1912 Central Traffic - Parkway
1917 A Major Street Plan for St. Louis
1919 Twelfth Street: St. Louis Most Needed Commercial Thoroughfare
1926 Rapid Transit for St. Louis
1948 Comprehensive Plan - #1 Major Streets
1951 Expressway Plan for the Saint Louis Urban Area in Missouri


By: City Plan Commission
Pub: February 9, 1915

This document is the central traffic-parkway ordinance. This ordinance authorizes the construction of a major parkway just West of the Downtown Central Business District. The plan consists of one major component: the condemnation of the property bounded by Market and Chestnut Streets, Twelfth Street and Jefferson Ave in order to create a central traffic-parkway. The boulevard would be fifty feet wide, two miles long, bordered by trees and grass, and provided with seats and street lights.

The plan was conceived for several purposes:

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By: City Plan Commission
Pub: no date listed

Harland Bartholomew, Chief Engineer for St. Louis, designed this comprehensive street plan for the City. The purpose of this plan was to pinpoint the major thoroughfares that were determined important access roads to Downtown. Those thoroughfares would then be widened or extended to better accommodate the heavy traffic.

The plan discusses the arterial streets, with relation to the Central Business District. This includes the following streets: Broadway, Gravois, Morganford, Watson, Market, Manchester, Lindell, Olive, Locust, Delmar, Page, Easton, Natural Bridge, Carter, Lillian Jennings, and Florissant. In addition, there were several East-West and North-South streets that were on the list for improvements. The first, and most needed improvements would be the widening of Washington Avenue, the extension of Twelfth Street South to Gravois and North to Florissant Avenue and the widening of Olive Street fromTwelfth Street to Channing.

After conducting a traffic census, two important trends emerged: the need for more uniform distribution of East and West bound traffic, and the need for better approaches to the business district from the North and South. It was said, that once theMajor Street Plan was adopted, it would naturally follow that suitable pavements for heavy traffic would be laid.

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By: City Plan Commission
Pub: May 1919

This plan discusses the concept of widening Twelfth Street, the Western boundary of the Downtown Central Business District. This process of widening of Twelfth Street would create a center system of arterial streets and as such would greatly influence the further development of rapid transit as well as vehicular traffic.

The widening would proceed in a North-South direction. Widening would occur Southwardly from Market to Spruce to the Mill Creek Valley Viaduct, to Chouteau, whereby buildings would be demolished in order to extend Twelfth Street to Gravois. Connections to the North would occur with the widening of Twelfth Street, North from Washington Avenue by way of High, Thirteenth, Mullanphy, and Fifteenth Streets to meet Florrisant Avenue at Palm.

The widening would accommodate an increase in public and vehicular thoroughfare to and from the Central Business District while accelerating traffic movement outside the downtown area. It was argued that once developed, the Twelfth Street route would become the backbone of St. Louis.

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By: Board of Public Service, Special Rapid Transit Committee
Pub: no date listed

This report is a discussion about the problems involved in mass transportation for St. Louis City during this time period. Several Board of Public Service members formed the Rapid Transit Committee to review rapid transit for St. Louis. Favoring the idea of establishing rapid transit in St. Louis, an ordinance passed in October 1924, authorizing the funding for a survey and a report on this type of transportation. The Rapid Transit Committee documented the history and the trends of transportation as well as other major U.S. and foreign cities as well. On the basis of other cities' successes with rapid transportation, it was decided by the Committee, that developing rapid transit would be advantageous to the City of St. Louis.

This report contains detailed information on transportation in St. Louis with regard to population, the economic and commercial dynamics of the City, local transportation agencies, and present trends in public transportation, like, railway, street cars and buses.

The St. Louis Plan for transportation was discussed. Several ideas emerged: the possibility of successfully placing street car service with regard to the Street Plan for St. Louis ; to reroute public transportation through the Central Business District; to further expand radial and cross-town transportation lines; and to build an East-West subway that would be constructed for the operation of street cars underground. This document also highlighted methods of financing rapid transit and the legal power of St. Louis to finance and construct rapid transit facilities.

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By: City Plan Commission
Pub: June 10, 1948

This comprehensive street plan was written in compliance with the 1948 Comprehensive City Plan . Its purpose was to design a major street system for the City of St. Louis in order to fully accommodate the increase of traffic flow with the least inconvenience. Based, primarily, upon modification, extension and improvement of the existing street systems, this plan was introduced so as to alleviate traffic congestion, accidents, unnecessary expenditures, and to reduce decentralization of the Central Business District. The objective of this major street plan was to accomplish substantial improvement in present thoroughfares over a period of at least twenty-five years.

The comprehensive street plan was considered a valuable prerequisite of a completed comprehensive plan. Several important existing factors were instrumental in writing the proposed street plan: topography, population trends, land use, motor vehicle registrations, mass transportation and existing street conditions.

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By: Malcolm Elliot, Project Engineer St. Louis Urban Area Expressway Report Project
Pub: September 1951

This plan for a comprehensive modern expressway system for the St. Louis urban area was contracted between the State Highway Commission of Missouri and the City of St. Louis. To be consistent with the Major Street Plan , adopted by the City Plan Commission in 1948, this plan was an engineering study of proposed and existing expressways in the St. Louis area.

The Expressway Plan consists of three main elements: this includes the construction of three expressways radiating from the Central Business District of St. Louis in Northwesterly, Westerly, and Southwesterly directions. The three proposed expressways include are the Mark Twain Expressway, connecting with U.S. Route 40, Northwesterly; Daniel Boone Expressway, connecting with U.S. Route 40, Westerly; and the Ozark Expressway, connecting with U.S. Routes 66 and 61, Southwesterly.

The idea behind this plan was to set up a comprehensive expressway system for the St. Louis area, whereby populations living outside of the City would be able to have complete access to the Central Business District without creating congestion for the City street system. With an estimated population increase of nine hundred thousand in the City, and two million in the Metropolitan area by the year 1970, accommodations for street expansion within the City as well as expressway construction throughout the Metropolitan area became a priority for the City of St. Louis at this time.

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