Last week, a Road Crew reader asked why westbound Clayton Road's left turn signal on to Highland Terrace/St. Rita Avenue in Richmond Heights activates at all hours, even when no traffic is present. ST. LOUIS COUNTY'S REPLY: While recently replacing a water main on Clayton Road, Missouri American Water damaged the pavement-imbedded vehicle sensors for westbound Clayton Road's left turn on to Highland Terrace/St. Rita. As a result, these sensors - i.e., "detection loops" - are unable to detect vehicles. We therefore set this signal phase to provide "green" time for each signal cycle. This is why you're seeing the left turn arrow, even when no traffic is present. The damaged sensors will be replaced next year, once our Clayton Road improvement project is complete. David Wrone, St. Louis County
With a significant snow event likely later tonight and tomorrow, St. Louis County crews will begin spreading salt this afternoon on our residential/subdivision streets. Our winter response team will then shift its salting operations to our arterial road system. (Arterial roads are major routes such as Forest Park Parkway, Shackelford, Jennings Station, Baxter, Clayton Road, Hanley, Big Bend, Reavis Barracks and Union.) With five to seven inches of snow expected to descend on the region by tomorrow, our drivers will plow and salt through the night to keep our roads and streets as safe as conditions allow. David Wrone, St. Louis County
Also last week, a reader asked what impact the Affton Plaza development would have on Tobey and Swifton avenues, immediately north of Gravois Road. ST. LOUIS COUNTY'S REPLY: The plaza development will consume both streets. Neither will exist.
I'll check on this and post an answer as soon as I learn anything. David Wrone, St. Louis County
We can take a look at the evaluation that was done when the signal was reinstalled. The left turn treatment ("protected" - turn on arrow only, "permissive" - yielding turns only on green, and "protected-permissive" - yielding turns allowed on green AND on arrow) are analyzed looking at volume of left turning traffic, opposing through traffic, number of lanes opposing, etc. The left turn treatment that exists now, protected-only, is the most restrictive - very likely due to the large amount of opposing traffic throughout the day that makes a turn on green ball not feasible.
I'll forward this to our signals group, and will post their response in a future Road Crew. David Wrone, St. Louis County
Our signal crews will check it out. Looks like a reoccurring issue with large vehicles likely being the culprit in turning & knocking the signal head out of alignment. We will look at better placement away from the intersection if possible.
I can't speak for the other teams on the chat, but we try to be as efficient as we can during every storm, and we balance the amount of treatment for the type of precipitation. Treatment can be expensive, and we want to make sure that we get the job done, but don't waste the treatment unnecessarily. We have had several ice-heavy storms over the past few years, though, and it tends to take a bit more treatment to melt through ice (especially when combined with cold temperatures) than through an equivalent amount of snow. Our ultimate goal is to provide the level of service that Missouri taxpayers expect (make roadways as passable as we can as quickly as we can, based on the roadway priorities,) while using the resources allotted to us as effectively as possible. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
Our Operations personnel will investigate. David Wrone, St. Louis County
We still need to install the signals' loop detectors - the pavement-imbedded sensors that activate the lights - after which we can stripe. However, we can't stripe unless it's at least 55 degrees, so this phase will be dependent on the weather. At the very earliest, this work will be completed by the week after Thanksgiving. David Wrone, St. Louis County
Our traffic engineers will check it out - thanks for sharing your observations