One of the goals urban planners have to revitalize downtown areas is to get more people on the street - more pedestrian activity. St. Louis is often criticized for lacking pedestrian activity and having no street life. So I was trying to think where in our downtown are there throngs of people on the sidewalks, right alongside busy vehicular traffic? Anywhere?
Yes! Right outside new Busch Stadium!
At the same time downtown office buildings are emptying out and workers are headed to their cars, thousands of baseball game visitors are walking to Busch Stadium. The combination of these two events creates a heavy amount of pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the east and west sides of Busch Stadium.
It works. Before every ballgame there are street musicians, traffic cops on foot and in golf carts, lots and lots of people, sidewalk vendors, and happy people and urban vibrancy.
So then if we apply what we've learned with the new ballpark to the ongoing Arch design competition, why not repeat this success and create a new pedestrian friendly boulevard alongside the Arch grounds, one that reconnects St. Louis to the riverfront?
They say Missouri is the "Show Me State". At Busch Stadium we have proof that cars and people can mix, and create a vibrant street. Let's build on that success and extend an active downtown street grid to the riverfront!