At the monthly meeting of the Loop Special Business District on Tuesday, business owners received updates on the Chuck Berry statue, the Loop trolley and possible curfew changes.
The dedication of the Chuck Berry statue in the Loop is now planned for July 29th. The 9-foot, 1,000-pound bronze sculpture depicts a young Chuck Berry, wearing a tuxedo, guitar in hand. The statue will stand in a small plaza next to on the north side of Delmar.
Installation of the statue hinges on the completion of a bike trail that's under construction by Great Rivers Greenway. Severe winter weather and an unexpected sewer issue have slowed construction on the site.
Patrick Owens of Great River Greenway said the plaza will feature granite walls, with some of Berry's song lyrics engraved on them. Also, the walls will light up a night. Berry is expected to be at the dedication with his entire family.
As for the Loop Trolley project, Joe Edwards who helped spearhead it, said, "everything is moving along very nicely." He said the public comment period for the trolley ended May 5th and the application is now in the hands of the Federal Transit Administration.
However, he said the trolley project still needs to raise five to seven million dollars to reach the 44 million dollar mark . "We're having lots of meetings with lots of different corporations...hopefully we'll wrap that up in the next four to six months," said Edwards.
He predicts the trolley should be up and running in less than two years. "My best guess right now is March or April of 2013," Edwards said.
Edwards also touched on the issue of the curfew in the Loop. Currently, people 16 years of age and under have to be out of the Loop by 9pm. Edwards supports moving the curfew time to 8pm and making it apply to people 17 years of age and under. He said making the curfew 6pm would cut out too many kids. "It's a behavioral issue. It's not racist," said Edwards.
Edwards also pointed out that the Loop has not had any major issues with disruptive teens, aside from that one weekend last month, where groups of unruly youth caused some problems for patrons and business owners.