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We heard you say that you want a greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks, and now we want you to help plan it!
YOU are needed to help plan this greenway! Attend a kickoff meeting in August to meet the project team, hear what community members have said so far, and learn about the greenway planning process.
Join a virtual kickoff meeting by phone or computer! (The same information will be shared at both meetings, so you only need to attend one.)
Meeting 1: Friday, August 14 from 11am-noon
To join by computer, pre-register at http://bit.ly/HTGmtg1
To join by phone, call 312-626-6799, meeting ID 899-8852-5863
Meeting 2: Tuesday, August 18 from 6pm-7pm
To join by computer, pre-register at http://bit.ly/HTGmtg2
To join by phone, call 312-626-6799, meeting ID 822-9666-7094
The tracks start on Enright Avenue, one block west of Vandeventer in the Grand Center Arts District and continue west 3.5 miles connecting the Vandeventer, Lewis Place, Fountain Park, Academy/Sherman Park, Visitation Park and West End neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis to Gwen Giles Park at the city limit. In addition to connecting to existing and future greenways, it would link numerous schools, parks, houses of worship and neighborhoods. Click here for a map.
Community conversations around converting the former Hodiamont Tracks into a greenway began in 2018. A technical study of the area to better understand where utilities and property lines are located was completed in 2019. In 2020 and beyond, Great Rivers Greenway is working with community members to plan and design a greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks that will not only address the issues community members have identified, but also be a space for all people to explore and enjoy.
What We’ve HeardHodiamontTracks_Infographic_11x17_Final
In fall 2019, neighbors of the Hodiamont Tracks gathered to help decide what happens on the tracks in 2020 and beyond. This is what we heard:
- Top places where you would like to connect from the tracks: Central West End, Grand Center, Delmar Loop
- Top priorities for programs on the tracks in 2020: community events with music and food, history/nature walking tours, volunteer cleanup events
- Top benefits that a greenway on the tracks could provide to you: physical health/exercise, property value increase, enjoying green space
- Top benefits that a greenway on the tracks could provide to your community: crime prevention, beautification, public health
- Top issues and desires on the tracks from Hodiamont Ave. to Union Blvd.
- Issues: illegal dumping/trash, poor maintenance, vacant properties
- Desires: trail, playground, (tie) native plants/trees & art
- Top issues and desires on the tracks from Union Blvd. to Taylor Ave.
- Issues: illegal dumping/trash, poor maintenance, (tie) drug use/sales & vacant properties
- Desires: trail, native plants/trees, ball court/field
- Top issues and desires on the tracks from Taylor Ave. to Spring Ave.
- Issues: poor maintenance, illegal dumping/trash, (tie) violent crime & vacant properties
- Desires: trail, ball court/field, community garden
- Top topics that you could provide advice on as part of a committee: planning/design, safety/security, programs/events, community engagement, beautification/landscaping
Concept Plan FAQ
- What is a greenway?
- Greenways are landscaped paths that connect people and places. Greenways provide connections to schools, transit, businesses, and neighborhoods. Greenways reflect the character of the communities they connect and can include trails, nature-based solutions to restore native habitats and manage stormwater, and amenities like benches, wayfinding signs, and drinking fountains, People can walk, jog, ride a bike, have a picnic, push a stroller, or simply enjoy nature along a greenway.
- Who is expected to maintain the greenway?
- Great Rivers Greenway has operations and maintenance agreements with the public agencies that own the land where the greenways are built. In addition, some maintenance is performed by volunteers and some by paid workers.
- Will land or property be taken for this project?
- No, Great Rivers Greenway does not use eminent domain. The area where the greenway will be built is owned by public agencies.
- How is the greenway being funded? How much will this cost?
- In 2000 and again in 2013, voters in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County voted to use sales tax funds to build, promote, and sustain greenways. The Great Rivers Greenway Foundation secures private donations and grants to leverage the sales tax funds. Great Rivers Greenway is currently funding the planning and design of the greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks. Additional funding sources may be used to fund the construction and maintenance in the future. The project cost is not yet known. The cost will be estimated as the greenway is designed.
- How will safety and security be addressed?
- During the planning phase, the project team will ask community members for ideas for safety features which can be incorporated into the design of the greenway. These ideas will be built on what neighbors said in 2018 about what would make them feel safe and secure when using the greenway. Great Rivers Greenway also works to ensure sight lines are clear and hiding spots are avoided along greenways. Local neighborhood groups and non-profit organizations provide programming to increase visibility along the greenway.
- What neighborhoods will the greenway connect?
- When complete, the greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks will span the east-west length of the Hodiamont Tracks (3.5 miles) connecting seven neighborhoods from east to west: Covenant Blu/Grand Center, Vandeventer, Lewis Place, Fountain Park, Academy/Sherman Park, Visitation Park, and the West End.
- How will this affect me as a homeowner?
- Research has shown that greenways make areas more desirable. The project team especially wants to hear from homeowners living directly adjacent to the Hodiamont Tracks.
- Why was this location chosen for a greenway?
- The Hodiamont Tracks were once a streetcar route then a bus route and now mostly an alley. Community members told the project team that many areas along the Hodiamont Tracks allow space for negative activities such as illegal dumping, violent crime, and sale or use of drugs. In 2018, Great Rivers Greenway asked the community along the Hodiamont Tracks if they would like the area to be transformed into a greenway. 95% of community members said “Yes!”.
- Who will have access to this greenway?
- Greenways are open to all people for walking, biking, running, pushing a stroller, or using a wheelchair. Greenways are not open to motor vehicles. Community members will be able to use the greenway to explore and to travel to different neighborhoods. Visitors to the community will have an opportunity to explore new neighborhoods via the greenway. Some neighbors access their homes from the Hodiamont Tracks. In these areas, the space along the tracks is very wide and can be designed to create separate space for people on the greenway and trash/recycling trucks or people driving to access the back of their homes.
- When will the greenway be built?
- Building a greenway is a multi-year process. The project is now in the planning phase. From this plan, the project team, will identify multiple phases to move into design and then construction.
- How can I get involved?
- A Community Advisory Committee will be created for this greenway project. This small group will work directly with Great Rivers Greenway and the design team to offer advice and to serve as a project ambassador, meaning to keep your neighbors and friends informed about the project and to encourage their participation in guiding the plan. Your role also includes communicating with the design team about what you are hearing about the greenway project in the community.
- Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the project team hopes to have a storefront operation. The project team will have scheduled office hours, during which you can meet the team and ask questions. Check the website or call for details.
- Participate in the public meetings. There will be at least two public meetings. At the first one, the project team will recommend the project’s goals for your feedback. Months later at another public meeting, the concept plan will be presented.
- Be on the lookout for communications from Great Rivers Greenway promoting public meetings or other opportunities to be guide the greenway plan.
- Call the hotline at 314-329-8544 to ask questions or share your comments.
- Visit this project website www.GreatRiversGreenway.org/Hodiamont for more information or volunteer opportunities.
- You may see members of the project team along the Hodiamont Tracks in Great Rivers Greenway green tshirts. They are surveying in preparation for the planning phase. If you see them, feel free to wave or stop for a chat, but socially distance at six feet away!