The Ferguson Commission and its working groups have convened all over St. Louis since December 2014’s inaugural meeting at the Ferguson Community Center.
This means most people who’re taking part in the Commission’s process have needed directions and – even for familiar venues – made decisions about which route to take.
We asked people at the last Commission meeting at the YMCA of Greater St. Louis how they got to the Carondolet Park Rec Center. Some, like Barbara W., travelled many roads to scoop up a companion before arrival:
“Lindbergh to Ladue – Delmar – Chamberlain U City to pick up friend to Forest Pk to Grand Ave to Holly Hills.”
Others, like Rosalind – “Chamberlain Ave to Midland Ave to Delmar to Forest Parkway to S Grand” – and Bob, who took Grand, don’t use or “avoid highway[s].” And there were a couple who made the trip on foot: “I walked,” said A.N, “I live in the neighborhood 6 blocks away” and came because of “proximity and time.”
There were also several who have followed the Commission to its many locations across the region. But in some cases, attendance is the sum of happenstance and history.
Brian and Phyllis H., for example, live in Webster Groves but drive out to the Carondolet YMCA to exercise because of its diverse membership and closeness to their grandchildren, one of whom is biracial. In addition to feeling some honest conversation about race needs to happen, Phyllis also “grew up in Berkeley/Ferguson in the 1950’s-60’s” and has that personal connection to what’s happened around Ferguson since August.
Ultimately, she and husband Brian ended up at the meeting simply because it was happening where they were. They “saw the sign + [were] curious… [w]anted to find out what was being discussed.” And they stayed right through the end.
If you plan to attend tonight’s meeting at St. Louis Gateway Classic Sports Foundation, what signs might you follow? Here’s a list of some you may see if you take mainly surface streets to join.
15.5mi: Mercy Hospital St. Louis
South Ballas Rd. --> Conway Rd. --> Ladue Rd. --> N. Price Rd. --> Delmar --> Blvd. --> N. Big Bend Blvd. --> Forest Park Parkway --> --> Market St. --> N. Jefferson Ave. --> Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
9.8mi: McCluer South Berkeley School
S. Florissant Rd --> University Blvd. --> Florissant Rd. --> St. Anns Ln --> MO-115E/Natural Bridge Rd. --> Parnell St. --> N. Jefferson Ave.
3.7mi: International Institute of St. Louis
Arsenal St. --> S. Compton Ave. --> Market St. --> N. Jefferson Ave. --> Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
5.6mi: St. Louis Zoo
Government Dr. --> Pagoda Circle --> Cricket Dr. --> Grand Dr. --> Union Dr. --> Forest Park Ave. --> Market St. --> Market St. --> N. Jefferson Ave .--> Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
13.6mi: Spanish Lake Community Association
Larimore Rd. --> Prigge Rd. --> Riverview Dr. --> Hall St. --> E. Grand Ave. --> Natural Bridge Ave. --> Parnell St. --> N. Jefferson Ave. --> Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
4.9mi: Tower Grove Park
Magnolia Ave. --> Center Cross Dr. --> Tower Grove Ave. --> S. Vandeventer Ave. --> Chouteau Ave. --> S. Jefferson Ave. --> Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
Tonight's meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. and will focus on topics related to health disparities as well as updates from the Commission working groups.