And Then Some: nextSTL News Roundup

There’s a lot more happening in the St. Louis region than we’re able to cover at nextSTL. While we try to hit the big stories, provide context to the news, and insight about trends and policy, a lot of important developments and updates are missed. So here’s a little more of what’s happening in St. Louis. We’ll call it, “And Then Some”. If you want to play-by-play of happenings and opinions, be sure to follow nextSTL on Twitter and Facebook.

Kiener Plaza proposal - CityArchRiver{the plan for a reimagined Kiener Plaza (more images)}

Ferguson Commission: Meet The Members – St. Louis Public Radio
As the region awaits an announcement regarding whether a grand jury will indict the Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown: “Three hundred people answered Gov. Jay Nixon’s call to apply for the Ferguson Commission. Of those applicants and others, the governor selected 16 and announced their names on Tuesday. The group includes teachers, attorneys, community organizers, law enforcement officials and protesters from across the region. It has nine blacks and seven whites; six women and 10 men.

The governor has asked the commission to make recommendations on a number of issues, including police and community interaction and relations; racial and ethnic relations; disparities in education, economic opportunity, and housing; among other things. The deadline for the final report is Sept. 15, 2015.”

St. Louis Public Radio - STL County Executive results 2014North St. Louis County Carried Stenger Across The Finish Line – St. Louis Public Radio
In August, Steve Stenger trounced incumbent St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley in the Democratic primary largely on the strength of the South County vote. Stenger is white, as are the majority of the South County voters. Dooley, an African-American, garnered a large majority of the majority African-American North County vote. In the general election, it was North County that delivered a victory for Stenger over Republican Rick Stream, who is also white. Stenger’s support for St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch prior to the events in Ferguson led many in North County to endorse Stream, resulting in a very close result in the majority Democratic county.

Kiener Plaza Redesign Public Input – CityArchRiver
This week CityArchRiver asked the public for input on the overhaul of Kiener Plaza (which looks nice). Unfortunately, asking for public input on a fully baked design falls well short of real, and needed, public engagement. CityArchRiver quietly revealed in September that completion of its $380M Arch project would be further delayed beyond the initial October 2015 date, with work continuing through at least 2017 (construction schedule). The latest schedule showing the delay was sent to St. Louis news organizations (not this one), but reported by no one.

One element already completed should be removed and redesigned. The pedestrian cages over the I-44 depressed lanes at Walnut and Pine Streets are a crime against the Arch (and Old Cathedral, as commented below). The MoDOT do-the-minimum crossings on the New I-64 project are substantially better. Ironically, the galvanized metal cages completely block the view of the Arch itself, while affording a clear look at the Interstate below. This level of design shouldn’t be allowed:

CityArchRiver project - St. Louis, MO

Three part Indiana toll road story and privately financed highways – Streetsblog
Angie Schmitt and Payton Chung pull together the incredible story of the I-80 toll road in Indiana, and the world of privately financed highways. Eight years after negotiating a 75-year lease of the Indiana Toll Road for $3.8B, the operator has filed for bankruptcy. The core of the problem: completely absurd traffic projections. It was predicted that traffic volumes on the Indiana Toll Road would increase 22% over the first seven years. In reality, traffic volumes shrank 11 percent in the first eight. This was more than just a misjudgment. There’s something much worse at work here. Read the series: The Indiana Toll Road and the Dark Side of Privately Financed Highways, How Macquarie Makes Money By Losing Money on Toll Roads, The Great Traffic Projection Swindle.

 

This week on nextSTL

Opus Mid-Rise on Lindell Takes a Step Forward (4643 Lindell)

Demolition Sought for Missouri Belting Company Building at Pevely Site

UIC Set to Break Ground on Contemporary Homes in The Grove

Master Planned Salvation Army Project in Midtown Progressing? (2900 Washington)