Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Trinity - Throop Crossover

Trinity - Throop Crossover

Some time back, I was concerned the only pedestrian crossing route between Big Bend and Skinker on the new Cross County MetroLink route along Forest Park Parkway (formerly Millbrook Boulevard) would be the high-line pedestrian/bicycle bridge near Melville Avenue.

Happily, there is an at-grade crossover a bit further west, near Trinity Ave. and University Drive.

This is the point at which the tracks running in open-cut at-grade suddenly descend into a tunnel to enter the University City-Big Bend Station.

There's a little concrete walk there, which connects to a sidewalk running eastbound next to the westbound lanes of the Parkway. Down at the Parkway and Throop Drive, there's an official crosswalk at the signalized intersection for crossing the parkway at grade.

Although this is somewhat less convenient than my old direct route from the east end of the Millbrook Parking Garage right onto the foot Kingsland Ave., it's probably the best they could do given engineering constraints.

Thanks Metro!


Anonymous said...

There are very few places a pedestrian may actually cross the new Cross-County extension at-grade: Throop Drive, Richmond Heights station, Brentwood I-64 station, and Sunnen Drive (only at-grade road crossing) at the Sunnen station.

All other pedestrian crossings are grade-separated, usually sidewalks along streets, except three underground mezzanines in the Skinker (one) and Big Bend (two) stations and three elevated walkways at Des Peres Avenue in Skinker-DeBaliviere, Melville from U-City to WashU and Central at the Clayton station.

bev said...

I'm confused. Can you not cross at Big Bend and Forest Park? I don't go south of Forest Park by foot too often, even though I live in the area. Isn't there a sidewalk on the south side of Forest Park, east of Big Bend?

(And what the heck is going on with that house that backs up to the southwest corner of Forest Park and Big Bend? Is that sucker coming down?)

So many questions, so close to the finish line.

- Bev

Joe said...

Big Bend and Forest Park is a viable crossing place, although still pretty messy right now.

But the crossing at Throop Drive is quite useful for connecting directly from the western part of the WashU Hilltop Campus (Law School, Eliot Hall, etc.) directly to the western end of The Loop (i.e., Library, Post Office, Market, BreadCo).

Walking all the way out west to Big Bend would be silly if your destination is due north of your location. Likewise, walking all the way east to the overpass at Melville seems unnecessary unless your destination is in the central part of The Loop (i.e., Blueberry Hill).

I don't think the house at 7001 Westmoreland is coming down. According to public records (dated June '05) it's still privately owned, and valued at over $400k. But I'm not entirely sure; could just be coincidential tear-down-and-replace-with-a-McMansion.

Anonymous said...

For clarification, the limited at-grade crossings of Cross-County means those where you actually may cross the tracks themselves on foot. There are many sidewalks along the streets going over or under the alignment that provide uninterrupted pedestrian circulation.

The pedestrian-only crossings not linked to a station are really only found at Des Peres, Melville and Throop. The former two being elevated walkways (the latter two along WashU), Joe is extremely lucky to have the only ped-only at-grade crossing (not tied to a station) at Throop for his walks off Hilltop campus.

But as influential as Joe is, it's really access to Forest Park (Des Peres) and WashU (Melville, Throop) as popular destinations for walkers and cyclists that warranted the special consideration.

Joe said...

Thanks for the clarification on track crossings at-grade.

I don't claim to be that influential, really. ;-)
I just was surprised there was already an actual paved walkway at Trinity.

I'm still trying to figure out if there will be a way to access Limit Walk from near the Hoyt Drive crosswalk. Seems like a good idea to me, but maybe this is Parkview's opportunity to close off that entrance permanently. This would be a similiar config to that near Throop - a walkway at-grade, just above the tunnel.

In any event, I think it's important to maintain as many connections as feasible between WashU Hilltop campus and the neighborhoods immediately north, because many faculty and students live there! Also, Loop businesses benefit.

South of Clayton, the Cross County route runs mostly on an existing railroad right-of-way, so I wouldn't expect many (legal) at-grade crossings. The main exception, of course, being center platform stations like Richmond Heights.