Community input is essential to making sure the Tower Grove Connector best serves the people of the City and region. At different stages of the project, there will be informal and formal opportunities to participate and provide input. Join our mailing list to be the first to learn about public meetings, opportunities to share your feedback, and the latest project updates.
In ways large and small, community input has already helped shape the project.
Here are two examples of how public input has improved the design of this project:
1) changes along Vandeventer Avenue.
2) updated locations for mid-block crosswalks along Tower Grove Avenue.
1) Vandeventer Avenue
One of the major updates to come from community input is a change to the layout of the travel lanes on Vandeventer Avenue. These design updates include:
- maintaining parking on both sides of the street
- creating space for new trees and landscaping
- adding a larger buffer to separate cars from people
- establishing a center turn lane for vehicles to reduce congestion and improve safety
Together with traffic signal improvements, these changes are projected to reduce vehicle delays, support businesses and improve the walking and biking experience along this stretch of Vandeventer.
2) Mid-block crossings on Tower Grove Avenue
Based on feedback from the community, the design team has added the following three locations for mid-block raised crosswalks along Tower Grove Ave. between Magnolia Blvd. and Shaw Blvd.
These locations are at Flora Place, Cleveland Avenue and just south of Botanical Avenue.
The Tower Grove Connector grew out of community engagement efforts that began in 2016. From 2016 to 2018 more than 4,000 St. Louis City residents and 50 partner organizations gave input that shaped the local non-profit advocate Trailnet's Connecting St. Louis Plan. Based on that input, Tower Grove Avenue and Vandeventer Avenue were identified as a recommended route for upgrades.
Following the recommendations of that plan, the project partners engaged local landscape architecture firm, SWT Design and Brooklyn-based design firm, DLANDstudio to conduct a feasibility study specifically for the corridor between the Cortex District and Tower Grove Park. Those partners included Arch to Park, BJC HealthCare, City of St. Louis, Cortex Innovation Community, Missouri Botanical Garden, Park Central Development Corporation, Tower Grove Park, Tower Grove Neighborhood CDC, Trailnet, Washington University, Washington University Medical Center, and Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation. The resulting Cortex-Tower Grove Connector Plan outlines barriers and opportunities, identifies the recommended route, and showcases preliminary renderings to help envision the transformation of the corridor.
In 2020, together with community partners, the City of St. Louis applied for a federal construction grant to build a two-way protected bike lane (two-way cycle track) along Tower Grove Avenue and Vandeventer Avenue with additional bike and crosswalk improvements along Tower Grove Avenue and Sarah Avenue, as well as signal optimization to decrease congestion. Residents overwhelmingly supported the project during a public comment window and the project was awarded $5.59 million later that year.
Here are a sample of public comments received during the CMAQ grant application: