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Locust St. Now Two-Way West of 14th!

February 16, 2006 Downtown, Midtown, Transportation 8 Comments

locust_14thWhat a difference! Today I drove the full length of Locust Street from 14th west to Teresa (just shy of Grand). For the first time since I’ve lived in St. Louis, I was able to drive eastbound on Locust. It was like a totally different street!

Heading westbound from downtown you see new markings on the street when you are approaching 14th Street behind the library. The right lane becomes a right-turn only lane while the left lane is forward or a left turn. Ahead you can see temporary two-way signs that will likely stay around until people have adjusted to the change.

Driving down the street I noticed myself not wanting to drive as fast. With only a single lane in my direction and cars coming the other way in their lane it just didn’t seem like a high-speed escape route anymore. I knew if would feel different but it was more profound than I had anticipated.


locust_west
Looking west from 17th street you can see the new center yellow stripes. At some blocks the stripes continued through the intersection so hopefully the street department will come back and correct that.

Again, they’ve placed a number of signs to remind folks the street is now two-way.
locust_eastThe most thrilling part of driving eastbound on Locust was seeing the magnificent Shell Building in the background. What a spectacular sight!

Also nice to see is all the construction along Locust. Many new storefronts just awaiting new businesses. Having the street two-way will do wonders for the look & feel of the area for visitors and loft residents.
locust_meter
Work in changing the street to two-way is not yet complete. Meters along the southside of the street have yet to be changed to reflect the new direction. My assumption is most will be rotated on their existing poles while some will need to be removed and others added.

I know developer Kevin McGowan of McGowan|Walsh is not a big fan of one-way streets. Perhaps he got the wheels moving a bit since his firm has a couple of projects along Locust. Another exciting developer group is Intergration LLC which is operating mostly along Locust in midtown. They may have had something to do with the change as well.

Kudos to everyone at the city planning department, streets and the parking meter division for making this happen!

– Steve

 

Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. Matt says:

    And hopefully this is just the start!

     
  2. Jeem says:

    Once I adjust to this, it will be cool. I almost got run over crossing Locust at 16th yesterday evening, though, because for years I’ve only had to look in one direction for oncoming traffic…

    [REPLY – I’m sure your mom told you to look both ways when crossing street. This applies to one-way streets as well because cars and cyclists do sometimes go the wrong way. Better safe than sorry! – SLP]

     
  3. This has been a long time coming. Locust is just too wide west of Tucker to be justifiable as a one-way. I would prefer to see the two-way status go all the way east to Tucker, though, for added connectivity.

    This will put Locust on equal footing as Washington in western downtown.

     
  4. Craig says:

    The two-way street will make it harder to legally dodge the homeless people who loiter on Locust outside of Rice’s place wiithout slowing down to a crawl.

     
  5. Frank says:

    Craig, I am glad to hear you are dodging them. Based on your prior comments I would have thought you would just plow right over them as they might be impeding your ability to operate your single-occupancy vehicle unfettered.

     
  6. Craig says:

    I’m tempted to run them over, Frank, I must admit.

     
  7. zesty! says:

    Bonus points to Frank for creative use of the “URL” box in the comment form.

     
  8. jason says:

    Is it normal to have a double line down the middle of a 2-way street? I guess I dont really look all that much, but I know I see them on 4 lane streets like Gravois and Kingshighway, but not on typical 2-way streets with street parking, unless maybe I just am missing it. Maybe the meter heads are covered up because they ARE going to make it 4 lanes w/ no street parking. That would ridiculous right?

    One final note… any reason this wasn’t on the news? There is alot that goes on downtown that doesnt make it to the news. We could really use a local newscast here in St. Louis that would care to cover more than the “if it bleeds it leads” stories. I guess it seems like a minor thing, but they could definitely expand on the story by connecting it to the other street direction changes that are slated to happen downtown.

    [REPLY – You are right that typically a two-lane street would have a dashed center to yellow to allow you to cross in cases where the lane is blocked.

    As far as the meters I’m not concerned about them removing parking. It was only on the site where they are facing the wrong direction. These need to moved around to make sense as some are now in impossible locations. They’ve covered them so folks don’t put money in the wrong meter. Seems well planned to me.

    Oh the local news. Well, if someone does hit a homeless person because of the change to two-way we’ll see some coverage. Or once Elliot Davis finds out the cost to change the street over he’ll go searching for someone to attack on camera. – SLP]

     

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