On several occasions this Spring I have found myself in the Bevo Neighborhood along Gravois. Seeing the old pedestrian tunnel alongside Gravois at Bingham peaked my interest in particular and the first time I walked around the area I found that although the tunnel was sealed and unusable, its route is still well traveled.
The tunnels were a vital part of the original viaduct design, and the lack of sidewalks alongside Gravois as it crosses under the train tracks here make it all but impossible to walk along (it is possible but not at all safe). Although safety is also an issue for pedestrians walking across the train tracks, it is really the best option and fairly safe when coupled with common sense. Unfortunately, the train tracks are private property, and on this weekend’s beautiful Saturday afternoon when people decided to take walks as families and friends, they were stopped from using this path by a uniformed security guard.
I saw several groups of people and individuals stopped by the security guard and forced to turn around. Later I saw some of the same people taking much longer routes to get where they wanted to go. As you can see in the map below, being unable to follow Gravois as a Pedestrian creates a huge inconvenience and turns a 30 second walk across a set of train tracks into a walk three-quarters of a mile long (13 minutes according to Google Maps).
I am not sure what could be done about this, but something really must be done. The last thing St. Louisans need is to be any more discouraged from walking around their city. In my opinion, getting a ticket for trying to walk down Gravois is completely ridiculous.
St. Louis needs to improve the quality of life for its pedestrians! We are a vibrant city’s greatest asset!