Dorsett Road Great Streets Initiative

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See Update Below

Background

In August 2012, East-West Gateway Council of Governments selected Dorsett Road for funding in the Initiative’s second round of regional demonstration projects. A little over three miles long, Dorsett Road serves as the “Main Street” for Maryland Heights’ residents, workers, and visitors. While creating a street that supports and promotes all modes of travel, this project expands the vision for Dorsett Road outside the right-of-way to consider how street design choices can impact surrounding land uses and support development opportunities. Making Dorsett Road a Great Street will require closely working with the community to provide careful and intentional planning that supports a fully functional multi-modal suburban environment and sets a framework for future development.

A Great Street . . . 
  • Reflects the neighborhood through which it passes in scale and design.
  • Allows people to walk comfortably and safely.
  • Contributes to the economic vitality of the city.
  • Supports a balance of transportation modes including transit, walking, bicycling, autos and freight.
  • Strikes a balance among the elements of modern mobility: travel, local circulation and access.
  • Includes places that are memorable and interesting.
  • Provides an attractive and refreshing environment by working with natural systems.

The Project

The study focused on the following:
  • Transportation and transit planning
  • Improvement of pedestrian and bicycle accommodations
  • Identification of opportunities for open space, parks and trails networks
  • Outlined aesthetic improvements that create destinations within the corridor
  • The creation of community gathering places and assets
  • Economic development and land use planning

Public Engagement

More than 250 people attended at least one of three public meetings. Various other media outlets were used to engage the community including local TV and newspapers, the City Newsletter, social media, advertising on Metro buses, direct mailings, posters and postcards distributed to businesses along the corridor and variable message signs along the corridor.

Key Recommendations:
  • Prepare an update to the city’s Comprehensive Plan to make permanent the vision for the corridor.
  • Collaborate more closely with the business community in the study area.
  • Amend the city’s zoning ordinance to accommodate more flexible uses and site plans.
  • Encourage the identified preferred land uses at specific nodes along the corridor (see map).
Over time, add the following amenities to Dorsett Road:
  • Enhanced crosswalks to provide safer crossings, particularly at certain mid-block areas.
  • Create a multi-use path that extends the length of the corridor. This path would create community-wide connections between neighborhoods and businesses, and create closer linkages to amenities such as Creve Coeur Park.
  • Add new signage, lighting, and street trees to create a cohesive appearance for the corridor.
  • Install public art that can serve as a focal point for the community and help encourage the expression of the city’s identity.

Links to the plan as submitted:

PLEASE NOTE: This plan has not been reviewed or approved by the Planning Commission or the City Council

Update (January, 2018)

Since the plan was completed, work has focused on the stretch of Dorsett Road roughly between the I-270 interchange west to the end of the commercial strip. In 2014, the City worked with St. Louis County to secure federal funding for the following Great Street improvements:

  • A mid-block pedestrian activated crossing (between McKelvey Road and I-270)
  • Repaving Dorsett from I-270 west to the end of the commercial strip
  • Replacing the traffic signal located on Dorsett Road between Dorsett Square and Dorsett Village
  • Americans with Disability Act improvements

Construction is expected to start in 2018.

For the second phase, the City engaged with a consulting team to look at options for implementing a multi-use path along the same portion of the corridor. This effort is looking into underground and above ground utility locations, right-of-way, and other possible constraints to constructing the path. The City is also looking into reconfiguring the intersection at Dorsett and McKelvey Roads to make it more accessible for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Each of these projects is based on implementation recommendations from the original 2013 Great Streets Study.