Saturday, July 12, 2014


OPTINSTL'S previous posts on Amendment 7, the proposed statewide sales tax increase of 3/4 of a cent, on the ballot in August.

Today, MO DOT listed the approved projects.  Look no further for proof that this is a huge waste of taxpayer money.

St. Louis starts on about page 14, depending on what you consider St. Louis.

I suggest ever single person--whether you are a registered voter, whether you ride public transit--  reads this very carefully.

First of all, there isn't a lot of public transit on this list. (Only 18% is Public Transit related, according to a NextSTL tweet.)

"Public Transportation" does not always mean buses and Metrolink, or even para-transit.  It includes walking and bike paths, and A LOT of support services.

Below are some OPTINSTL highlights:

St Louis / St Louis City
Fixed funding contribution to Metro for bus rapid transit route
from downtown St Louis to Chesterfield along I-64. Project
delivery is contingent upon $20 million contribution from
Public Transportation

$20 Million contribution from Metro!!! HAHAHA!  Oh wait, a minute, this is in Chesterfield, so they will rob some other fund to pay for this.

This is Metro CEO John Nations doing his job to make sure no convenient Metrolink service is available to his hometown.  It's okay if "people" ride buses for two or three hours to come from "urban" neighborhoods to bus tables and clean houses. But he doesn't want to many "people" coming from "urban" neighborhoods quickly and easily, for entertainment and shopping, because, you know how those "people" are.

Nations is pretty open about only getting involved with Metro to resolve the "maid crisis" of the 2009 bus lines cuts.  His unemployed, wealthy constituents were suddenly faced with the prospect of cleaning their own houses, because the maids couldn't get to Chesterfield.

(There are LOTS of unemployed people in Chesterfield, but they are called "stay at home mom's" and "investors".  Being unemployed is only bad if you don't have money.  Being poor is the only true crime in the "Land of the Free", the richest country in the world.)

Of course, it is unlikely that a similar Florissant project will get funded. Metro will have to come up with ANOTHER $20 million.   (Again, once MO DOT has the money, they will do whatever they want with it.)

St Louis / St Louis City
Fixed funding contribution to Metro for the bus rapid transit
route from downtown St Louis to I-270 along West Florissant
Ave and Natural Bridge Road. Project delivery is contingent
upon Metro providing $20 million to complete the
Public Transportation

Yes, you read that right.  They allocate the same amount to West Florissant as Chesterfield.  They have, at least, twice, and probably three times, the amount of riders waiting along West Florissant as Chesterfield.

Even if MO DOT and Metro and our other brilliant leaders were aware of this, and they should be, their own statistics prove it, I doubt Florissant would get the play it deserves.

And with both of these: NO MORE BUSES! These should be Metrolinks.  This is ridiculous.  Really.  These two projects alone should be enough for public transit riders to vote no!

St Louis / St Louis City
Future light rail station
Public Transportation

$8.9 Million.  Why yes, that would be the exact amount of money Cortex needs to rip down the old Central West End Metrolink station and move it a few blocks, so they can "realize their business ideal." Cortex is actually a consortium corporation formed by Barnes Jewish, SLU Medical, Washington University and MOBOT/Monsanto.  (Barnes Jewish is tired of transit riders using their bathrooms and cafeterias.) And this will satisfy the other Cortex proponents that Barnes Jewish isn't unfairly served by Metrolink. 

Cortex won't have to pay one red cent to put their big corporate name on the new Metrolink station stop. 

St Louis / St Louis City
Studies for light rail expansion and funding scenarios for next
Public Transportation

$2 million dollars FOR STUDIES.  They did all these same tired studies for the Madison County and St. Charles Proposed Metrolink expansion and what did it get us?  Nothing.  They don't do the right kind of studies, and they don't make public transit for the people that use it most.  Public transit is developed where corporate and construction developers can make the most money, and Metro executives can keep the biggest slush funds for their bonuses. 

We don't need anymore expensive studies.  It is obvious where the light rail needs to go, and we need a plan.  They keep wasting our money with these feasibility and funding scenarios.  They are inept or corrupt or both.

And this NEW streetcar plan! What a joke!  It mostly runs parallel to the Metrolink, and only adds 2 miles of North/South transit, from downtown to Old North.  And who are these people?  Mostly SLU folk, the same lot that is in on Citizens for Modern Transit and part of the Cortex scam, and they are hungry to suck up federal funds:

St Louis City
Provide fixed funding contribution toward phase I of the St Louis Streetcar system. Project delivery is contingent upon St Louis Streetcar Company providing $271.5 million contribution from other sources, including federal funds and rider fees.
Public Transportation

I'd love a streetcar in Old North, but the rest of the plan is just crap.  And that $271.5 million that they are going to contribute is all federal funds.  RIDICULOUS!  This is just robbery that should go to a North South Metrolink.  in fact, that is about third of the money needed to complete a light rail system from the tip of North county to the bottom of South County!!

But too many of these people sit on the East West Gateway Council.  They don't care about making public transit better for people that actually ride it the most.  It's all Shoemal, he's not mayor anymore but he is still running public transit into the ground.

More on St. Louis Streetcar:

What do we have next? Here is a cleverly disguised $18 million grant to the Loop "Folley Trolley":

St Louis City
Funding for Delmar/Forest Park-DeBaliviere Metrolink station improvements, sidewalk/non-motorized improvements along Hodiamont Ave, Delmar Blvd, De Giverville Ave and Des Peres Ave, and connect Ruth Porter Trail to Forest Park
Sidewalk / Non-Motorized

There is so much more to get into on this list, and I will add to it as I have the time and investigate, but this should be enough for any voter, particularly transit riders, to vote no on Amendment 7.

You will see more crap like this, as the governments local, state and national try to get support for their insolvency and mismanagement of funds:

Don't believe the hype.

And, seriously, MO DOT is lame.  This is just one example:

So is the street services department.  And the coordination with utilities and contractors is beyond lame.  It is downright dangerous!  (Again, this is just one example.)

The people in charge are running our city and state into the ground.  TIME FOR CHANGE!

Start by voting NO on AMENDMENT 7!

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