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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Parking at the Municipal Courts

A small nit that I will gladly pick: When will St. Louis city government finally forbid parking on the sidewalk of 14th Street alongside the Muncipal Courts Building? Now that the Muni Courts have been vacant for the last few years -- an embarrassing civic problem for another discussion -- there aren't even employees using that building. The people who park on that sidewalk must work at City Hall, or be visitors. Either way, they should not be allowed to park there.

A sidewalk is a space for pedestrians. That particular sidewalk is two blocks north of a major bus transfer point and a MetroLink Station. People use it to walk north to the Central Library, Washington Avenue or other bus lines. Those on foot can easily walk around the cars parked there, but those using a wheelchair are effectively blocked for using that section of sidewalk. How's that for inclusive city government?

Also, the image of cars parked on the sidewalk in front of a grand civic building certainly doesn't help to convince anyone that anyone at City Hall is serious about moving St. Louis up from the 52nd city rank. I've seen more decorum at out-state county courthouses.

5 comments:

Jon Galloway said...

In Columbia, Mo., I finally got the sheriff to call me beacuse deputies were parking on the sidewalk of the county courthouse. He said they should never do that. It is especially good he said that since all but one side of the Boone County Courthouse is surrounded by surface parking, on-street parking or parking garages. A little different in St. Louis, but they should still do the same thing.

Doug Duckworth said...

Please elaborate as to why the building is not being used?

Urban Review said...

Wow, I guess I never go down 14th during the day --- I'll have to check it out!

Doug, the building is empty now as the courts have moved into other buildings. The latest plan was to make the building into a hotel to help support a renovated Kiel Opera house.

Claire Nowak-Boyd said...

Glad you brought this up, M.

I had to walk by/around/through/etc this daily when I used to take the 'link to work at my old job at the Central Library. It was unpleasant, and made me feel like a dope--here I was, a City resident walking to my Downtown job, but apparently I was less entitled to my own City sidewalks (and safety--that's a busy street at times) than some official's car. Cos, you know, people using a sidewalk ALL DAY LONG is less important than one guy saving 45 seconds when he walks to his car. Yeesh.

Did I mention that this looks like crap next to our big hockey/convention center, which draws large nonCity crowds? "Welcome to the Downtown of our great City, not even respected by the people who work for it."

Tom Duda said...

The City really ought to consolidate its leased downtown office space (namely, the Community Development Agency at 1015 Locust) into City-owned space like the unused Municipal Courts Building.

I think the hotel plan is ghoulish. Like public sidewalks, our public buildings deserve protection from misguided privatization schemes.