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Downtown Green Space I-70 Removal JNEM Planning Streets

The Greening of Memorial Drive

by Michael R. Allen

I count on my readers’ intake of other blogs on the same subjects that I cover, which is why I rarely link directly to the excellent posts made by other local urbanist bloggers.

Still, sometimes a post elsewhere is so intriguing that I just want everyone in the world to read it. Rick Bonasch’s post “Yin, Meet Yang” today on STL Rising is one of those. In June, Rick introduced a plan for reworking Memorial Drive that is daring, bold and intelligent — take out the depressed and raised sections of I-70 and Memorial Drive, and put in an at-grade parkway that is both friendly to pedestrians and inspiring to drivers who get a great view of the Gateway Arch. This idea trumps the “lid” plan that offers little change to the ugly mess of roadways that detract from the Arch grounds’ western edge and prevent real access between downtown and the grounds. The “lid” is showy but also expensive, ineffective and unsustainable. For less money we could have a real urban design solution; for more, we can have a band-aid that covers about ten percent of a big wound.

Today, Rick offers a new reason why the idea of reworking Memorial Drive is a good one — it can be very green.

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