Monday, July 18, 2011

500,000,000 by 2050

The US needs goals. We need to aim high.

The country is in the middle of a struggling economic recovery, facing massive federal deficits and a mushroomed national debt.

All of this happening as our last generational population boom, the baby boom, gets ready to retire. What to do?

Let's grow our country. Let's grow it by leaps and bounds. Let's set a goal of reaching a population of 500,000,000 by the year 2050.

A couple hundred thousand of those folks could easily fit inside the boundary of the city of St. Louis, and a million or three could join us here in the state of Missouri.

Monday, July 11, 2011

PD: Stastny suggests reducing traffic lanes on N. Grand

The Post Dispatch reported over the weekend that planner Don Stastny is suggesting reducing traffic lanes in front of the Fox Theater and Powell Hall from five to three.

The three lane configuration sounds like a possible one lane in each direction, plus a two-way center turn lane. The intent of eliminating traffic lanes is to make the area more pedestrian friendly, encourage outdoor activities such as sidewalk dining, and overall improve the quality of life.

Road diets are being employed more and more across St. Louis:

City to River proposed a major road diet between the riverfront and downtown.

9th Street in front of the Culinaria has gone from three lanes to one.

Statsny is suggesting reducing North Grand from five to three lanes.

Manchester through the Grove is undergoing a road diet.

South Grand from Arsenal to Utah has gone from four lanes to three (or is it two?).

With the overabundance of road capacity on St. Louis city streets, what other roads would you like to see restriped with fewer traffic lanes?

A few worth considering:

S. Broadway
Natural Bridge
North and West Florissant
Grand north of Grand Center and south of Gravois

A common compaint about St. Louis is that our neighborhoods are beautiful but they are weak on the edges.

Road diets on major streets would be a low cost way to soften the edges of St. Louis neighborhoods.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Culinaria puts downtown on a diet

Workers are out today painting angled parking spaces in front of the downtown Culinaria. The new parking arrangement narrows the space for traffic lanes on 8th street and increases the number of on street parking spaces in front of the store.

The new parking spaces are short term, free, and limited to fifteen minutes. The new parking increases convenience for Culinaria customers while calming traffic on 9th Street. (corrected thanks to a reader comment.)

Restriping traffic lanes and parking configurations is an inexpensive, fast, and effective strategy to make real improvement to the quality of life in neighborhoods. With the abundance of excess capacity on St. Louis city streets, there are many more opportunities for such retrofits.

More of these please!