Ask the Road Crew

The holiday's over, so it's back to normal summer commutes. Ask the Road Crew all your questions about signal timing, pothole problems and more. Join the MoDOT, St. Louis and St. Louis County experts on Wednesday at 1 p.m.

  • A couple of follow-ups from questions from MetroWest last week. I talked with our maintenance team that oversees Route 50 along the Gasconade River. They are unaware of any scenic overlook on the route. If you have more details that you can provide about where it was, we may be able to dig further into it. MetroWest also asked about new locomotives and coaches for the Missouri River Runner. Currently the new locomotives are undergoing testing, and we expect Amtrak to start using them next year. We do not have any new information on when the coaches might be delivered. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • A few weeks ago I asked about EB I-64 to SB 141. Since that time MODOT has added a new dashed stripe to mark the outline of the SB lane. In my view this small change has made an enormous impact on ensuring that turning drivers properly yield to SB vehicles. Thanks for taking another look at this!
  • We appreciate the kudos -- I've passed them along to the individuals involved! Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Currently there is a minefield of patches, potholes, bumps and dips in the left lane of southbound Jefferson Ave between Russell Blvd and Victor Street. This rattles our vehicles to no end. Is there any way to smooth out some of this? It is causing havoc on our cars.
  • I have notified our streets crews to field check - thanks!
  • I have a serious, not-a-rant question about bicyclists. I believe firmly that vehicular traffic needs to co-exist peacefully with cyclists, although I wish more of the latter seemed interested in peaceful co-existence with drivers.

    Why is it that cyclists are allowed to ride in the street even when there are bicycle lanes available to them? Recently, a cyclist was riding well into the right lane on Daugherty Ferry Road between Des Peres Road and Barrett Station Road, where there is a safe bike lane. When drivers got too close to him (or what he apparently considered too close; I switched to the left lane to pass), he indulged in unseemly gestures and yelling. Why shouldn't cyclists be required to stay out of a busy roadway when there's a safe alternative? And why aren't cyclists licensed like drivers? Too few of them seem acquainted with the rules of the road, and that's a big problem, especially when the laws of physics don't favor you.

    I once commuted regularly by bicycle, but I was careful about using hand signals, stopping for lights and signs, and obeying other legal and survival-basic rules. Do police ever pull over cyclists who can't be bothered with the law and ticket them?

    Thank you!
  • Because it is the law – Missouri is a share the road state – that means that cyclists have the choice to use the roadway, even if there is a bike lane. They have the right to be treated as any other vehicle on the road.

    There is a huge difference in the potential damage that a car and a cyclist can cause – and there is a vast difference in the age one can be to operate a bicycle or a car.

    We understand that we have cyclists with different levels of skills, and cyclists who may be more vocal or aggressive on the roadway – you have the same varied experience levels and aggressiveness in cars.

    You would have to discuss with the various law enforcement agencies about their enforcement of the traffic laws on cyclists. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Iris, in reference to your question about cyclists who use 'shared' (motor vehicle and bike) lanes when a bike lane is available: a difference of opinion exists in the bike-riding community about the advisability of cycling on dedicated bike lanes. Some bicycling enthusiasts maintain that they're safer using a regular (non-dedicated) lane. Others, however, prefer lanes restricted solely to bicycle traffic. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Are there any updates available on the Scott Avenue (City of Saint Louis) lane closure for the construction of the retaining wall behind Metro’s Ewing Avenue light-rail yard?
  • Last we heard it was scheduled for a September completion. I have an inquiry in on whether this has changed. Will share once I hear back.
  • Thank you, Mr. Gates. That still begs the question of why cyclists aren't tested and licensed as drivers are, given that they are equally entitled to use the roadway. Knowing and obeying the law would seem like a pretty basic requirement before getting out there on the streets.
  • First of all, many of the adults who are cyclists already have a driver's licenses and carry insurance. Secondly -- the potential damage that a cyclist can do is vastly different than that of a car -- the cyclist (and their bike) weighs maybe 275 pounds -- a vehicle weighs nearly 10 times that. A cyclist will travel at 15-20 mph. Cars travel much faster. If a cyclist gets into a crash (that they cause), they will most likely do little damage to anything but themselves and their bike. If a driver gets into a crash, it can have serious results... Any rationale to require licensing for cyclists would have to be determined and debated by state legislators. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Update on the Metro retaining wall project:
    The new wall is approximately 40% complete. It should be 90%+ by the end of July. Targeting the end of July or the beginning of August to begin the roadwork. Current schedule has the project finishing in the first week of October.
  • Hello, Frank. I'll make sure our Operations division repairs the damaged street sign. You'll need to contact Ameren at 1-800-552-7583 to report the disabled street light. Thanks. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • David, on Windyoak Drive at Stormyoak in Ballwin, someone hit the street sign on the corner and it's leaning over. Also, on Windyoak Drive by Twistedoak there is a street light that appears to be leaning too. It looks like someone has taken a stake and tried to tape it to the base of the light. Could you please have someone take a look at those 2 things please? Thanks!
  • Thanks, Mr. Gates. I'll just have to keep praying that no stop sign-running cyclist connects with my car. I don't know how I could live with that, no matter whose fault it was.
  • I understand -- we all need to ensure that we remain alert, avoid distractions and watch out for all other roadway users (whether they have wheels or shoes) when we are on the roadway. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
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