At October 19 Open House, Community Members Can Learn About New Concepts for Improving How Visitors Get In, Out of & Around Forest Park
Forest Park Great Streets Study has identified a range of potential improvements to how visitors — particularly those on foot and bike — experience the Park
Katy Peace, Marketing & Digital Media Manager | email@example.com | 314.561.3290
St. Louis, MO, October 18, 2017 — East-West Gateway Council of Governments, the City of St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, and the nonprofit conservancy Forest Park Forever are hosting an Open House on Thursday, October 19, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center at 5595 Grand Drive in Forest Park.
At this drop-in Open House, community members will be able to view recommendations developed during the past year of study and discussion between specialists in urban planning, design and circulation, Forest Park stakeholders and community members. The recommended concepts seek to advance three key goals:
- Improve how pedestrians and cyclists can safely enter and exit the Park across all four major perimeter streets, as well as enjoyably circulate through the Park;
- Alleviate congestion at the Hampton entrance to the Park and improve circulation and parking in the area around the Saint Louis Zoo;
- Reimagine how a Forest Park circulator or shuttle can assist in moving visitors through the 1,300-acre park efficiently and sustainably.
Examples of specific concepts that are being considered include:
- Reducing traffic speeds on Park roadways, creating a safer environment;
- Improving pedestrian crossings across the streets on the Park’s periphery;
- Introducing a new Forest Park circulator that can shuttle visitors to key destinations;
- Utilizing the 750-space Festival & Parking Plaza above the Muny, which often sits empty on busy days, as a transit hub where drivers can park, then head out to other Park destinations via bike share or a shuttle;
- Reconfiguring the Tamm Avenue bridge, which runs north-south toward the Saint Louis Zoo, to provide wider and safer pedestrian and bicycle access;
- Reducing traffic speed, adding new cross walks and improving existing crosswalks along Skinker Boulevard to create a safer experience for pedestrians and cyclists;
- Reducing car lanes from four to two and adding a commuter-friendly, two-way bike way on one side along Lindell Boulevard;
- Leveraging information technology to update visitors in real time about ideal routes or parking availability;
- Making Steinberg Skating Rink, which is currently open only during skating season, a year-round destination with visitor amenities such as a beer garden, restaurant and warm-weather programming and recreation;
- Beginning a bike-share rental program.
These project and policy recommendations are at this stage only concepts. Some will advance to become more detailed and then get built, while others will not. Like all capital projects in Forest Park, any project originating from this Forest Park Great Streets Study would be taken through the deliberate nine-step process with the Forest Park Advisory Board, whose members are appointed by the Mayor of St. Louis and represent the broader community of Park users.
“We are pleased to be sharing the concepts of this study with the community,” said Greg Hayes, Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the City of St. Louis. “Finding smart ways for visitors to get in and around Forest Park more safely and enjoyably will be of great value to the community.”
“Forest Park is not just a major destination welcoming 13 million annual visitors from around the world, but it’s also a central part of the City and surrounding neighborhoods,” said Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever. “By focusing on improvements to safety, access and circulation, this study has provided compelling potential solutions to challenges we know Park visitors and institutions have.”
“The Forest Park Great Streets Study is all about improving the visitor experience in strategic ways,” said Paul Hubbman, Senior Planning Manager at the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, which is leading the project in collaboration with the City of St. Louis and Forest Park Forever. “We look forward to sharing these project concepts with the community at this week’s Open House.”
The lead consultant on the Forest Park Great Study is Design Workshop, a landscape architecture, planning and urban design agency that has completed projects in 30 countries over the past 45 years.
News about the Forest Park Great Streets study, including information about the October 19th Open House and concept renderings, can be found online at forestparkforever.org/greatstreets.
East-West Gateway Council of Governments fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. For more information, or to obtain a Title VI Nondiscrimination Complaint Form, see ewgateway.org/titlevi or call 314.421.4220 or 618.274.2750. To request an accommodation for this meeting / event please contact Staci Alvarez or Roz Rodgers at least 48 business hours prior to the meeting / event at 314.421.4220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Forest Park Forever
Founded in 1986, Forest Park Forever is a private nonprofit conservancy that works in partnership with the City of St. Louis and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry to restore, maintain and sustain Forest Park as one of America’s greatest urban public parks.
Along with the City of St. Louis, Forest Park Forever raised $100 million between 1995 and 2003 and dramatically restored many landmark destinations in Forest Park, including the Emerson Grand Basin, the Boathouse and the Jewel Box.
Today, Forest Park Forever maintains Forest Park with the City of St. Louis; raises funds for and helps manage capital restoration projects called for in the Forest Park Master Plan; delivers experiential educational opportunities to teachers, students and adults; and provides information and guides for the Park’s 13 million annual visitors. Not part of the Zoo-Museum Tax District, Forest Park Forever is supported by private donations from throughout the community, including its 7,000 members, 1,100 volunteers and many leading community and corporate partners.
About Forest Park
Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri, is considered one of the nation’s greatest urban public parks. The Park’s 1,300 acres feature beautiful landscapes sprinkled with forests, ecosystems, nature reserves, lakes and streams, as well as five of the region’s major cultural institutions and endless opportunities for recreation. Forest Park attracts 13 million visitors each year, making it the sixth most visited urban park in the United States. In 2016, Forest Park was voted the #1 City Park in the country by readers of USA Today.