Thursday, January 27, 2011

Staggered Lanes for the Home of Stagger Lee?

When Stack O' Lee shot Billy near the St. Louis riverfront about a hundred years ago, a St. Louis legend was born that lives to this day in rock and blues clubs around the world.

Will the home of Stack Lee soon be home to staggered lanes in place of Memorial Drive, plus a widened depressed section with two new highway on and off ramps between the Arch grounds and downtown?

It's a little hard to tell based on the renderings, but, according to UrbanSTL, the plan to improve the Arch grounds includes a widening of the depressed section to build two new highway ramps.

Overall, the proposed plans are exciting, especially the work proposed around the Old Court House, the north end of the Arch grounds, the remake of Kiener Plaza, and the ecological improvements to the ponds on the grounds.

More info is needed to understand traffic flow and lane changes. Diverting vehicular traffic from the Old Court House area could be a very good thing.


Mark Groth said...

I liked the narrowing of the streets concept for Market and Chestnutt.

Rick Bonasch said...

I agree Mark. I also like the "cone of vision" effect looking out from the Old Court House to the Arch grounds.

Scott Pluff said...

The lid over I-70 will be the most expensive band-aid the world has ever seen. When the new bridge is built, they should tear out I-70 and replace it with an at-grade boulevard, like Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. I-70 is an ugly divider of downtown from the river.

Unfortunately, the 2015 deadline makes this impossible, and after they build that lid who would want to tear it out a couple years later to remove I-70? This project is a victim of bad timing and poor planning.

GMichaud said...

I must agree with the above post. Poor planning is the central problem, even with this new planning proposal.
There is no unity of purpose, it is all piecemeal. St. Louis received a sustainable planning grant. All it does is point to a planning process that is currently not sustainable, flexible and able to respond to relevant needs.
Little things like planning for a city that can function with shortages of oil and gasoline, global warming, wars over oil, you know the small stuff.
There is a leadership vacuum in this town. In their defense, the leadership failure runs all the way to Washington DC.
I guess we have to wait for a total collapse and everyone will say "who would have guessed?" And naturally the major media will defend the idiotic behavior of St. Louis and American leadership to the end.
As the events in Egypt and Tunisia have shown, outcomes for failures or not perpetually controllable.

GMichaud said...

To clarify, St.Louis(and America) is at a crossroads. Changing Memorial Drive, eliminating the highway along the Arch grounds etc are all worthy of discussion. The problem is they do not fit into a larger plan for transport, for energy independence and for serving the public.
One example, the Arch grounds should have a major, very visible transit station for both tourists and residents, nothing of the kind is proposed.
Instead, the same piecemeal approach that created the mess surrounding the Arch grounds continues. Perhaps improved over current conditions, but in no way recognizing the challenges we face in the future.
Even without energy concerns, the need for a viable, connected city should be paramount.

Kitchen Benchtops said...

Architecture firm HOK offered a pro-bono plan to redesign Kiener Plaza.