Tuesday, June 21, 2016

No. 102. Spare us from the mendacity of Tony Messenger Regionalism

Every Saint Louis County resident and taxpayer owes County Executive Steve Stenger multiple thanks for saying, "No," to the proposed North South Metro Link extension for three reasons.

1. The extension is the wrong one. Metro Link, if it needs any extension at all, needs is what is named the Metro North Corridor connecting North County with Clayton, the Airport, and especially connecting Flo Valley with our core educational institutions: Washington University, UMSL, and Saint Louis University. This route would also connect North County with our principal heath care organizations and technology space.

2. The extension is obsolete technology. The future of public transportation is driverless buses, which are already being deployed. Spending $2.2 billions (current dollars) would be a waste as would further planning and studying. Do we plan or study horse drawn carts and wagons, today?

3. The devil is in the details. If one takes the time to actually read through the now out of dated North Side Report (published in 2008, using 2005/05 data) you will find that the Report concludes the project will not benefit Northside for the reason that no "Transit-oriented development, or TOD" can take place because of zoning and land use restrictions.

At page 32 of the Report:

Simplified, for TOD to take place, the local alderman of the City of St. Louis Board of Alderman will have to agree, given that all zoning and land use in the City of Saint Louis is controlled by Aldermanic courtesy.

On Twitter, Tony Messenger has attacked Executive Stenger for being anti-regional but a recent Tweet from Messenger marks him as anti-region, attacking Centene for building in Clayton.

Summary. This is but the latest chapter in the book entitled, "City Schemes to Fleece County Taxpayers."  If the City is interested in Regionalism, take the first steps: abolish the City Board of Alderman, reduce the powers of the Board of Estimate, and end Aldermanic courtesy control over zoning and land use planning.