Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Along for the Ride: Restrooms on Wish Lists for Three MetroLink Stations

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Along for the Ride: Restrooms on Wish Lists for Three MetroLink Stations

Article excerpt

At the North Hanley MetroLink station, where about 1,400 people board each weekday, there's little protection from sun or wind for waiting passengers.

People unplug vending machines and use the outlets to charge their phones. Landscaping is overgrown. An empty pay phone booth and peeling paint signal a lack of care at the property.

There's no bathroom such a luxury is a rarity at any St. Louis-area transit station or a little cafe to buy a sandwich while waiting for the train or bus.

Such problems were cited over the last few months as Citizens for Modern Transit and the AARP in St. Louis led "walk audits" at three MetroLink stations North Hanley, Forest Park-DeBaliviere and Delmar to help determine what can be done to make them places where people want to go for more than just boarding and exiting transit, and to improve them for riders. The report detailing the findings was released Tuesday.

The purpose wasn't to advocate for policy or operation changes, such as police or security staffing matters on the trains and platforms. Some recommendations brought forth, such as better lighting and fencing off dark corners, could improve safety, as would more people around the stations.

"More eyes on the street helps make for a more secure, more vibrant, more enjoyable light-rail station and area," said Russ Volmert, director of planning at the design firm Arcturis that was a part of the study.

Suggestions from those who participated ranged from small fixes such as adding landscape planters, to bigger goals like attracting mixed-use development around the stations.

At the North Hanley station, recommendations included getting rid of obsolete pay phone stands and overgrown landscaping along North Hanley Road and installing solar-powered charging stations.

At the Forest Park station, people wanted numerous hidden spaces on the platform under the street fenced off, and better use made of the space along DeBaliviere Avenue by working with Forest Park to bring in performers or events. …

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