Sunday, December 06, 2015

Vision Limited

STL Celebrates End of WWII on Washington Avenue
Kudos to Nick Pistor and the Post Dispatch for addressing the maintenance problems of the Washington Avenue streetscape in sunday's paper.  It highlighted the games that go on behind the scenes between the City and public utilities and how Washington Avenue's 'special' features are the victim.  To sum up; the agreement for a public utility to tear up the city streets is accompanied by an expectation to patch up the street, but not the extra effort and expense maintaining 'zipper and stitch' paving and 'runway lighting' down the middle of the street.  

What's particularly frustrating about the article is the reality that the city streets department was interviewed, Downtown Inc. CEO was interviewed, and the Neighborhood Association was interviewed.  The impression that the city leadership isn't concerned that the massive investment in Washington Avenue was evident, possibly due to the writer, and maybe its just the way it is.  No inclusion of comments from one of the many alderman for the downtown area or the mayors office was used.  Reading between the lines, this could be one of the many problems with downtown's lack of an exclusively committed alderman.  With downtown split between multiple alderman, the area just isn't important enough to any one of them to fight for what is necesary to keep things looking good.  

The article also addresses the lack of vision in the planning.    Not having funds set aside for maintenance is a common theme.   Its common knowledge that its easier to get millions for a new road or bridge than getting smaller amounts for maintenance and repair of what's already in use.

Hopefully this conversation keeps going.  

The last thing we need is a light shined on a problem downtown but no further action.  Between the neighborhood and Downntown STL, Inc., STL City leaders need to know that this issue isn't going away.   

Monday, September 21, 2015

Potential Downtown Neighbor

Not that this is a brand new video, but I find it more exciting than most of the other press coverage about building a stadium.  

Last year, downtown lost a prospective buyer because our city had failed to capitalize upon our position on the Mississippi.  They were shocked that this resource didn't have more public use space.  This plan to build a stadium has too many factors to mention, but seeing it materialize with the support it has garnered this summer is inspiring, and considering its place just north of the newly redesigned archgrounds is especially appealing.

The Harvard study is a good plug for the overall investment OPPORTUNITY, but in my mind, only if every phase of the project is well thought out and other positive changes (ie City to River) materialize.