Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Traffic Study to Help in Decision on Pedestrian Mall

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Traffic Study to Help in Decision on Pedestrian Mall

Article excerpt

Clayton officials launched Wednesday a traffic study to determine how the city's central business district would be affected if two blocks of Carondelet Avenue were permanently closed to form a pedestrian mall for the St. Louis County government center.

City Manager Steven Hoffner said he expected results from the study within a month. Mayor Ben Uchitelle said the city would speed up consideration of the street closing to help county officials draft plans for a new county jail. The jail is expected to house its first prisoners in February 1997.

"It is a potentially exciting development. But we're going to have to take a hard look at some of the features, particularly at closing Carondelet," Uchitelle said Tuesday. He spoke after James Baker, county director of administration, presented the county's proposed master plan for the government complex to Clayton officials.

In addition to the 12-story jail at the southeast corner of Carondelet and Central avenues, the master plan envisions a citizens' service center to consolidate offices where residents would pay taxes, register to vote, get birth records, file lawsuits and buy licenses. The center would be built in front of the current entrance of the Courthouse along Carondelet, which would be closed from Meramec to Central avenues.

Baker said an indoor-outdoor restaurant might be built near the center.

The county also wants the city to close Carondelet from Central to Bemiston avenues to produce a tree-lined pedestrian mall.

Baker also suggested that the county and city acquire the property on the north side of Carondelet between Central and Bemiston and jointly develop it with business people.

The property initially would be used as a staging area and parking lot during the building of the jail. Having a staging area would save up to $700,000 in construction costs, Baker said.

Later, it would be the site of a private office building that would give the county government room to grow, if needed, Baker said. …

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