Ask the Road Crew

Ever feel like you're "driving your life away?" Get advice from our Road Crew experts at MoDOT, St. Louis and St. Louis County to make your St. Louis commute a little smoother. Join them on Wednesday, March 1 at p.m. for the weekly chat.

  • Last week, Meghan suggested some lane changes at St. Peters Parkway and Central School Road. Our traffic engineers have taken a look at the suggestion and determined not to make changes for two reasons. Primarily, the congestion at that area is short term, and would be better reduced by people using safe merging techniques (including giving people who are signaling space to move over!). However, those lane changes would require a signal rebuild; the department doesn't have any funding planned to rebuild this signal at any time in the near future. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • It seems to me that the signal for Lemp and Arsenal has been changed and now Lemp is getting more green time than before. If I am correct, can Lemp's green time be shortened? By my estimation, Lemp is getting an extra ten seconds, going from a 20 second green to a 30 second green light. Thank you.
  • There haven't been any signal timing changes at Lemp & Arsenal that we're aware of. I will have someone verify there isn't a malfunction occurring. Thanks for the heads up.
  • Just an FYI. Waiting on a traffic light on westbound Delmar waiting for the left arrow onto Skinker. The green arrow is on long enough for 3 cars, maybe four with the fourth car running a yellow arrow. If one is behind a bus, cars seldom make the green arrow. I noticed this during the week at the evening rush. This is a busy intersection being that this is the Delmar Loop and plenty of traffic coming from all four directions.
  • I will relay your concerns to the Loop Trolley contractor who is responsible for timing changes during construction of this project.
  • Good day, thank you for hosting these chats. I have a question that I am not sure can be answered here. I am dismayed by the amount of graffiti that one can see especially driving north on I-44/55/70 when approaching the Poplar Street bridge. I know that the City nor MoDot are responsible for the graffiti on the railroad bridges and the pillars on the bridges, but it makes a horrible impression for not only citizens but also out-of-towners driving through. Can the railroad be contacted and asked to have this removed? I don't even know who would be responsible--Union Pacific, Amtrak, BNSF--but something needs to be done as it is many peoples first impression of our City. Thanks.
  • I have asked our railroad liaison to pass along your concern about graffiti to the railroad. I don't know what their policy is on removing graffiti, but if I hear anything back, I'll share it on the chat room. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • A 'Road Crew' reader recently posted this question: “The signal at Reavis Road and Mackenzie Road has loops to trigger the signal to go red for Mackenzie and give Reavis a green light. One of the loops is for the right turn lane and triggers a green solely so that Reavis motorists can make a right turn. I don't have a problem with this setup per se, but I do request that the signal be modified to make the time to trigger right turns only (i.e. no through or left traffic is there) a little longer. Many times I get stopped on red at Mackenzie solely for a right turn driver. By the time the Reavis driver gets a green light, he has already cleared the intersection. So, I stopped for nobody. Thank you.”

    In response, St. Louis County's Department of Transportation's signals group investigated this intersection, and shared the following information: Our inspection revealed that the intersection is operating properly and as programmed.

    Installing the delay you requested would also provide a delay for the eastbound left turning movement on Reavis Road. The eastbound right turn and left turn detection loops are tied to the same signal phase and cannot be separated at the present time.

    We do agree that the installation of a delay for eastbound right turning vehicles would increase the overall efficiency of this intersection. However, the installation of a delay for eastbound left turners would create longer delays for the eastbound approach and negate the potential increase in the overall efficiency of this signalized intersection. Therefore, we are unable to install the delay as you have requested.

    David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Last week, a 'Road Crew' reader made the following request: “Westbound Big Bend, at Sappington, between 5:00 and 5:30 pm weekdays, appears to be giving too much time to vehicles turning left (WB BB > SB Sapp), which means vehicles headed east on Big Bend end up sitting through at least two cycles, because of too-limited green time, for that movement (which, I assume, should have more priority).”

    Our reply: Subsequent to receiving your recent communication, we conducted an inspection of the traffic signal at the intersection of Big Bend Road and Sappington Road – Melshire Avenue. The results of our inspection revealed that the traffic signal is functioning properly and as programmed.

    Our observations revealed that in the evening peak period both the eastbound through movement and the westbound left turn movement are very heavy. We made timing changes in an attempt to balance the delay for both of these movements.

    We will continue to monitor this intersection to see if additional timing changes are necessary.

    David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Thanks for looking into that intersection for me! I agree it's time dependent, but still believe a second right hand turn lane should be considered. So if happen to find any extra money for a new light (I didn't think about the costs of traffic signals, oops!) then maybe consider it. :) Have a great day.
  • You are very welcome! Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • You are most welcome! David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Hey St. Louis County... Thanks for fixing the Big Bend/Hanna signal. I appreciate it.
  • My concern is in in St. Louis County with the design of the intersection at New Halls Ferry eastbound, and, specifically, the entrance to I-270 east.

    The white line at which vehicles are to stop for the traffic signal is recessed several car lengths from the turn to the entrance to the on ramp. In heavy traffic, vehicles routinely ignore this white line, proceeding into the intersection for closer position to the on ramp when the stoplight changes to green. Compounding the congestion is that, in heavy traffic, a left-turn arrow may only appear in one (1) of three (3) or four (4) traffic light cycles, leaving a yield-on-green backup for the rest.

    Please help me understand why this intersection was designed and continues to operate in this way.
  • The intersection is quite old and was built for much lower amounts of traffic in this area. We have been looking at making improvements along the corridor and have recently completed a study on the area. You can see more here: That being said, the reason the white line is so far back is so that vehicles coming off the interstate and making a left have enough room to make the turn -- so the drivers heading to the eastbound ramp are blocking the intersection -- which is an issue for law enforcement. I also believe that there is detection on that turn for the eastbound ramp -- by pulling up too far, the drivers are not only blocking the intersection, but are not being seen by the detection (which would give them their green arrow!) I am checking with our traffic experts to find out more details, and will share whatever information they provide. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • I have noticed that the hillside is collapsing at I-64 and Big Bend. On the north side of I-64 and east of Big Bend.
  • We are aware of it and have a project to repair it this summer. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • G, are you sure you've got the right roads in mind? Unless my map and memory are both misfiring, Valcour and Heege form a "T" intersection; it's not possible to drive south on Valcour and run into Heege; Valcour starts at Gravois and runs north until it hits Heege, at which point it ceases to exist. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • This is for the county. At Valcour and Heege there's a 4 way stop. If you're traveling south on Valcour and want to make a right on Heege there's a lane that was added sometime last year. It's nice but the question is do you have to stop when making a right? It's almost like a yield situation but there's no yield sign.
  • I'll forward this to our signals group for investigation. Thanks for sharing your information. David Wrone, St. Louis County.
  • Last Saturday at Hanley and Manchester eastbound on Manchester around 1:30. I sat through 3 cycles at theat intersection. Manchester got 10 -12 seconds worth of green lights and traffic backed up quite a bit. Hanley seemed to have an extended green I called MoDot and they gave me the number for St. Louis County but their offices were closed. Maybe this has been looked into since then (I forgot to call on Monday).
  • Good afternoon! I'd like to know if there are any plans for resurfacing work on Vandeventer between Chouteau and Kingshighway (after the viaduct is re-opened) - it's in pretty awful shape. Both Tower Grove and Boyle - between Chouteau and Vandeventer - could really use some help, as well. Thanks.
  • We are in the process of reviewing budgets for the new fiscal year for repaving efforts, which involves the local alderpersons who routinely allocate funds to expand our ability to resurface streets in the City. I will have a better answer for you next month.
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