MoDOT Presents Plan to Close 16 City Streets Along Gravois A

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
What a terrible plan but what would one expect from Modot.

http://nextstl.com/2015/04/modot-presen ... is-avenue/
The aldermen are planning a community input meeting on April 27 not sure were at yet. Modot said what they do would be based off community input. According to Megan Green and Christine Ingrassia
Comment from the City's Director of Sustainability towards the bottom of the comment section...
I was at the conference in the fall and this plan was presented. It's a tricky situation. The principles of urban planning rely on the idea of a street grid - Gravois does not follow that. As a result, closing some of the 5 or 6 way intersections to restore a more natural street grid makes sense to me. I do know that a road diet for Gravois (with bike lanes) is supposed to go into effect in 2016. I have presented my opinions about narrowing lanes, removing parking, adding bike lanes, a median, etc. and hopefully we will have another chance for input in that process. In the meantime, I think this is a good decision in preparation for that.

My goal here is to make my commute route (which I take daily via bike) safer for myself and others. I think closing some of the wonky diagonal streets, in conjunction with future bike lanes and slowed traffic, will do just that.

As always, I appreciate you bringing this proposal to the broader public. Thanks Alex!
What makes her think this will lower speeds?

How does Gravois not follow a street grid? Just because it's diagonal doesn't mean it's not woven in. Broadway in NYC has the same design and is t free flowing.
I think Nextstl post really needs to be read in conjunction with comments as well as maybe a follow up at some point by Alex. It seems that their is a lot going to happen with Gravois beyond some of these intersections. Which Alex did a big favor by getting this out and center.

My understanding from reading the comments is this only one part of the plan or that will also including repaving with lane reductions/road diet. A road diet and adding bike lanes will make a big difference. Trying to comprehend why Gravois needs three lanes in each direction anywhere along its route in the city. From the comments it appears that MoDOT understands that. In other words, seeing a maintenance job that acutally right sizes/reduces lane miles where it is not needed is going forward. Of course, taking one step forward, two steps back with intersections is tough to gauge without a complete picture of what is going to happen over the next several years.
A road diet with bike lanes would be great if it were done right. But it seems a very small percentage of bike lanes here are installed in any way that makes anyone want to ride in them.

Olive/Lindell by SLU has bike lanes and it's a horrible place for both bikes and pedestrians. I hope this road diet/bike lanes doesn't involve that type of treatment, placing cyclists in the death zone between being doored by parked cars one one side and being hit by 40mph traffic on the other side.
^ the newer ones on Arsenal and Tower Grove are better as they have a the bike lanes spaced a bit away from the parking zone to give some protection from being doored. A number of drivers don't seem to know what to make of them or just disregard the bike lane.
I think it is tough because so much is awareness (even for those who don't want bikes on streets its still better in my opinion that they are aware bikers are present) and you won't get people thinking about whose is present on the street until they see a lot more bikes on the roads. I see bikes all the time in Cali with lots of room and sometimes no room at all but when I was back in St. Louis last week their was very few bikes on the street that I can recall. Back to the chicken and egg, what comes first.

My impression with Gravios is that there so much pavement that would have some breathing room for parking and a bike lane once they get rid of the third driving lane. Would that be a fair statement?
Still can't understand why Gravois was ruled out for N-S MetroLink alignment. A streetcar would be transformative I think. The street is wide enough to accommodate it, the buildings, the under-utilized but dense streetscape would benefit greatly, and Gravois hits practically every major intersection and is in easy walking distance to most destination neighborhoods on the South Side.
stlgasm wrote:
Still can't understand why Gravois was ruled out for N-S MetroLink alignment. A streetcar would be transformative I think. The street is wide enough to accommodate it, the buildings, the under-utilized but dense streetscape would benefit greatly, and Gravois hits practically every major intersection and is in easy walking distance to most destination neighborhoods on the South Side.



Why not build N/S down Jefferson and have a line branch off west down Gravois?
Gravois has always been my preference for South Metrolink line for many of the reasons mentioned. It just makes too much sense!

The only reasons I have heard why it is not preferred is the tie in downtown at 14th, not Tucker and the demand that the line goes by/near Ameren.
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Ok, I'm all for adding the sensor systems to the lights on Gravois -- I hate driving it despite it being the most direct for me into DT.

That being said, this irritates me enough that it turns me off the whole thing:

What will not be done
Unfortunately, with limited funding, other projects that could improve the flow of vehicle (including transit and cyclist) and pedestrian traffic cannot be completed. The department would like to include bumpouts along Gravois, but does not have the funding to complete that work for the foreseeable future.


So there's enough money to rip up the streets, install new signals and sensors, close streets properly (no Schoemehl pots), AND redo sidewalks along intersections for ADA, but not enough to paint some lines on the road and add some permanent plastic lane dividers for bicyclists? Seriously? Did I miss something here?
80% of the funds for the projects were from a federal CMAQ Grant that MoDOT applied for and won through east west gateway, cmaq funds have certain requirements. Also I think this is MoDOT hinting to metro to pinch in if they want bus bump outs
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/cmaq/

Basically since air quality sucks in stl metro, the Feds make MoDOT set aside $50m a year to give to East West Gateway for a competitive process for projects that improve air quality in the 5 county stl region (city, st.louis co, Franklin, Jefferson, st.charles) ...trailnet, GRG, metro, cmt ,cities and counties and MoDOT can apply. Usually there is like $150m worth of projects going for $50m. EWG runs these thru a model that scores projects that improve air quality the most over current condition. Metro cleans up with bus replacement so much that EWG had to put in a cap to how many buses replacements they can apply for.


Trailnet got $400,000 few years ago for their Travel Green program.
^I'm actually going out on a limb here and gonna say that it's because MoDOT and the EWG aren't prioritizing bicycling, not that CMAQ grant money can't pay for bicycle improvements.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) receives occasional inquiries about whether CMAQ funds can be used for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

Nonmotorized Projects are eligible to receive CMAQ funds. Bicycle and pedestrian projects have been and continue to be eligible for CMAQ funding. As stated in 23 U.S.C. 217 (a), "Use Of STP And Congestion Mitigation Program Funds.--Subject to project approval by the Secretary, a State may obligate funds apportioned to it under sections 104(b)(2) [i.e., CMAQ] and 104(b)(3) [i.e., STP] of this title for construction of pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities and for carrying out nonconstruction projects related to safe bicycle use." In addition, according to FHWA's Final Program Guidance for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (October 2008), the following nonmotorized projects are examples of eligible CMAQ activities:

"Constructing bicycle and pedestrian facilities (paths, bike racks, support facilities, etc.) that are not exclusively recreational and reduce vehicle trips.


http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/guidance/cmaqfunds.cfm
It can be but that's not what was applied for. Application was for signal improvements. GRG or trailnet could have applied for additional projects
dbInSouthCity wrote:
It can be but that's not what was applied for. Application was for signal improvements. GRG or trailnet could have applied for additional projects


Which is what stlhistory said...
So, as I understand it, bicycle/pedestrian projects do not compete well in the East West Gateway CMAQ funding technical process because in many/most cases the proposer/proposal has a difficult time making a credible argument for a very large shift in transportation mode use which would yield significant reductions on carbon monoxide and or other air pollutants.
vollum wrote:
So, as I understand it, bicycle/pedestrian projects do not compete well in the East West Gateway CMAQ funding technical process because in many/most cases the proposer/proposal has a difficult time making a credible argument for a very large shift in transportation mode use which would yield significant reductions on carbon monoxide and or other air pollutants.

something like that...there is no baseline to show a bike lane will improve AQ. Its hard to prove that a bike lane will attract new riders that will leave cars..
and cant make an argument that AQ will improve if a cyclist has a bike lane vs no bike lane...

but CMAQ isnt the only thing that bike/ped projects can get funded...there is STP and Transportation Enchantments....GRG got $1.1M from STP for Phase 3 of the Bike STL plan, you'll hear about it tomorrow at the GRG Phase III launch.
^So we accept that induced demand exists when we built more roads for greater capacity, but we question whether more people would ride bicycles if there were more bicycle infrastructure? And on top of that, the bicycle infrastructure is cheaper both to build and maintain.

This is why I want MODOT to shrivel up and get out of the city street business with their "THINGS ARE SAFER FOR CARS ON HIGH SPEED ROADS" approach.
This is beyond MoDOT. This is how the EWG/Feds tool score cmaq projects
maybe interesting dynamic or maybe not but the MoDOT person in charge of city projects that will lead this meeting on Thursday will be working for the City Street Dept on Monday, and no longer at modot.