Thursday, September 10, 2009

City wants to super-size your block party

An article in the Beacon describes a plan to close long stretches of city boulevards for several hours at a time to create miles long play areas connecting multiple neighhborhoods. With our abundant street system, this idea sounds fun and feasible.

Closing long stretches of city streets has been done for parades. Market was closed during the Final Four a few years ago for the "March to the Arch". We participated with thousands of others, dribbling basketballs down a mile or so stretch of Market Street. We brought the dog and a group of our son's friends. It was fun.

The plan is being developed by the Mayor's office and Trailnet. It's an effort to get neighbors outside, away from the television, doing healthy activities with friends and families. Boulevards closed for the day might link with city parks, creating an open space and recreational network. Lindell has been mentioned as one of the possible streets.

Okay, so STL Rising doesn't like to complain, but it seems like some places get all the cool stuff. Lindell and the CWE is a great choice, but what about doing this in lesser known parts of the city?

Last weekend I attended the Gateway Cup bike race around Francis Park in St. Gabriel's parish in South St. Louis. A former U-City resident now Chesterfield resident, and lifelong St. Louis area resident in his sixties approached me. He said he had never seen Francis Park in his life. He was amazed at the neighborhood's beauty. I suspect he's never been to Natural Bridge and O'Fallon Park or South Grand and Carondelet Park either.

I hope if the city does move forward on its plan to close long stretches of major city boulevards, the lesser known parts of St. Louis get to participate. We have lots of streets to celebrate.

Broadway through Baden. Natural Bridge, Page and MLK on the north side. Hampton, Manchester, S. Grand and Jefferson on the South side.

Why hold back?


Anonymous said...

How would emergency vehicles get through?

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that the first comment is asking about emergency vehichle access. Street closings are not done on the "spur of the moment" - there is a planning stage and I am quite sure that access is considered. I am also quite sure that if an emergency vehicle needed to get through, that vehichle would make it through one way or another.

Anonymous said...

How will businesses be able to serve their customers or get deliveries if the street is closed?