Monday, June 22, 2009

Add some shrubbery?

Nearly every work day my entrance into downtown St. Louis is on Memorial Drive above the depressed lanes, in front of the Arch grounds.

It's a very routine trip. Almost all the cars do the same thing, day in and day out. They merge to the left, then turn left onto Market or Pine. It would be the perfect situation for the magnetized, computer-operated cars of the future.

The pattern is constant. As is the landscape: hard concrete, metal rails, chipped and worn curbs and faded paint. It's a dreary vision as you enter downtown.

The area is devoid of living color or life in general. The occasional jogger or dog walker looks out of place. Even if we never see a new Memorial Drive or removal of the depressed lanes, what a difference it would make for there to be vegetation in the area.

Granted, there's no place now to plant anything. But picture the area with trees, flowers, sprinklers, fresh pavement, attractive signage, and an overall landscape plan that remade the area into an inviting place.

Maybe that's something we could do with a manageable cost and immediate benefits.

6 comments:

Michael R. Allen said...

Even if the city would just build screens and planter boxes to block views into the depressed lanes, the area would become much more attractive.

Brian said...

That's funny, Rick - that same thought occurred to me this morning. The Gateway Tower (KMOV) and Milennium Hotel are the worst culprits.

I think the Gateway Tower's blank wall would be the perfect spot for a mural, along with some landscaping.

Alex Ihnen said...

I think you've hit on something. Instead of awaiting a big cure, we can make what we have a whole let better. That's the point that I was trying to make in this post:

Forget the I-70 Lid, Keep the Interstate And Make the Arch Grounds Connection Better - http://stlurbanworkshop.blogspot.com/2009/06/forget-i-70-lid-keep-interstate-and.html

Judging by the comments that post received I'd say most people are still hoping for the big solution.

Michael R. Allen said...

We can plot a big cure that takes a lot of time and money, while simultaneously working on less costly short-term improvements. Until we can make a big change to Memorial Drive and I-70, I'd rather see money spent on trees and flowers than a lid or lane reconfigurations.

It's not either the current conditions or the freeway removal. The problems now stem from general ugliness that can be mitigated without removing any roads or lanes.

victor said...

I think you've hit on something.
thanks
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