Monday, April 06, 2009

How About Some Zoloft for the Depressed Section?

There has been much discussion recently about what to do with the Arch grounds, or more specifically, how to better connect it with downtown.

The concept that seems to get the most attention is the idea of adding a "lid," covering three blocks of the depressed section of I-70 directly across from the Arch.

The lid idea, in my opinion, does not go nearly far enough. I think the depressed section could use some Zoloft.

The complete removal of I-70 through the heart of downtown would not only make the Arch grounds more accessible to visitors, it would also have a stimulative, transformative effect on the areas surrounding the Arch grounds. Laclede's Landing, in particular, would have a much stronger cnnection to the rest of downtown. As Michael Allen points out in his excellent commentary, it could also help spur development on the land that was slated for the Bottle District and free up additional land where the highway currently is.

It just makes sense.

STL Rising has a great take on this topic as well, as does Urban Workshop. And here is the Landmarks Association's official statement, which also advocates for the removal of I-70.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

There were a couple of schemes that addressed this issue during the Arch Grounds Charrette hosted by Washington University. Plans that utilized elimination of the freeway were much more successful in bridging the gap...because there was no gap. It seems like a really obvious choice to make from birds eye view.

Matt Kastner said...

I still just don't know about the feasibility of this. I love what the highway's removal would open up, but I still have my concerns about having no good interconnect between 70, 44 and 55 on the St. Louis side on the river. I'd be curious to see a map mock up of what the change would look like and what improvements we could make to an alternative North-South corridor.

Clean Water Now said...

Don't know about feasibility?
check out this:
http://www.cnu.org/node/609

Anonymous said...

The Saint Louis Marathon is next Sunday, April 19th. We've recently been going Downtown for a lot of events. It's a bit more interesting than Faust or Queenie Parks, and you're less likely to be in an isolated field with a crazy person!

Roosters is MUCH BETTER (food and ambience) than FIRST WATCH.

The new OPO Plaza is stunning, with a wonderful design. I look forward to seeing live bands, street performers and other activities there. I also hear there's an early morning Bootcamp there for young professionals who want to get up before dawn.

We put our house in Chesterfield on the market last week. We want to sell it just for at least what we owe on it. With the current mortgage rates (and many developers offering sweet move-in deals) we hope to buy a nice loft right Downtown, by Washington or Olive (or even on those main streets).

The other taboo subject, which is why this is an anonymous post, is that there's far more diversity Downtown: Black, Hispanic, Asian, White, East Indian, Bosnian, fresh of the boat Europeans (Italians, French, Canadians, Brits), and so much more. West county's demographic is rather racially biased and everyone knows it.

Although we're white, I don't want my kids growing up not knowing about 'the rest of the world'. I mean, this is Saint Louis, not Salt Lake City! We need to embrace other cultures, especially when they're represented by educated, sophisticated people). Just my 2 cents.