Monday, May 09, 2005

Suburban City

I was cruising on the west side of south city going over to the new Cafe Ivanhoe for Mother's Day. I don't like to take main thorougfares or highways, so I usually take the slow ride through the street.

It is so country out that way. The streets feel more suburban. There are intersections with no stop signs. I kind of like it. Actually it is not really that suburban at all. When I was a kid in Chicago, for part of the time we lived off of Division blocks from the border of the West Side at Cicero. It was kind of like U City, but not the part with the super super fancy houses. In this area there were a lot of streets and alleys. I love alleys. Kids lived in the alleys. We controlled the alleys. The funny thing is that we lived in a dense neighborhood and did not have stop signs at many intersections in any of the directions. It was odd when I went back on the train every summer and noticed this trait.

I have noticed in the particularly dead areas near the old Pruitt Igoe there are a few intersections with no stop signs either. It is so suburban.

I wish we had the roundabouts in Saint Louis. We have a handful, but most are just those ghetto barriers oushed together with some plants in them and they don't use yield signs, but stop signs.

Speaking of ghetto barriers, we need to get rid of those things. Knock those ugly things out, and use better traffic calming to open up the neighborhoods. Put in and improve the pedestrian paths and put in decent bike paths. We cut too much off right now with all these barriers. They were well intentioned, but that was the past.

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