Bring the Loop Trolley Back to Enright: Leveraging Transit for Development

{a view of the Loop – Enright, Kingsland and Delmar, circa 1935}

The Loop Trolley loop around the Missouri History Museum is a straightforward answer to turning around the streetcars at that end of the line. The western terminus is a bit more challenging and is still being planned. Instead of a Trinity Avenue turnaround, a roundabout or spur, the Loop Trolley should return to its namesake and run on Enright Avenue. This alternative would encourage dense development of the surface parking lots behind the streetfront buildings on Delmar.

New storefronts could be built on existing buildings and structured parking could easily accommodate visitors. One criticism I've had of the Loop Trolley is the absence of opportunities for significant infill similar to what can been seen in Portland's Pearl District, 5-10 stories or higher. Enright may provide this opportunity. Putting the streetcar here could transform an alley and surface parking lot into a vibrant streetscape. Looking for a place to put a Trader Joe's or other mid-size retail? Options are limited in the Loop, especially west of Skinker Boulevard.

In general, I believe that Washington University would like to see the turnaround on Trinity as it would deliver students and others to the recently acquired music and performance center (the university's largest). The spur is the least expensive option as it requires less track. But an Enright alignment does something the others cannot.

{Trinity loop shown in orange, roundabout in light blue, Kingsland spur in green, Enright loop in pink and Delmar alignment in blue}

{details of Trinity loop and Kingsland spur options}