A plan to connect Ballpark Village to Washington Avenue at the MX is advancing with plans being published on the City of St. Louis website. The goal: to improve the pedestrian experience along 7th Street and connect the anchors of Ballpark Village, Kiener Plaza, Olive Street, and the MX (Washington Avenue).
Plans have been drawn up by architecture firm HOK and were presented on November 12th. The plans show the introduction of a new cycle track on 7th Street as well as new street trees, ADA ramps, new pedestrian crosswalk striping, and a sidewalk concrete pattern. For the cycle track, or protected bike lanes, to take place, parallel parking on the West side of 7th Street will be removed. The plans do not call for reducing the driving lanes or re-introducing a two-way 7th Street from Walnut to Locust.
Additional features such as bike share, scooter docking, and bike parking zones are included in the plans throughout the roughly 6 block long focus area.
The improvements will also include additional "Light My STL" street lights, which are brighter LED lights with multi-color light strips. In the areas of Downtown where these have been implemented, there is a noticable difference in the brightness of the streets and sidewalks. The increased brightness helps with pedestrian visibility to drivers and helps make pedestrians feel safer when walking on the sidewalks or crossing the streets.
No cost has been linked to the plan at this point in time. According to a schedule, which is featured at the end of this post, if all goes according to plan, construction on these improvements will begin in the Fall or Winter of 2021.
The plan comes at a time when a new Downtown St. Louis master plan is being created and after a summer of lawlessness on the streets of Downtown. Speeding cars and daredevils used Downtown streets as a personal race track which resulted in damage to other cars, curbs, street lights, and even cost the life of a teenager. The Downtown master plan identifies development opportunities to help advance the growth of Downtown over the next several years.
Additional aerial views of the improvements and cross-section views are available in the gallery below.
The project schedule is below...