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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Blocking Streets in Gravois Park?

Alderman Craig Schmid of the 20th Ward sent the following e-mail to the Gravois Park listserv outlining proposed changes to the street grid in that area of the city. These changes are the tired and ineffective methods of blocking streets and turning others one-way. In Forest Park Southeast, barriers and one-way streets have created fertile pockets for criminal activity and abandonment -- check out the 4400 blocks of Swan, Norfolk and Vista to see what effect barriers have on a neighborhood. We're fighting to get ours removed!

Feel free to give Alderman Schmid your two cents. He's the only south side alderperson who seems to have genuine progressive inclinations, and usually is reasonable. He may be persuaded.

From: "craig schmid"
Subject: [gravoispark] Proposed barricades and one-way streets to keep non-resident criminals out of area.
Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 23:13:28 -0500

> Greetings:
> The police major for the South Patrol Division has compiled
> statistics to show that 2/3 of the folks arrested in our area come
> from outside of the neighborhoods. Therefore, he is committed to
> working with the City and neighborhoods to install barricades and
> one-way streets to deal with the easy accessibility of our
> neighborhoods to criminals. These are just proposals (which are in a
> number of wards), but the intent would be to try to put them in place
> by June. Let me know what you think.
> Texas south of Arsenal; Juniata east of Minnesota; Nebraska
> north of Juniata; Ohio south of Arsenal; Pennsylvania south of
> Wyoming; Winnebago west of Jefferson; California north of alley to the
> north of Chippewa; Osage west of Broadway; Ohio south of Gasconade;
> Compton between Osage and Gasconade [Marquette Park].
> Change 36xx Iowa to one-way north (was south); Meramec from
> Broadway to California one-way west; Osage from Virginia to Louisiana
> one-way west; Osage from Virginia to Compton one-way east; Miami from
> Arkansas to Grand one-way west; Osage from Tennessee to Louisiana
> one-way east (neighbor suggests one way west); Osage from Virginia to
> Louisiana one-way west (neighbor suggests one way east from Louisiana
> to Compton); Louisiana 34xx block one-way north (neighbor sugggests
> leaving two-way); 35xx Pennsylvania one-way north (was south); 36xx
> Iowa one-way north (was south); Jefferson one way east from Texas to
> Jefferson.
> Thanks.
> Craig


Steven Fitzpatrick Smith said...

Funny. I wrote a post on this situation in other parts of the city on my blog.

Michael Allen said...

I had read that post, actually. It's good that so many of us understand the problems inherent in blocking city streets. It's not so good that the city leaders continue to block streets even though the city is regaining its health and needs increased circulation to continue to grow.

craig schmid said...

I am not a fan of blocked streets either. I agree that, if they are not carefully considered along major thoroughfares to protect residential areas from the ravages of identifiable criminal access, they can be detimental. My purpose in e-mailing the neighborhood was to inform and to get feedback from neighbors. I have already talked with leaders on affected blocks.
In fact there are only two barrels proposed in Gravois Park, which has well over 100 blocks. And, most of the one way streets already exist in Gravois Park, but may be turned the other direction. A number of the one-way proposals have come from the residents.
My e-mail listed the entire South Patrol (including parts of the First and Third Police Districts) proposal for 3 neighborhoods: Benton Park West, Gravois Park and Dutchtown, and including three wards: 9, 20 and 15. Most of the blocked street proposals are in the 9th ward (and part of what I inherited from the former 9th ward in redistricting) which is up by Gravois.
I would encourage you to look at the locations (some of which I need to
modify, like the Jefferson one east from Jefferson to Texas is obviously
wrong. It should be Wyoming one way east from Texas to Jefferson. And, I
have received a request from a resident engineer near Gravois Park to work
for a
couple of one-way streets along Potomac between Louisiana and Tennessee and
between Louisiana and Compton, which were incorrectly noted as Osage rather
than Potomac).
Certainly, barricaded streets can create the debacle you cite. And not
every one way street is a good one. However, if barricades are limited and
primarily at major "highways" like Gravois, they can protect the residential
character of a neighborhood. They should never be used to buffer one part
of a neighborhood from another part. I think that is what has been the
problem in the past.
One-ways also need to be judiciously considered, based upon traffic
flow. In fact, if you consider the one-ways the only major changes are
Meramec (which I personally think will not happen), 26xx Wyoming, Miami
(requested by Ald. Florida for the new development that will occur there),
36xx block of Oregon (which I did not mention, but 37xx Oregon is already
one way, 35xx Oregon is naturally blocked by a 15 foot grade drop, 34xx
Oregon is already one way), 36xx Iowa is already one way the other
direction, 35xx Pennsylvania is already one way the other direction, and
each of the Osage and Potomac one ways have come at the request of active
neighbors, who have been contemplating petitions to make them one way,
because of the great, fast paced and dangerous traffic flow.
In the event we note we have made a mistake or they are no longer
needed, the barrels would be quite flexible and could be removed in a matter
of minutes.
Thanks for your thoughtful observations.

Michael Allen said...

Alderman Schmid,

Thanks for taking the time to expand upon your message here. Your explanation is very helpful. It seems as though the plan isn't as drastic as some had guessed. I still don't agree that blocking streets is helpful, but if you are willing to remove the barricades that create problems -- well, that's a bold promise from and alderman and one that I respect.

Anonymous said...

I am in favor of giving the barricades a try. I think some may ease the "running stop signs through the neighborhoods" problem, thus decreasing accidents. A concrete barricade appeared at Pestalozzi/California today. This is a dangerous intersection. Hopefully will help.
Darrell Carroll,D.C.

Anonymous said...

i wish st. louis had more one-way streets. it seems like they'd help cut down on hit-and-runs, which have been increasing lately.

these days people text while drunk driving. let's take away the one removable obstacle: oncoming traffic.