Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lid Study Officially Underway

Today at 3:00 pm, MoDOT will hold a public hearing regarding the proposed lid over the depressed lanes in downtown St. Louis, now referred to as the "Park over the the Highway". Here is the official MoDOT announcment:

MoDOT St. Louis District Press Releases Page

Prepared by Andrew Gates 314/453-1808

April 02, 2012

MoDOT to hold public meeting on Park over the Highway alternatives

ST. LOUIS - The Missouri Department of Transportation will hold an open-house style public meeting to allow the public to discuss MoDOT's portion of the CityArchRiver 2015 project.

The public meeting is scheduled April 10, between 3 and 5 p.m. in the St. Louis City Hall Board of Aldermen boardroom (on the second floor), 1200 Market Street, St. Louis, Missouri, 63103.

During the meeting, MoDOT engineers will be on hand to discuss several proposed alternatives for the Park over the Highway portion of the CAR2015 project, to include what the department believes is the preferred alternative. Engineers will also be able to discuss potential impacts of each alternative.

This meeting will allow the public to provide input, and comments, either directly to the engineers or in written comments, on the alternatives presented. This meeting is part of the process to complete necessary Federal requirements for the project.

Since there are no formal presentations during the public meeting, participants may attend at any time during the open house.

The purpose of today's meeting is to fulfill MoDOT's legal obligation to seek public comment on plans to spend tens of millions of public dollars.

The public has already weighed in on this issue, during years of meetings on the remaking of the Arch grounds. Based on NPS published comments, the public overwhelmingly favors planning for highway removal.

However, those comments were deemed "out of scope" by the National Park Service, as MoDOT has jurisdiction over the highway portion of the City+Arch+River 2015 project.

This morning on KMOX radio, news anchor Doug McElvin played an interview of MoDOT district engineer Ed Hassinger announcing today's meeting, where Hassinger stated that the Lid over the highway plan is pretty much "set in stone".

With the Lid plan apparently already decided, is it still important for the public to weigh in with its comments about the Lid?

Either way, if you do decide to go, you will get to see one of the most awesome meeting rooms at St. Louis City Hall!


GMichaud said...

I missed the meeting, how did it go. MoDot is famous for conducting meaningless public hearings. They conduct them and then they say "see, the public had a voice" even though they already have made all of their decisions.
Personally I would rather spend the money on what can be accomplished towards the goal of removing the highway altogether.
I had high hopes for actually making the Arch grounds a viable part of the city, but it looks like another case of the government saying we will do what we want no matter what the needs of the public really are.
Personally I think we are down to ineffective eye candy. And that is what will be built.

GMichaud said...

I want to make it clear I hope I am wrong, but I think not. The results for such a significant part of St. Louis should entail debate about the city planning of the surrounding downtown, if not the whole city.
That has not happened.
There is a whole element of transit that is not being addressed properly. This despite the fact MoDot is involved. In other words it should be the Missouri Department of Highways as it once was, it is not a Department of Transit by any means. The solutions I have seen in my life time have not involved comprehensive and creative strategies.
Until transit is treated equally with automobile traffic I don't see how the problem of connecting the Arch grounds to the city will be solved.
By the way what's up with the Church not wanting a Plaza around the Old Cathedral?

Anonymous said...

Given the purpose of the "lid" and the meaning of the "T" in MODOT, I'd say MODOT's influence over the lid is "out of scope."