Among the streetscape projects in St. Louis, the effort on South Grand may have the greatest potential to impact the pedestrian experience on an established commercial strip. Specifically, reducing traffic lanes and providing bumpouts at each pedestrian crossing would greatly enhance South Grand and tip the existing balance a bit more toward people and away from cars.
Having read through the CH2M Hill presentation, the 3-Lane Basic Enhancement is the best option. Reducing traffic lanes from four to three will do more to enhance the commercial strip than any other single change. Reducing lanes creates a more pedestrian friendly environment by slowing traffic and preventing cars from quickly swerving around slowed or stopped traffic waiting for a car to enter or exit a parking spot.
The slideshow presentation provides a matrix of the presented options. The 3-Lane Basic clearly does the most to improve the pedestrian experience. While the 4-Lane Plus builds a wider sidewalk, the trade-off of more difficult and dangerous street crossings is a big negative. The “Plus” in the design moves street trees into the parallel parking lane, thus providing more pedestrian space and less parking. While the concept is great, I don’t believe that this is necessary on South Grand.
To offer your input plan to attend the public meeting tonight beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Grand Oak Hill Community Corporation located at 4168 Juniata Street.