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Jefferson & Russell Intersection Improved, Far From Perfect

A year ago I posted about a need to improve the pedestrian experience at Jefferson & Russell (map), see Jefferson Avenue Needs A Road Diet, Corridor Study Part 1. It’s a small start, a few low-cost improvements until a new streetscape can be planned and funded. For those who cross...

Poll: Are Body Cameras For Local Police Worth The Expense?

Since the deadly police shooting of Michael Brown more than a month ago police departments here, and elsewhere, are now considering body cameras. For example: A panel of Minneapolis officials has approved a $170,000 pilot program to place body cameras on 36 police officers. A Minneapolis City Council committee authorized...

Weekend vignettes

Walking in a Hamtramck alley yesterday, we crossed paths with a woman carrying crutches but not using them. She asked, “Making pictures?” “Yes.” “Do you work for the historical society?” “Actually, yes.” _________ As we were leaving the historic Jewish cemetery we visited today, he pointed out the water pump. “Oh, you wash your hands […]

10 Observations From a City Dweller

10 quick thoughts from an STL lover/resident: If just 20% of the properties in my neighborhood changed hands from slumlord landlord to owners with dignity, 80% of our problems would subside. There is a common rule of thumb in business and statistics that says 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Show More Summary

Remembering Sculptor Carl Milles (1875-1955); 75th Anniversary of Aloe Plaza Next May

Aloe Plaza, across Market from Union Station, was many  years in the making. President of the Board of Aldermen (1916-1923) Louis P. Aloe had championed a 1923 bond issue that included razing buildings across from Union Station to create a more attractive way to welcome visitors arriving by train.  Aloe died...

The St. Louis County Municipal Court Racket

Since Michael Brown was shot & killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August 9th, the entire country has learned a dirty little secret: some of our municipalities make big money ticketing & arresting our residents, often minorities. Just as corporations that operate  for-profit prisons seek more prisoners, some of...

More Flordell Hills Police Means More Municipal Revenue

Flordel Hills is one of the many tiny municipalities in St. Louis County, it originated as a residential subdivision: Before Flordell Hills was built in 1939, the area consisted of St. Ann Dairy Farms with corn fields, orchards, chicken houses, barns and buildings for cattle scattered throughout. A creek running...

Upcoming 15th Ward Special Election In Three Weeks; Candidate Forum Monday September 29, 2014

The 15th ward seat on the Board of Aldermen became vacant in July when Jennifer Florida resigned to accept appointment as the Recorder of Deeds, which became vacant after Sharon Carpenter resigned to end investigation into charges of nepotism. Florida was reelected to the Board of Aldermen in the Spring of...

Light Pollution Negatively Impacts Citygarden at Night

Busy weekend, the post I’d planned for today will appear later this week. Today I thought I’d share a recent pic from Citygarden. The bright light on the right is the new Saint Louis University School of Law. I tend to take photos of Citygarden this direction, the other direction...

Poll: What Size Purchase Would You Use Cash Verses Plastic (Debit/Credit)?

There have been recent reports on the use of cash vs plastic, along with more data breaches at major retailers, and movement away from the magnetic credit card readers. This week I want to see at what point readers use cash or plastic for purchases. Provided answers include options for...

Land Hogs: Urban Highways

Urban interstate highways, especially their interchanges, a major land hogs. The other day on MetroLink heading to Lambert Airport the extent became very visible. One quarter of a square mile isn’t much, is it?  At current density levels this would be enough to house: 475 people (St. Louis County) 1,200...

Temporary Barriers Still Surround The Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse In Downtown St. Louis

Fourteen years ago today the new Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse opened in downtown St. Louis, a year later was the terrorist attack on U.S. soil.  The 9/11 attack meant immediate security changes around the year-old courthouse, these temporary fixes remain with us today. The big change involved Jersey barriers —...

Future Mainstream Automotive Tech, Poll Results

The first hybrid sold in America? If you said the Toyota Prius you’d be be wrong. Seven months before the Prius went on sale in the US, Honda introduced the 2-seat 3-door 3-cylinder Insight hybrid in December 1999. For perspective, in 1999 GM produced 457 of the second generation EV1s. In...

East-West Gateway’s ‘Great Streets’ Examined W. Florissant In Jennings, Ferguson, & Dellwood

A reader comment on West Florissant Ave Part 2: QuikTrip to Chambers Rd alerted me to the fact the Great Streets Initiative, through the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, had recently looked at West Florissant: Vision Statement: The Vision for West Florissant Avenue comes from community and stakeholder input received through multi-faceted...

Training St. Louis Youth

Getting a job isn’t easy, this is especially true for many from low income neighborhoods: Millions of young adults in this country are facing social and economic injustice. Despite talent and motivation, they lack access to higher education and careers that provide them with a living wage. At the same...

Poll: Thoughts On Flordell Hills Police, Pop 822, Starting Its Own Police Force On Oct 1st

Starting October 1st St. Louis County will have another police force: Flordell Hills has decided to form its own police department even though the city only has 822 residents. The city said the move has been in works for months. The department will feature six full time officers, and it...

Perfect Location For Centene’s New Ferguson Claims Center

Earlier this week one local company stepped up to invest in Ferguson: Centene Corp. has selected Ferguson, the site of unrest for more than three weeks following the police shooting of Michael Brown, as the location for a new claims processing facility, with plans to bring up to 200 jobs...

West Florissant Ave Part 2: QuikTrip to Chambers Rd

Yesterday I looked at the W. Florissant streetscape from the Ferguson Market to the QuikTrip, today I’ll continue northward making our way from Ferguson into Dellwood. b b b b b b b b

West Florissant Ave Part 1: Ferguson Market To QuikTrip

For 3+ weeks now I’ve been thinking about the physical environment of West Florissant from the burnt out QuikTrip location south to the elevated train tracks, just under half a mile. Let’s take a look: The area looks & feels tired. Ferguson, Jennings, Dellwood, St. Louis County, Emerson, etc. all...

Many Readers Correctly Guessed St. George, Lemay, Affton, & Spanish Lake Are Unincorporated Areas Within St. Louis County

Up to seventy readers last week correctly guessed the fours areas in St. Louis County that are unincorporated, not a separate village, town, or city: St. George, Lemay, Affton, and Spanish Lake. With 90 incorporated it’s hard to keep track of all the areas of the county. Here are the...

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