Just How Much Parking Does Grand Center Need?

The St. Louis Beacon recently put together a dazzling info-graphic depicting parking in Grand Center. Seriously, it's really good. The graphic shows the location and number of all parking in the area in a very clear way. In fact it's so good that it obfuscates the question that should be asked: How much parking does Grand Center need?  Is 4,200 parking spots a ridiculous amount for half a dozen performance venues, just two of which account for 7,000+ seats?

There are a dozen restaurants and twice that number of art studios, three significant museums and other attractions. Saint Louis University is near enough to walk to and from, but students do not comprise a large percentage of neighborhood patrons. The Grand MetroLink station is too far away to be used by many. The Beacon story focuses on new businesses in Grand Center, but doesn't connect the two issues of growth and parking. It would interesting to consider which came first, growth or parking.

Of course looking at the info-graphic immediately tells us the large number (and size) of existing surface parking lots creates a fractured neighborhood, one that's not very attractive in many spots and limits street front retail and restaurant opportunities. But shouldn't the drive be for more structured parking and infill and not less parking? OK, now enjoy the mighty info-graphic!