty percent of the revenues derived from the added tax allocated to the Metropolitan Park and Recreation District for Gateway Arch grounds and other regional park and trail improvements, and the remaining forty percent allocated to St. Louis County for local and county park improvements as authorized by the County Council of St. Louis County, with such tax not to include the sale of food and prescription drugs and to be subject to an independent annual public audit? (source

Originally the tax proposal was also supposed to be on the St. Charles County ballot but they didn’t add it. The measure must pass in both St. Louis County and St. Louis City to take affect. For more information on Prop P see yesonpropp.com.

For the poll this week I’d like to see how readers feel about this proposed tax increase. The poll, as always, is in the right sidebar.

— Steve Patterson


Tour Guide For New St. Louis Resident

March 16, 2013 Featured, STL Region 7 Comments

Having a boyfriend who is a new St. Louis resident means I get to play tour guide to introduce him to his new city. Before DFS moved in with me we had already seen quite  a bit with meals at some interesting places (The Tap RoomCrown Candy Kitchen, Plush, Ricardo’s,  Meskerem, The Royale, Pi Pizzeria, and Mojo). So he’d seen a variety of neighborhoods before moving here.

Since then we’ve continued exploring interesting places in St. Louis.

Union Station's Grand Hall
Not the best picture of Union Station’s Grand Hall
The Japanese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden
The Japanese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden
The Moto Museum
The MOTO Museum
Courtyard at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
Courtyard at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

In going from place to place I share tidbits of information on history. After we got off the #97 (Delmar) MetroBus at Grand, on the way to the Pulitzer, I talked about the Carter Carburetor Headquarters, now Grand Center Arts Academy.

Where else do you think I should take my boyfriend?

— Steve Patterson


Staying Informed And Engaged In 2013

Continuing the theme from Saturday (Political Engagement & Social Media) I want to talk more about engagement. Many people are working hard to make a difference in St. Louis, each doing their best. Some are involved in more than one effort.

Some seemed upset that last week’s City Affair panel discussion on political engagement wasn’t mentioned in the places they check, so they didn’t know about the event in advance. To help out here is how you can contact some local mainstream media:

This may come as a complete shock, but the people who work hard to put together events like City Affair, Pecha-Kucha STL, etc. don’t actually get to dictate what ends up on mainstream media. Media outlets have consultants, market research and assignment editors that decide what to tell you about.

Here at UrbanReviewSTL.com I’m the only one responsible for what is, and isn’t, presented here. I generally don’t blog about an event before it happens, I like to attend, take a pic or two, then maybe post something about it afterwards. That’s what I did on Saturday.  That said, I do share additional information via the UrbanReviewSTL Facebook page and Twitter account. When event organizers send me ads for upcoming events I run those for free. For example: Wall Ball 2013, an fundraiser for Saint Louis City Open Studio  and Gallery.

ABOVE: Top search results for City Affair Political Engagement with the Facebook event at the top of the list followed by nextSTL calendar , the City Affair Tumblr blog and a repost of my saturday post. Click image to view the nextSTL.com calendar.
ABOVE: Top search results for City Affair Political Engagement with the Facebook event at the top of the list followed by nextSTL calendar , the City Affair Tumblr blog and a repost of my saturday post. Click image to view the nextSTL.com calendar.

Not on Facebook or Twitter? Sorry, I can’t call or mail you a postcard to tell you about everything going on in the city you might find of interest. Those who spend hours putting together interesting events also don’t have the time to call you. Another way to stay informed is to stop into places where much activity originates, such as St. Louis Curio Shoppe and STL-Style, both on Cherokee St. RSS is the best way to stay current with many blogs/websites, see What is RSS? to help you get started.

The biggest problem with many of these events is you’d think by those attending the city was 98% white middle class. Last week I told a couple of other gay friends how well represented gay men were at the event, females comprised at least half the crowd, that’s good. But racial minorities were very few, not remotely close to our demographics, not good at all.

Not sure why these events are overwhelmingly white.  According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project blacks use Twitter at twice the rate of whites, hispanics have a slight lead over whites too:

Several demographic groups stand out as having high rates of Twitter usage relative to their peers:

  • African-Americans — Black internet users continue to use Twitter at high rates. More than one quarter of online African-Americans (28%) use Twitter, with 13% doing so on a typical day.
  • Young adults — One quarter (26%) of internet users ages 18-29 use Twitter, nearly double the rate for those ages 30-49. Among the youngest internet users (those ages 18-24), fully 31% are Twitter users.
  • Urban and suburban residents — Residents of urban and suburban areas are significantly more likely to use Twitter than their rural counterparts.

I suppose the fact the last tweet from the City Affair Twitter account (@CityAffair) was on October 7, 2011. Looks like they need to review this wikiHow on How to Link Tumblr to Twitter. But even once tweeting again I realize the composition of those in attendance isn’t going to change without more effort.

But it’s 2013, don’t check your postal mailbox for a newsletter.

— Steve Patterson


Poll: What Outcome Do You Want With The Rams And The Dome?

On Friday arbitrators ruled in favor of the St. Louis Rams — the CVC’s proposal was insificient to make the Edward Jones Dome a “top tier” facility. They didn’t create a new plan but favored a proposal put forth by the Rams last year:

ABOVE: Dome would be expanded across the existing Broadway and Baer Plaza
ABOVE: Rams proposed expanding the EJ Dome across the existing Broadway and Baer Plaza

If the CVC does not meet that plan, however, the Rams and CVC will go to a year-to-year agreement, but the team could still leave town after the 2014-15 season. (KSDK)

So now what? Many options still exist:

  • The CVC could try to get city/county/state funds to rebuild the dome per the Rams proposal, though highly unlikely
  • A new stadium could be built somewhere else in the region funded by taxpayers and/or the Rams
  • The Rams could pack up and leave the St. Louis region in two years.

The poll question this week wants to know what outcome you’d like to see happen. I personally want to see the Rams use their own money to build a facility in the region, the site of the former Chrysler plant in Fenton is often suggested.

Why? I don’t want the Rams to leave because I don’t want to hear the moaning about us not having an NFL team, heard enough of that in the early 1990s. But I also don’t want taxpayers to foot the bill for another facility, especially since the current facility hasn’t been used for even 20 years yet.

The poll is in the right sidebar.

— Steve Patterson