Welcome to the city of St Joseph's weekly digital newsletter. City Link is your source for timely and relevant information from your local government.
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Garage Sale Weekend

City Council recently approved August 6-9, 2020, as Garage Sale Weekend. This is a weekend where citizens will be able to host garage sales without purchasing a $5 permit.

What's a Parklet?

Parklets are seating platforms which convert curbside parking spaces into vibrant community spaces. Parklet​s provide green spaces on the city streets to help mitigate the urban heat isl​and effect and create new seasonal pedestrian spaces that improve the quality of life in commercial corridors. The more active the appearance of retail spaces, the more attractive it is for more customers to visit, called the human attraction phenomenon. ​For business, parklets provide an expanded seating area that is of special interest during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parklets are urban amenities appropriate for narrow, active pedestrian streets with lower speed limits. Because the private use located in the public street would use space reserved for parking, it is important public safety provisions be adhered to at all times. For example, placing fencing or barriers to prevent pedestrian movements directly from the parklet into the travel lane is important. Additionally, buffer areas and traffic marking are important as well. The American with Disabilities Act access is also a requirement.

The concept, popular in areas like Phoenix, Minneapolis, Miami and New York has become fairly common in the last several years. In St. Joseph, pop-up parklets were demonstrated a few years ago in the downtown area and proved successful. However, it was not until restaurants were impacted by the pandemic when a renewed interest was demonstrated in creating outside dining areas. Of course, the challenge to re-purpose a portion of the street for a new purpose is what is given up in the mix: parking. In some areas, there is a wealth of parking options nearby and others parking is perceived as a commodity in short supply.

Rather than formally limiting or establishing where parklets can be, the application requirements for the program would leave it up to the applicant to work out with their neighbors. For approval, an applicant is required to obtain the support from the adjoining neighbors and 51% of the remaining property owners on the block. This allows for neighbors on blocks who want to develop a parklet to do so and others on blocks who are not supportive to continue using the designated space for parking. The concept is simply to provide for flexibility where support by the property owners impacts if they choose to do so.

Given St. Joseph experiences all four seasons, parklets here will be seasonal and will have to be removed during the winter to allow for snow and ice control. The seasonal reality underscores the temporary or portable nature of the improvement to be deployed. Some basics for a valid application would include:
  • Posted speed signs of 25 MPH or less
  • Not located on a corner
  • Parking lane available and no impact to the market travel lane
  • Dining or seating areas only which can be shared between businesses
  • Storm drainage not impaired
  • Neighborhood support

The Traffic Commission is now in the process of soliciting public comment on parklets for their August 19, meeting.
Youth Sports During COVID-19

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has left many people wondering what has become of their favorite league or outdoor activity. Is it safe to continue playing the games and participating in the exercises? Are these activities even available at this time?

Those involved in youth sports are wondering the same things. The COVID-19 public health crisis has left many youth league organizers wondering if they can safely conduct normal activities, while at the same time adhering to the precautions which have been put in place by government health authorities to protect the public. Many of these groups are operated solely by volunteers, who as a group, do not possess the resources necessary to navigate these perplexing times in the world of recreation. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has offered these basic guidelines among others to follow while conducting youth activities during the COVID 19 crisis. They include:
  • Reduce physical closeness between players when possible
  • Minimize sharing of equipment or gear
  • Limit travel outside of your area during contests
  • Identify small groups and keep them together
  • Practice social distancing and use cloth face coverings when appropriate

Following these suggestions will hopefully keep everyone involved safe and allow youth the physical activity and social interactions which has become so important during this time. After all, it’s the number of kids participating that’s important, not the numbers at the end of the game. For more information about youth sports available through the Parks, Recreation and Civic Facilities Department, call 271-5500.
Clinic Services in the Age of COVID-19

The immunization clinic is probably one of the most recognized services provided through the city of St. Joseph Health Department. When asked what services... read more
Parties on the Parkway

The St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce has announced this year's shortened Parties on the Parkway concert series schedule.
  • Thursday, August 13, from 5-8pm, at Corby Grove by Corby Pond featuring Oxymoron
  • Thursday, August 27, from 5-8pm, at Southwest Parkway and King Hill Drive near Benton High School featuring Soca Jukebox
  • Thursday, September 10, from 5-8pm, at the Remington Nature Center alongside the Missouri River featuring Center Stage

As always, residents are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs and spread out on the spacious grounds. Food and drink will be available to purchase. No coolers allowed. Proceeds benefit Friends of the Park. Safety measures will be place including:
  • Hand sanitization and hand washing stations will be available at each event.
  • It's at the discretion of each attendee if they would like to wear a face mask. Face masks will be available for guests who would like one.
  • Guests are asked to social distance and spread out.
  • If you have recently traveled to a hot spot, are sick or have recently been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home.
  • Staff will clean and disinfect commonly used items such as drink stations, etc. during events.
(816) 271-5300