The East-West Gateway Board of Directors unanimously voted yesterday for the staff to initiate a full scale, comprehensive security audit of the St. Louis MetroLink system. Safety and security of the system has been a topic of discussion for much of the year. In May, St. Louis City Mayor Lyda Krewson, St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern, and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, whose jurisdictions fund Bi-State Development, in addition to John Nations, CEO of Bi-State, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the plan to improve MetroLink security developed in cooperation with law enforcement. The MOU demonstrates unprecedented collaboration on the part of St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Clair County and Bi-State.
“CMT believes this comprehensive security audit is needed because there is no recent data on the best approach to improve access control on the system in our region. A comprehensive system wide analysis can lay the groundwork for determining the best technology, environmental design changes and deployment of security staff resources moving forward to ensure a safe, secure and high-quality MetroLink system. In addition, we believe this audit should be led by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, the metropolitan planning organization representing the entire region,” said Kim Cella, CMT Executive Director.
Research states appropriate station and parking lot enhancements will eliminate entrapment spots and hiding places and increase visibility through improvements to lighting which can create “defensible space” (FEMA 430, 2007), and also to better perceptions of safety and security.
“As a member of the Transit Advisory Working Group formed under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to ensure MetroLink safety as one of the largest users of the system, Washington University believes having an actionable plan that is based on a thorough system wide audit is an important next step in restoring public confidence and creating a secure ridership experience,” said Rose Windmiller, Associate Vice Chancellor of Governmental Relations at Washington University.
East-West Gateway will manage the study for the region.