Ask the Road Crew

Will there be anything out there to slow you down on your Memorial Day weekend? Ask the MoDOT, St. Louis and St. Louis County experts all your commuting and getting around questions to make your Memorial Day memorable for all the right reasons. Join the Road Crew chat at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 25.

  • A couple of follow-up items from previous weeks: . Early in May, one of the chatters asked us to review the signal timing at Olive and I-270 during the morning rush hour. Several of the turns were backing up into the intersection. They were also asking about the signal onto northbound New Ballas.

    Our traffic engineer for the area observed Olive from I-270 to New Ballas for several mornings and determined that changes were not appropriate at this time. He did see traffic backing up from the southbound I-270 ramp backing up into the intersection for a few seconds, but that it also cleared out quickly and still gave a good amount of time for eastbound Olive traffic to move through the signal. Since both the northbound and southbound ramps are very heavy during the morning rush, they must have all the time they get to prevent traffic from backing up onto the interstate. The turn lane from eastbound Olive to northbound New Ballas is set when it is to best serve traffic. He did note that it may spill back onto the lanes of eastbound Olive, but usually cleared out quickly.

    Secondly, reasonrules asked if the signal work along Gravois meant that there would be the opportunity for yielding right turns from Kingshighway to westbound Gravois while eastbound Gravois is making yielding left turns onto Kingshighway. Unfortunately, we are not allowing yielding rights – this lets pedestrians crossing Gravois have their own exclusive crossing. We will extend the opportunity to make the right turn at the same time as eastbound Gravois gets their left arrow as well as while Kingshighway has a green light. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • From Irritated-64: B. can anything be done about late mergers at 64-170? it slows down both lanes and i see close calls on rear ends every day.

    Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to prevent drivers from making late or early merges on the interstate. The type of barrier that you would need to prevent this is very unsafe at interstate speeds. People who cut in at the last minute tend to be people who want to squeak a few more car lengths ahead, to the detriment of other drivers.. The best prevention is to, of course be a more defensive driver, avoid distractions and watch out for other drivers. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • When will the construction on 44 near Hampton be completed? It looks like the lanes have shifted so are they 1/2 finished?
  • The work on the current bridges will be completed later this year -- the project is scheduled through November. However, we have several years of work set along I-44 to continue maintenance along the corridor. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Any chance the potholes on the Forest Park Parkway just west of Vandeventer and east of Sarah can get fixed? It's right in front of IKEA. I'm surprised no one else has said something about it. Also, why aren't the lights on the Forest Park Parkway synchronized? I take it regularly around 4:30PM and heading west from Vandeventer, you get stopped at every light... until you go under Kingshighway. It "could" be a nice alternative to 40 west.
  • I will pass along your observations of the pavement conditions on Forest Park Parkway. 
    The traffic signals on Forest Park Parkway are linked to our Traffic Management Center via fiber optic cable and operate in coordination throughout the day. We can verify if there is an on-street equipment malfunction or the fiber communications are damaged however.  The timing plans on Forest Park Parkway were specifically designed to accommodate hourly fluctuations in traffic and changes in the dominant direction of travel patterns throughout the day - resulting in separate AM, off-peak, and PM timing plans.  Again, we will verify if there is an equipment/communication issue before revisiting any timing plan revisions.
  • Thank you for your information. I understand about the different traffic patterns during the day. Wouldn't you agree that in the morning the east bound traffic should flow better and conversely in the evening the west bound traffic should flow better? It seems silly to get stopped at every single light in less than a 2 mile stretch. It's a waste of fuel economy and time.
  • Traffic volumes are bi-directional throughout the day on Forest Park Parkway (between Vandeventer and Kingshighway) at 600 vehicles per hour (vph) in each direction during the AM peak hour and 800 vph in each direction during the PM peak hour.  These are the most difficult to develop coord plans for as you can't be biased for one direction of flow.
  • I agree with the comment on Forest Park light timing. I have stopped going this way, instead taking N/B Spring, W/B Laclede, N/B Vandeventer to W/B Lindell instead of continuing on Forest Park to Taylor. 530PM I get stopped at every light on Forest Park to Taylor, then every light on N/B Taylor to Lindell.
  • First we will verify the equipment and communications are operating correctly on Forest Park Parkway. If they are not, we will correct this.  If they are operating correctly, we will revisit the timing plans to adjust them to better accommodate traffic demands.
  • A. What is going on with the Spring Street by your metro yard? Is it ever going to be open in both directions again?B. can anything be done about late mergers at 64-170? it slows down both lanes and i see close calls on rear ends every day
  • Are you talking about Scott - not Spring?  Currently, excavation and removal of the old retaining wall is taking place.  The roadway, sidewalk, barrier work started in April and should be complete in September.  If this is not the location you are talking about, please provide more details.  Thanks!
  • I, too, have noticed that the signal timing along Forest Park Avenue between Grand and Kingshighway is poor. I drove Forest Park eastbound this morning and a green light is always met with a red light at the next intersection. Every. Single. Time. Please fix this.
  • I'll have our road inspection group investigate the situation. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Someone needs to check out the water in the roadway on Frost @ Hanley going towards the ramp for 170 southbound. It's continually wet pavement there. Could it be a water leak, irrigation system leaking or something else. I've seen it when there has been no rain for days.
  • It's ridiculous how slow the responses are on this chat.
  • Often, we have to check with an expert to get a more specific answer -- that can take a while. Andrew Gates. MoDOT Communications
  • One more time, I asked last week and didn't get a response. Traffic circle at I-64/40 and Tower Grove Avenue, no crosswalk warning for cars traveling southbound across the bridge to the circle. They come speeding around the corner (crosswalk is not visible until the hit the end of the bridge) and pedestrians have to be wary of crossing because it is not easy to see cars coming across the bridge. Can there be a sign put up - slow down for crosswalk? It gets scary sometimes.
  • There are supposed to be pedestrian warnings at all the crosswalks on the Tower Grove roundabout. We'll double-check to make sure that they haven't been knocked down. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Several weeks ago the intersection of Page and Woodson flooded. Now the pavement is very rough. Any plans to resurface that area?
  • There was a water main break there. We're working with the water company to determine when they are coming out to make final repairs -- we do have some plans to resurface Page from I-170 to Lindbergh later this year. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Are there any plans to make the far right lane on north bound 270 between Manchester and Hwy 40 smoother? It is so incredibly bumpy starting about 1/4 mile north of Manchester Road all the way to exit on to Hwy 40! Surely I'm not the only one that has ever commented on this.
  • Yes, it is getting rough. We have plans to resurface I-270 between Page and I-55 next year. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • The intersection of Central Industrial Avenue at Tower Grove and Vandeventer seems to have once had a traffic detection system, but apparently it doesn’t work. Even when there is no traffic, the cycle includes Central Industrial. This time could be much better used in clearing Tower Grove traffic through the intersection when there is no traffic waiting on Central Industrial Ave, especially now with additional traffic from the Kingshighway detour. Could this traffic detection be replaced? Generally, St. Louis is well behind other cities in active traffic management it seems.
  • The intersection of Tower Grove & Vandeventer has never had detection.  However, the City has been exploring options with various parties to puruse improving this intersection (as well as the others on Vandeventer) to upgrade the signals to include fiber optic communications (linking them to our Traffic Management Center) as well as adding vehicle and pedestrian detection to make the signals responsive to dynamic traffic demands.
  • On Eastbound Forest Park Pkwy., the left-turn arrows onto Northbound Sarah and Vandeventer often fail to turn green, leaving drivers sitting through multiple cycles. This morning, after waiting for three cycles, I lost patience and made my turn while the arrow was still red (although the main light was green). There are no signs here saying whether or not left-on-red-arrow is allowed. Could your crews check out these lights?
  • Forest Park Parkway has been reported to us in terms of complaints regarding its traffic signal progression performance lately between Vandeventer and Kingshighway.  We are investigating the complaints - during this process we will look at equipment, communications, timing, and signage as mentioned.  Thanks!
  • Now that there's a nice new surface on Southwest between Downtown Maplewood and McCausland, could someone talk to the railroad and have them fix the drainage on their overpass - there's always a flow of water right from the middle in bad weather that is sure to dig a hole in the middle of the new road surface as well as leave a big icy patch in winter like it's been doing for years. Thanks...
  • We will investigate this problem and coordinate with the RR authorities to avoid degradation of this new pavement.
  • During the times that the Cardinals play during the day, do you really think it is wise to allow the extensive utility work on Broadway both north and south of Washington? Collins and Hermann had SB Broadway necked down to one lane south of Washington and it appeared that traffic was backing up onto the interstate. The intersection at Cole/Broadway/ramps was a cluster at 11:30 this morning. I'd also advise revising the signal timing along Broadway during these times to actually move traffic. If you need money for upgrades, just talk to the Cardinals--they're the ones responsible for the increased traffic anyway.
  • The City generally limits "temporary" lane closures between the morning and evening peak periods of commuter traffic only - nothing specifically for Cardinals regular season day game dates.  We will look into the Broadway & Cole complaint.
  • River Des Pere and Lansdowne still gives an arrow eastbound with no traffic waiting to turn.Also relatedly, why is it a dedicated arrow? Sightlines seem to be good and it can't be because of the two turning lanes (see: Mccausland at Arsenal).
  • The intersection of Lansdowne & RDP was reported previously for this movement.  Our investigation found an equipment malfunction.  There are multiple sensors out there to detect the presence of traffic (to be able to respond to activity accordingly), but some were not operating correctly.  Some were fixed, but we're waiting on a new shipment of replacement sensors for the ones that couldn't be fixed. 
    The phasing (dual left turns only on left arrow) for this signal was designed when the metro station was built specifically for the demands of traffic volumes recorded.  If the detection was working properly the performance would be much more efficient/snappy than what it is now.  We apologize for the inconvenience while we wait to repair this location.
  • River Des Pere's interchange with Chippewa could really use some new signage. SB has no sign for Chippewa WB and NB has no sign for EB. None of the signs show MO 366 at all. And the signs on Chippewa WB to NB and EB to NB are huge signs with comparably small fonts. What do you think? Thanks!
  • Our traffic engineers will investigate this reported condition at Chippewa & RDP interchange in terms of verifying if the appropriate signage is present and correct it as needed.
  • Good afternoon, I work downtown and everday there is a Snarf's delivery car blocking a lane in traffic on eastbound Washington near 6th street. As such, this has an effect on vehicular traffic and a residual effect on pedestrian traffic especially on game days in the afternoon. From what I can tell the driver parks illegally there despite the no parking and tow-away zone signs and does not just run in to pick up the next delivery. He is usually there for several minutes until the next delivery is ready to go. Can someone speak to the manager and if he is going to park illegally he should do it on 6th street where it would have less of an impact on traffic but I suppose that the driver is too lazy for that. Perhaps ticketing and towing would send the message. Thanks.
  • We will notify the manager of the Snarf's of the parking restrictions along Wash Ave in the area adjacent to their location.  We will also inform police and treasurer's office of parking enforcement along Wash Ave.
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