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Letter to the Editor: Parking in the Loop

A letter from the Loop Special Business District.

Please take just a moment to listen to the short audio clip that I have uploaded for your review.  

First, there was a new round in the continuing assault on the status of the free surface parking lot just north of Delmar (running between Kingsland and Leland). 

As you know, the Mayor and her allies want to develop garages and condominiums on the Lot. 

Now, because the LSBD seemed to have garnered some support for our position, Lynn Ricci, former Council Member, and ally of the Mayor and her administration, is attacking the Merchants and Property Owners (The Loop) as being a financial drain on the City and its resources.

On Monday, July 92012, she spoke at a Council Meeting (see a transcript of her statement to the Council below or listen to the audio clip here.

It would appear that we will now be forced to marshal resources to prove the value of our economic impact and rebut this new round of attacks.

So much for the partnership that once existed between the and The Loop.

On a side note, Coldwell Banker released their annual "" list on Tuesday and University City made the list! “The list ranks the best places in every state for people who seek social-areas. It is based on the number of restaurants, events and nightlife options as well as how many people in the area take advantage of the social scene.“ 

Why is it that that the entire country can see the value that The Loop adds to University City, except for our Mayor and her coalition? 

Statement

Lynn Ricci 7833 Gannon Ave.  (Monday July 9, 2012)

“This is the first time that I have addressed you from this side of the dais. Loop parking, I am telling you, I feel very strongly about this. I think there is legal exposure here, I believe that this is a wrongful taking. If you start talking about giving parking away, it is a huge cost to the city. You all are making emotional decisions; it makes me wonder what sort of capital or contributions to elections have been given to some of you if this is your position. If you, of course we have budget-reading folks here, so you know from the budget that we’ve been carrying the Loop Special Business District for years. And for you to say the viability and value of The Loop, you don’t know! I think what you need to do is be educated and do a study and see if The Loop is that value that you’re now reporting that it is.  I suspect, I suspect that it’s not. I suspect that this is not a give all, that there has to be some kind of sharing. Which means if The Loop wants free parking then the Loop Special Business District, a revenue generator, can contribute to the cost of it. I can’t believe the great expense the City has with this parking lot, as well as the great liability that the city is carrying if someone gets harmed on that parking lot, it’s us! So I certainly hope that you consider/reconsider this free parking in The Loop, I certainly hope that your goal is to make an informed, educated decision so you’re not going to shoot from the hip, you’re going to want to get information to determine truly the financial and liability implications of the parking lot, the cost of it, and this current move that is being contemplated right now today.” 

Please take the time to share your feelings on this very important matter with our Mayor and elected City officials: 

Thanks,

Jessica Bueler
LSBD President

modavid July 19, 2012 at 07:47 PM
The Coldwell Banker "Best Places to Live" was a Missouri city ranking where University City was ranked 19th in the 20 named. It was not a national ranking.
Earl Higgins July 19, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Jeff, interesting to read your input. I take it you are a business owner of something in The Loop? Just curious, if you don't mind sharing, which business? I am not, I merely live nearby. And of course, patronize our fantastic Loop businesses every chance I get. I am curious what code you are referring to when you say we have less than 50% of what is required. I'm not attacking you, I honestly want to know. I believe we'll want the same things: for Loop businesses, and University City in general, to not only continue to be a great place to live, but remain St. Louis area's number one family-friendly and adult-friendly social destination!
Darcy Nayler July 20, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I am the one employee of the Loop Special Business District and I have been very proud to respresent The Loop through by job for the last 2 years. I have learned many things during my time in The Loop but what I have learned the most is how passionate, dedicated and involved The Loop business owners are to this very special section of University City. People need to remember that these businesses are so important to the owners, its not just a paycheck but its thier family business, its who they are and they are proud of that. So yes owners of the businesses can be passionate at times and that is why The Loop has been so successful. Over the last 2 years I have never once seen a Loop employee speak rudely at a meeting or "demand a meeting" without going through the proper channels. Every member on the board is a VOLUNTEER and they are not getting paid for thier hours they devote to the Loop and Jessica, our president spends more hours working on The Loop than I do and I get paid. As a resident of U City I am grateful for the many hours Jessica and her cohorts spend on The Loop. The members of The Loop SBD are passionate about The Loop and one of the things that we are passionate about is parking. We also care about our neighbors in Parkview Gardens who will not be able to park if the paid parking goes into effect because of people parking in front of thier homes or our hardworking employees who couldnt afford to pay to park every night. Darcy Nayler
Gregory Pace July 23, 2012 at 02:59 PM
I look forward to the promised "economic impact of the Loop dissertation" that Ms. Bueler will 'marshal' in 'rebut' to these 'attacks.' A 2008 survey of registered voters in U City commissioned by Julie Feier showed that 64% favored paid parking in the municipal lot behind Cicero's (see the 8/4/08 city council study session minutes). Does Ms. Bueler feel 'attacked' by 2/3 of the good citizens of U City?
Richard Escoffier July 24, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Interesting batch of letters from the condominium crowd. First off this is no small thing—this is not just about “free parking”. This is really about the conversion of portions of the surface lot to garages that sit under condominiums. This is also about an unsettling double standard used by a tightly knit group of residents who support the Mayor. The merchants and property owners who helped engineer the turnaround of the Delmar properties should be heard; not diminished by a woman (Ricci) who is entitled to her opinion, but who clearly can’t match the skill sets or the market experience of the merchants and property owners she is attacking. It is not their point of view that she is attacking—rather, it is their standing to object (as legitimate stakeholders)—her claim is that the Loop is a drain on the City’s resources and that the residents have surprisingly been carrying the merchants around for decades. The merchants believe, with good reason, that structured parking is not generally preferred by the region’s users. Converting something that is working (and has been central to the revitalization of the Loop) into something that will almost certainly reduce the number of visits to the Loop (and revenue to the City) would not be a choice that good thinkers would knowingly and voluntarily make. The merchants and property owners are trying to save themselves and the City from a disaster that is clearly avoidable.

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