Is New St. Louis Rail Station an Eyesore?

Steve Patterson, the writer of Streetsblog Network member blog UrbanReviewSTL, has long been a fan of anti-sprawl guru James Howard Kunstler.
But Patterson takes issue with Kunstler in a post today about the new
St. Louis Amtrak station, a multimodal facility that also serves as a
bus depot and light rail link. Kunstler just named it as his "eyesore
of the month."

Patterson concedes that the station has
its issues, and no one would argue that it can hold an aesthetic candle
to the city’s magnificent Union Station, which is now a shopping mall with a hotel and restaurants. But he says Kunstler rushed to judgment without all the facts:

kunstlereotm.jpgSo because Union Station is no longer used for rail transit our new
station is a "piece-of-shit." The problem I have is not the criticism
of the new station — a few [points] are correct. The problem is relying on an
account/pictures from a visitor from Chicago. I’m often critical of
projects and places but I always visit in person to see for myself
rather than be potentially misled by a reader.

Had
Kunstler done his homework he would have known it has been more
than 30 years since the last train backed out of Union Station. From
1978–2008, St. Louis’ Amtrak station was in two different portable
buildings (#1 1978–2004, #2 2004–2008). It is not like we stopped
using Union Station one day and [opened] the new station the next.

Our Gateway Station combines Amtrak and Greyhound with our
MetroLink light rail and MetroBus. I’d say that is a good
combination. Utilizing the space under the highway makes sense and
bringing these services together in one spot can help visitors.

One
of the best things about the Streetsblog Network is that it brings
together on-the-ground observers in more than 40 states and several
nations. If you want to know what’s going on in St. Louis, you can find
someone in St. Louis. Or Reno. Or Savannah. Or Indianapolis. Or any of dozens of communities.

Just click on the map you’ll find here and start exploring for yourself.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Streetsblog Interview: Obamathon Man

|
Today we’re interviewing Drew Reed the writer/editor of the popular blog “Obamathon Man.”  Reed traveled across the country with his brother to see the inauguration of Barack Obama and stopped at several places along the way to blog about their transportation and what he saw.  A Long Beach resident, Reed has developed some strong opinions […]

All Aboard the Great Streetcar Debate

|
Streetcars provoke strong emotions in transpo geeks. A recent post on Human Transit called "Streetcars: An Inconvenient Truth" precipitated a very informed and sometimes heated thread of discussion on the relative virtues of light rail vs. bus rapid transit (a mode that got its moment in the limelight just this morning). Streetcars: Everybody’s got an […]

The Role Neighborhood Markets Can Play in Making Public Transportation Convenient: Lessons from London

|
David Murphy is President of Angelenos Against Gridlock (http://www.endinggridlock.org), which is working to support a fully built out rail transit system and safer bike infrastructure, and striving to help make transit and biking cool. Clickhere (http://www.endinggridlock.org/press) to read other recent columns by David, who also blogs athttp://endinggridlock.org and tweets at @EndingGridlock. On Wednesday night, I stopped in at the new […]

Commentary on Metro Plan to Lock Subway Gates This Year

|
(Dana Gabbard is a Board Member of the Southern California Transit Advocates and an occasional contributor to Streetsblog.  When he opines, he does so on behalf of himself as a long-standing transit watcher.  Gabbard has written about the fare gate issue several times since Metro first proposed putting up gates in 2008 after years of […]