This morning was not even close to my worst ever, but it was still a bit frustrating.
First, I woke up about 45 minutes late - 6:00 instead of 5:15. This, alone, should be no big deal.
But then, I stumbled and stepped on things more than usual, and then finally after I got out of the shower, a screw came loose -- no, not from my head, but from my glasses. ;-)
After struggling and whining about that for a while, I managed to deal with it adequately for now, then made it to the bus stop about 7:30. But I guess I had just missed the express buses, and took the #30 Soulard instead. Of course, this was a mistake because 4th Street downtown this morning was totally gridlocked due to tour buses for the National Baptist Convention Congress of Christian Education, 102nd Annual Session.
I realize events like these bring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy, and having all those folks walking the downtown streets can't hurt. But I wish the transportation arrangements were planned better. The traffic was so bad, the bus driver had to do some unorthodox movements in order to alight passengers.
Do we really need half a dozen (or more) gigantic tour buses queueing up in front of the Adam's Mark Hotel, just to shuttle conventioneers the eight blocks to America's Center? For that matter, folks staying at airport hotels don't necessarily need to be transported directly downtown either, when they could easily be dropped off by a shuttle at North Hanley or UMSL, then ride MetroLink the rest of the way. I believe that's what they used to do for the gigantic Primerica Financial Services convention. Their shuttle queueing area took up the entire parking lot near UMSL North MetroLink.
But I think that was 10 years ago.
Incidentally, I don't think the unions are the problem (RFT article from May 16, which the Post finally picked up yesterday) with our attractiveness for major conventions downtown. However, they may an issue for costs of smaller-scale locally-oriented events like the Working Women's Survival Show, the golf show and various trade shows like the St. Louis Small Business Expo, and the Minority Business Council's Business Opportunity Fair, all of which are held at the St. Charles Convention Center.
Events like those, which are ultimately geared primarily to a suburban, highway-oriented local population, typically head for the St. Charles facility where parking is free and management of the facility is totally outsourced by the City of St. Charles to Global Spectrum.