St. Louis Joins the Open Streets Movement May 1st (Can I Get a Weather Report for Hell?)

Maybe the headline's a bit much. Saint Louis is not an exceptionally conservative city. We haven't always gotten it right, but the home of Saarinen's Arch, City Museum, City Garden and a quality transit system can't be said to be languishing. That said, when I first heard that Mayor Slay was considering and "open streets" event I was skeptical that it would come to fruition. But here we go, May 1st will be the first day of "Open Streets 2010".

I have to say that the route is fantastic. The route starts at Kingshighway and Lindell, making its way through Forest Park and exiting on Clayton Avenue, then right on Newstead and into The Grove, Left on Manchester, Left on Sarah, Right onto Lindell, Left onto Grand, Right onto Olive and then a short jog onto Locust all the way to 4th Street. (Of course you can't take Locust all the way to the Arch grounds because it is cut off by Mansion House development that was allowed to remove Locust because an Interstate highway was on the other side and who would want to drive or walk straight up to an Interstate highway? See City to River if you're unfamiliar with the rant.)
St. Louis Open Streets 2010_reroute
Original route PDF

 The original route didn't enter Forest Park, or The Grove. Apparently, the Archdiocese of St. Louis indicated that they would rather not have Lindell blocked to car traffic May 1. With the second and third events occurring on Sundays, I doubt Lindell in the Central West End near the Cathedral will be part of the event. The event appears to be a work in progress as the Sunday, June 13 event coincides with The Tour de Grove professional cycling race. That event will use some of the same streets so something will need to be worked out.

I hope that the Mayor's office is committed to the effort as I'd love to see the event be a fixture in St. Louis. It may take some time to catch on and it would be great to find a good route to settle on. Is the planned route the best? What about from Forest Park to the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Tower Grove Park, Morganford and South Grand? Or Forest Park up Forsyth to Jackson to Delmar to Skinker? Now that would be some serious City-County cooperation.

{Sunday Streets event in San Francisco – photo courtesy of Common Current}