Thursday, August 31, 2006

Riverview Transit Center: Not Quite Ready Yet

Riverview Transit Center: Not Quite Ready Yet

OK, so my posting about Metro transit connectivity last week was not 100% accurate.

It turns out, the new Riverview-Hall MetroBus Center is not quite done yet.

All the buses that will serve the transit center are, for now, laying over at Riverview Plaza, a small strip mall with a large parking lot, across the road at the NE corner of N. Broadway (aka Bellefontaine Road) and Riverview Drive, right on the city-county line.

The temporary 'transit center' is just a parked bus where passengers may sit inside in the event of inclement weather, while the pool of operating buses waits a few feet away.

By the way, that Rider Alert is a bit inaccurate: the #240x Oakville Express does not serve the Riverview-Hall area. Indeed, the #240x Oakville Express no longer exists. As of Monday, it was replaced by MetroLink and the new #17 Oakville route, serving South County.

The #240x does serve Riverview-Hall -- but that's because that route number has been reassigned to the Bissell Hills Express (formerly the #241x).

This does beg the question, though: will any of the new developments in Jennings incorporate on-site transit stops? Both Northland and River Roads shopping malls were served by numerous buses that stopped near mall activity centers / anchors -- at Northland, the Famous-Barr store; and at River Roads, not too far from the Stix, Baer & Fuller store I believe.

While River Roads (currently under demolition) will be mostly residential, it sure would have been a nice gesture of Pyramid Construction -- who took over the development rights from McBride & Son for the site -- to incorporate a small bus transfer facility on an edge of the site, rather than forcing Metro to build a facility in a fairly remote corner of the far north riverfront.

As for the "Buzz Westfall Plaza on the Boulevard," as Sansone Group calls the new Target-Schnucks anchored center on the former Northland site, I doubt we'll see buses going there anytime soon. But I'm willing to be surprised.

Oddly, the brochure with site plan available online for potential tenants (PDF) does note "Four bus lines on site" and somehow proclaims this big-box monstrosity a "mixed-use development," but I see no indication of where an on-site transit stop could possibly be located.

Anyway, it's really only two bus lines now: the #64 Lucas Hunt and #74 Florissant. The #274x Paddock Hills never came on-site anyway, the #16 City Limits now terminates at Riverview-Hall, and the #96 Walnut Park that used to end at Northland, was eliminated back in 2001.

As for the "Jennings Crossings" development, located at Jennings Station and I-70 where a bunch of houses once stood, transit access will likely be limited to on-street stops on nearby Jennings Station. The #274x used to make a stopover in this interchange, but the I-70 reconstruction project quietly eliminated the bus ramps. Instead, a single trip in each direction now serves Lillian Ave (the I-70 south outer road) from Lucas Hunt to Jennings Station. Jennings Station is supposed to be widened to three lanes and straightened between I-70 and West Florissant, much like the never-ending Kienlen widening project further south.

By the way, I suspect that road along the city-county line must hold some kind of record for most name changes along a continuous roadway. From north to south:

1) Chain of Rocks Road (Riverview to Bellefontaine)
2) Jennings Station Road (Bellefontaine to Natural Bridge)
3) Kienlen Avenue (Natural Bridge to Page)
4) North Skinker Boulevard/Parkway (Page to Forsyth)
5) South Skinker Boulevard (Forsyth to Clayton Road)
6) McCausland Avenue (Clayton to Canterbury Avenue)
7) Ellendale Avenue (Canterbury to Wellington Court)
8) Wabash Avenue (via a very sharp turn at Wellington to Lansdowne)

South of Lansdowne, of course, Wabash blends back into McCausland, but those streets are all blocked off anyway, and probably will be for the foreseeable future.

1 comment:

Todd Plesko said...

The transit center are Riverview will be completed by mid September or the latest October 1st. We tried to operate partially on site, but had too many conflicts with construction and several pedestrian injuries.

Metro attempted to negotiate a transit facility on the new Rider Roads development, but were rebuffed by the City of Jennings. We tried to obtain city agreement on several other sites in Jennings, but failed to obtain any agreement from the city.

Northland originally suggested that buses would be welcome to return once the new Northland development is done. The promised some bus stop plan. We have not obtained any information of this site. The October startup is looming.