Over the last three months, CMT and AARP in St. Louis teamed up to host a series of walk audits at key MetroLink Stations – North Hanley, Forest Park and Delmar MetroLink Stations – to consider placemaking around transit. The goal was to look at the impact of activating these spaces for current and future riders and the implications those changes would have on livability around St. Louis transit stations, including perceptions of safety and security. More than 60 individuals and groups were represented during the ‘walking’ focus group research at each of the stations.
“As a part of our research, we had the opportunity to look for ways to transform our transit stations into active, engaging corridors that connect individuals and neighborhoods by offering access to products, services and green spaces. This type of “placemaking” needs to be a priority along the current alignment, and must serve as a key part of the conversation as we examine expansion plans in the region,” said Kimberly Cella, executive director of CMT.
Ideas gathered ranged from something as simple as turning on the lights at the historic Wabash Station, to bringing Forest Park to the Forest Park Station including art and wayfinding that tells riders they are ‘at the park,’ to broad, mixed-use development goals for the future around all three stations.
“We are looking to impact the ‘livability’ quotient around these stations through our work. These walk audits provided the opportunity to hear ideas that could be put into effect in the short term to improve the connection between the stations and existing neighborhoods while long term the region examines ways to create more development around the stations,” said Sheila Holm, Community Director for AARP in St. Louis.
One result of the research was a ‘to-do’ list for community members, stakeholders, private businesses and others to help build the connection to transit in St. Louis neighborhoods. Moving forward, CMT and AARP will be spearheading efforts with community partners with the goal of bringing some of the ideas to fruition around transit. A Metro Market is planned for early next spring at the Forest Park Station to create a ‘pop up’ visual of some of the possibilities suggested during the research.
View the November 2016 PLACEMAKING STRATEGIES FOR ST. LOUIS TRANSIT Report here: