Thursday, December 16, 2010

Most Dangerous (Sidewalk) City

STL Rising is no fan of "most dangerous city" lists, especially the bogus CQ Press rankings. Yet on this icy morning, we do want to call attention to a list of dangerous sidewalks in downtown St. Louis.

For the past 12 hours or so, light freezing rain has been falling in St. Louis. When it comes to *light* *freezing* *rain*, freezing is the operative word. It only takes a paper thin layer of ice to cause problems. And that's what we have this morning on some sections of downtown's sidewalks - primarily in front of vacant buildings.

Sidewalks in front of rehabbed, occupied and loved buildings of downtown are generally fine. There's plenty of ice melt in front of places like the Old Post Office, Culinaria, and the Railway Exchange Building. But in front of the vacant and disposessed buildings, not so much. So be careful when walking past some buildings, including the Arcade and the Chemical. The sidewalks in front of these two buildings have not been treated and they're dangerous. I almost busted my head slipping on the sidewalk in front the Arcade.

The sidewalk in front of the Paul Brown, loved and occupied is fine. But as soon as you pass the gangway from the Paul Brown to the Arcade, watch out. This warning would be of no use to out of towners. Even if they read the blog, they would likely have no idea the names of places like the Chemical Building and the Arcade.

Since these buildings are very likely delinquent in their CID fees, I wonder if they are not being serviced in the same fashion as other downtown properties? Or maybe the CID does not provide for ice and snow melting/shoveling. Maybe we should organize a collection to ensure snow shoveling and ice melt in front of the few remaining empty buildings in downtown STL?


Anonymous said...

As I recall, property owners are responsible for snow and ice removal. The city is lax if they aren't enforcing this.

If you take up a collection, how many more places will quit shoveling to get the freebie service?

Rick Bonasch said...

Any collection would only go to help defray costs of snow and ice removal in front of abandoned buildings.

Anonymous said...

Why should absentee owners be able to get free services while tax paying businesses have to pay?

I can't imagine any municipal snow removal anyway-arent' property owners supposed to do their own?

Rick Bonasch said...


I understand your point, but you're missing mine.

This isn't about whose responsibility it is for snow and ice removal.

It's about providing for public safety in the heart of your central business district.

If no one is removing ice and snow, then maybe someone ought to be closing the sidewalk so no one walks on the ice.

Either way, having ice covered sidewalks open to foot traffic in the heart of downtown STL should not be acceptable.

Anonymous said...

You speak of several "ought to" and "shoulds" and "should nots." I'm becoming convinced. Where is the agency I need to donate to?