Regional Leaders Present New Forest Park Great Streets Study to the Community
The long-range study incorporates insights from transportation and urban planning professionals, Forest Park stakeholders and the broader community to recommend ways to improve safety, access and circulation in and around Forest Park
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St. Louis, MO, April 26, 2018 — On the evening of Thursday, April 26, 2018, the Forest Park Great Streets project team led a public event to present a collection of project concepts and operational recommendations developed with input from focus groups and the community. This open public meeting took place in the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center in Forest Park.
Since early 2017, East-West Gateway Council of Governments, in partnership with the City of St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry and the nonprofit conservancy Forest Park Forever, has been managing this Forest Park Great Streets Study initiative. This study was organized under the guidelines of the Council’s Great Streets Initiative to develop a multi-modal access and circulation strategy that increases the safety, convenience and accessibility to and within Forest Park, resulting in an improved visitor experience.
The five key goals this long-range planning study seeks to advance are:
- Improve how pedestrians and cyclists can safely enter and exit the Park across all four major perimeter streets, as well as enjoyably and safely circulate through the Park
- Alleviate congestion at the Hampton Ave. entrance to the Park and improve circulation and parking access and information throughout the Park
- Reimagine how a Forest Park circulator or shuttle can assist in moving visitors through the 1,300-acre park efficiently and sustainably
- Improve connections and transitions between different modes of travel within the Park
- Improve the total Park experience by expanding uses for select Park structures
The full report, which will be available online at forestparkforever.org/greatstreets, includes many specific concepts and targeted areas for improvements. These range from site-specific projects — such as making the Festival & Parking Plaza above the Muny a convenient transit hub to alleviate parking congestion around the Zoo and Art Museum — to enhancing crosswalks and leveraging technology to improve how information about parking options or path etiquette is made available to visitors.
“The Forest Park Great Streets Study aims to improve 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 are grateful for the significant community input we received during the past year and look forward to sharing the recommendations with the public.”
“With more than 13 million visitors each year, Forest Park is the most visited attraction in the region as well as a local park for many St. Louisans who live or work nearby,” said Greg Hayes, Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the City of St. Louis. “This study identifies many compelling long-term and shorter-term ways that could improve how millions of us share this vast urban space all year long.”
“We know that getting in and around Forest Park safely and enjoyably is an important part of the overall visitor experience,” said Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever. “This long-range study positions us well in the coming decade to be able to make specific improvements around visitor access and circulation. While we recognize many visitors will continue to come in and out of the Park by car, we are especially excited about solutions in this study that improve how the Park can be experienced by pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders.”
The lead consultant on the Forest Park Great Streets Study has been Design Workshop, a landscape architecture, planning and urban design agency that has completed projects in 30 countries over the past 45 years.
Some of the recommendations in this planning document may be implemented after further detailed study, while others may not. Like all other capital projects in Forest Park, any decision to undertake a project originating from this Great Streets Study will be subject to a review process with the Forest Park Advisory Board.
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 7,500 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.