Maplewood needs something like Brentwood’s fountain, street repair too, resident says

Recently, the City of Maplewood stated that they have a million plus dollars to spend and are open to suggestions.  Now I understand that I am not involved with our leaders on a daily basis, but it seems ironic to me that they are making this statement on the heels of asking us to increase our taxes for both a fire station and to support the lateral program…

I also find it ironic that instead of ramping up the resurfacing of our neighborhood streets, they are looking for ‘projects’.  Why?  So many of our residential streets are in terrible shape – which not only harm our cars, ruin the ascetics of our neighborhoods and drive property values down, but also discourage home buyers. Those same people who are drawn to drive around to see what they can find in our charming areas, make a bee-line for the main arteries (or Richmond Heights) after bumping and bobbling down our side streets.

The city is repairing streets in order of a study completed over a decade ago (a study, by the way that they paid tens of thousands for).  And let’s not forget, the city Maplewood consists of much more area than simply the blocks south of Manchester close to the business district…all the updates, cute street name signs in the blocks surrounding the strip, do not carry across the entire city – why not areas north of Manchester or west of Big Bend?  Why not the poor souls who are now facing the back side of a Walmart?

Finally, if we aren’t going to have our taxes lowered or fix the streets that are in obvious need, or continue the beatifications that have only landed in and near the business district, then how about taking a cue from other cities and improve our ‘name plates’?

By this I mean the signs posted around our borders that declare “Maplewood”.   Why not take pride in these and instead of just sticking them in the ground and walking away?  Invest some money in making them a statement!

Brentwood's  fountain at Eager Road and Brentwood Boulevard.

Brentwood’s fountain at Eager Road and Brentwood Boulevard.

How many readers have noticed the Brentwood sign/fountain at Hwy 40 and Brentwood? It is beautiful and classy and announces you are in their city. The fact that it grabs your attention while in the shadow of huge flyover ramps proves the impact a thoughtful piece can have no matter where it is placed.

So I wonder, who owns that small piece of land on the northeast corner of Manchester and Hanley? If the city does, why not try to mimic something similar to that Brentwood piece? It could even contain an element to post events in the city. All that traffic at that intersection…talk about making ourselves known!

Too big of a project? Then take it down a notch—how about the smaller city markers scattered around? To know what I am referencing, take a quick drive down West Bruno to the Lindbergh intersection. Richmond Heights has a carved stone maker that is artfully landscaped—directly across from that Maplewood has a white wooden sign, seven feet up in the air with a few tulips and a bush or two that pop up at its base.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe those white and teal Maplewood signs have great potential. But how about lowering it, how about getting a true landscaper in there, adding a self-sustaining water feature? Just enlist someone (anyone) who has a better eye for aesthetics than whoever stuck those in the ground. Have a contest, have people submit ideas, get the community involved…

I think claiming our city and borders would be a good idea to build business development (not only in the business district)—especially before the county continues to push and dumps all that traffic on us from the proposed South County Connector. Brentwood developed and thereby negated the continuation of I-170 down the middle of their city—maybe we could be fortunate enough to do the same.

10 thoughts on “Maplewood needs something like Brentwood’s fountain, street repair too, resident says

  1. Maplewood is doing the streets but Laclede Gas comes behind them & tears them up. Finally had our street done & now there are two big patches in the new streets thanks to Laclede. It looks terrible.

  2. So you beleive that even more money should be spent on the business district so that those who go out to eat, or visit the district have more options while many of our residential/side streets are patchwork of asphalt?

  3. I would like to see some more artwork and paintings in parts of the city that are not just downtown. (but some more in downtown would be nice) On the south side of the city we have a bunch of commercial business that have these ugly fences going around them. I would like to see something painted on them. some kind of art work done to help make those look better. Maplewood is a great town and a ton goes into downtown. But what about the other sections of the city? I think they should go around and see how they can make other areas look better. Art will always help with. Kinda like how the grove has done it. I think spreading the money to the neighborhoods is a great idea.

  4. Some things to consider if Maplewood is considering a fountain:
    – ongoing costs – the Brentwood fountain costs the city $20k annually for maintenance of the water feature. There are other costs which I have heard brings the costs closer to $50k…..these costs are ongoing and supported by our tax dollars….so make sure this is how you want your tax dollars spent.
    – unintended guests – the fountain attracts geese/water foul which I personally love and think adds character….but the geese do create traffic jams at a busy intersection…..and I tread the day the city tries to take some form of action. I thinks if cities build these types of features they need to be prepared to live with the consequences

  5. No to a fountain. I say widen the sidewalks on Manchester to offer more outside seating which draws people to come, sit, stay awhile & come again. We ate breakfast outside in Webster this weekend, it was so nice. We look for outside seating establishments. Webster, U-City, Kirkwood, CWE all have this draw.

  6. I agree that funds should be applied to street resurfacing. I do urge City Hall to eschew needless displays such as Brentwood’s fountain, with its horrible typography proclaiming Brentwood the City of What? It’s not possible to read that sign from most angles. The “Warmth” resembles “Worms” and other meaningless words unless you are right in front of it.

  7. You are correct, it is amusing that I call out what the practical person sees as need and then come up with other items. The reason I did this is that I am hoping our city leaders are only looking for other projects because this money is from some kind of grant or source that would not allow it to be used practically — because if that isn’t — the fact they are asking doesn’t bode well. I first and foremost believe that concentrated work on street resurfacing (not plugging holes with asphalt) should be the priority. I saw people post cool but not practical ideas–like kids spending money on what they want instead of what they need. I bring up the signs just in case the money is not allowed to be used for the streets – at least that as a project would be more generalized than items in the business district alone. Many of these signs are already up and don’t look great due to poor placement. Please don’t get me wrong, I realize the business district is awesome and become a destination — I enjoy it myself often – yet if we want people buying houses and moving in, they A)have to be able to drive down a street without losing a tire and B) can’t drive away from the district and feel that the rest of our city is neglected and not worth moving into.

  8. It’s amusing that you, rightfully so, call out the many streets in Maplewood that need fixing and how areas outside the business district have been ignored in some fashion and yet propose wasting money on purely decorative features such as fancy signs or needless fountains? Yes, those would be nice, but I think we have plenty of other things to worry about than that.

  9. I write in total agreement. Please Maplewood, stop ruining the ascetics of our neighborhood. Admittedly, their lifestyle is not for everyone. But they are a vital community resource — one that enhances Maplewood’s eccentric charm and spiritual diversity. As hard as it may be for some of us to believe, not everyone appreciates the offer of a cappuccino and strawberry scone on a Sunday morning, or a request for a full-body massage on a Sunday evening. Ask yourself: don’t our neighborhood ascetics deserve as much courtesy as any of the other marvelous subcultures that make Maplewood Maplewood? Showing respect can be so simple. Keep your strange donuts to yourself. Think twice before insisting on that anonymous midnight gift of a canadian-bacon-and-pineapple pizza delivery. Is Hummert Park the most considerate locale for topless sunbathing on a humid summer afternoon? Must Hawaiian Tropic always be applied with such pouty languor? What may seem like a neighborly gesture to some might in fact pose an unwelcome pleasure-challenge to others.

    Thanks for hearing me.

  10. I live on Rule Avenue, which is a one-block street running east and west off Marshall. The street behind me is Moeller, another one-block street where Immaculate Conception church sits. Connecting those two streets on their east ends is a little lane called Lowry that runs parallel to the railroad tracks. In the 15 years I’ve lived here, I don’t remember these streets ever being re-paved and they are badly in need. We also don’t have any cute teal street signs. What’s up with that?