Ask the Road Crew

Your drive home is more likely happening at dusk or in the dark - ask the Road Crew experts any of your commuting questions about that and more - like traffic circles, yielding rules or merging etiquette. Join the pros from MoDOT, St. Louis and St. Louis County on Wednesday Nov. 9 at 1 p.m.

    Really appreciate these - when stripping the pavement, is there anything that can be added to help see the road lanes when raining - I think at one time you tried to add crushed glass or sand for reflection - thanks
    We continue to look at options on ways to improve the visibility of striping during wet weather -- some of the challenges include the amount of rain we get during some of these storms (which somewhat overwhelms the reflective material) and snow operations (which has a potential impact on in-laid pavement markers). Snow plow operations also scrape away the glass beads that we use for make the lines more visible at night and during rain. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Now that leak on Old Olive around 10520-10510 is fixed how long will it be before they put down the permanent street repair? What's there now is not very smooth.
    It can take a while for the water company to award a contract to make permanent repairs. They first want to make sure that their waterline repair holds (so they don't have to continue to make a permanent repair and rip it out). They also have a process to award contracts and try to get the best prices they can. We do expect them to bring the roadway back to the original condition. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    There have been questions before about the eastern entrance/exit (the non-signaled one) to the Walmart/Aldi shopping areas on Watson Road in Shrewsbury. Is there any way to signal to those making a left onto Watson and merging in with eastbound traffic that that center area is not a lane? Almost daily I see people turning into that area and either waiting as if it is a turn lane, or actually driving down the center of Watson road until they get to the area under the railroad and then have to cut someone off. It is incredibly dangerous. Thank you.
    People who are using the center area incorrectly as a turn lane is an enforcement issue -- the traffic levels are too low to have a signal there, and signing would tend to be ignored. If you continue to see this, I would encourage you to call law enforcement. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    SB Hampton between I64 an I44 is still as bad as it ever was even with the recent complaints and suggestions. Are MODOT and St. Louis city going to cooperate at some me point in time to smooth out their respective signal problems once and for all? The public is tired of waiting on you. Thanks.
    The City & MoDOT were already making adjustments to Hampton timing this week. We will continue this cooperative effort until both agencies are satisfied with signal progression.
    I am curious if St. Louis city has realized a timeline for syncing the signals on Forest Park Avenue between Grand and Kingshighway? I have read numerous complaints in this chat over the last few months regarding this stretch of roadway and the signal timing is still atrocious: a green light is guaranteed to be followed by a red light at the very next intersection in both directions at seemingly all times of the day. One would think that between the investments brought forth by SLU, Cortex, the new development at the old Federal Mogul site, IKEA, BJC, and others, syncing the signals would be paramount. Here we are at the end of 2016, technology galore, and St. Louis city is still stuck in 1950 and can't even sync signals on a major roadway. Please do better than this.
    The City has been working on revised signal timings to implement on-street prior to the end of this year.
    Speaking of syncing lights... any word on Jefferson & Scott in the PM rush? I know equipment was ordered. What about installation? Traffic is horrible and I've seen people just go through the lights since traffic is not coming in the other direction. At least it moves traffic when the others go through the lights.
    The City has staff on street this morning installing vehicle detection at Jefferson & Scott.
    Work crews recently finished repairs to the east bound bridge on HWY 70 over 170. Can you explain why the surface is so ridiculously rough? I had less wear and tear on my truck BEFORE any work was done.This area desperately needs a layer of asphalt or something.
    We are putting a sealing coat of concrete on the bridges as we work on them -- similar to what was put on Route 364 over Creve Coeur lake. Since we kept the bridge open to traffic while we were working on the overlay, the traffic going by impacted the driving surface, which made it rough. We have no plans to put any further material on the bridges, although we will be putting some asphalt on the roadway leading up to the bridges to even out the ride getting onto the bridge. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    As a matter of policy, we don't install speed bumps on any of our roads, as the devices wreak havoc on our snowplow blades. We also rarely (if ever) erect "Slow: Children Playing" signs because in our opinion, the signs give residents a false sense of security that drivers will heed the placards and adjust their driving habits accordingly. We don't want to do anything that would encourage (either implicitly or directly) children playing in public streets. The presence of a police car - and the issuance of tickets for speeding - is generally the most effective deterrent for problems like this. David Wrone, St. Louis County
    Thanks for hosting these weekly chats. I live in a subdivision that the County maintains the street. The street is around 3/10 of a mile and is straight. The speed limit is 25 of which most drivers exceed. Any ideas on how to slow drivers down? Some time back county police put up an electronic speed check to let us know how fast we are going. That did not slow anyone down. Can we put up signs such as 'Slow, children playing' or a couple of speed bumps? If so, what is the process to have it done? Thanks.
    The pending striping of 'Bikes Only" lanes on Baxter Road, between Clarkson and Wild Horse Creek Road, is supported by St. Louis County's 'Complete Streets" ordinance, which was passed by a 6-0 County Council vote in 2014. The ordinance requires the Department of Transportation to consider all modes of transportation when planning a major road improvement project. Our computer modeling projected little to no adverse impact on the flow of motor vehicle traffic by the reduction of two of Baxter Road's driving lanes. Before reaching our decision, the Department of Transportation worked closely with local advocacy groups - in particular Trailnet, an organization whose members live throughout the region (including Chesterfield) and who were extremely supportive of the measure. David Wrone, St. Louis County
    I read the article in today's paper about Chesterfield trying to opt out of taking driving lanes away to make way for bike lanes. As a cyclist, I'm happy they are doing this. Community involvement is needed. I wish St. Louis City would ask for their community's opinion. I don't think we need more bike lanes. There are plenty of paths and parks to use. I would much rather ride in Forest Park or along the Riverfront and enjoy the scenery rather than riding on Manchester Ave trying to dodge cars. The people need more of a voice in these matters.
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