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St. Louis Restripes Bad Crosswalk, Enforcement Needed

A few days ago I posted a piece about a crosswalk completely outside the ADA ramps. Thanks to me highlighting this situation, the intersection has now been (mostly) corrected. Here was the pedestrian crossing previously:

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And today:

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A great improvement. Hopefully some signage is on the way to remind drivers to stop on the stop line. I took this opportunity to observe how the intersection now works. Nothing scientific, obviously, but interesting.

With the stop line now pushed back where it belongs I observed that it did help, but that drivers do cross over the line still but in fewer numbers (nothing scientific, just observation). Here is what I did notice: if the car in the left lane arrives first they have a greater tendency to notice and stop at the correct spot than if a car is already at the right and over the crosswalk. Regardless of the position of a car in the left lane, drivers in the right lane continue to pull up as far as they can despite the intersection being a no-turn on red. A number of drivers ignored the no-turn signs and turned right on red anyway (as they had before).

To make my observations I crossed the street to the north and took a seat on the sidewalk leaning against the traffic control box that you can see in the above pictures. This location put me out of the view of drivers as they approached Grand on eastbound Magnolia. I began snapping away at each cycle of the lights. I’m certainly no William H. Whyte.

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Above, before I found my place to sit. A good example of the intersection working right, cars in both lanes holding back at the line and pedestrian crossing in the crosswalk, although the walk sign how now stopped.

The following are only some of the nearly 70 images I took at this intersection, presented in order. Below, truck with passenger in back turns corner before light turns green.

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Below, black Acura stops with wheels on stop line which keeps the car out of the crosswalk. In the next image you will see that a turn in the right lane pulls forward at the light and manages to block the crosswalk and ramps with the walk signal still on.
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Below, the white Neon pulls up too far and blocks the walk and ramps. In the next image, an overpriced Porsche SUV does stop in the right spot.

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The next two, shown below, are interesting. In the first image we see a red Toyota that arrived first and stopped at the right spot. Then a silver Ford pulls up in the right lane and blocks the walk. The driver of the Toyota is one of those that doesn’t like to sit still as she moved forward a number of feet even though her light remained red. Many drivers let off the brake and move forward in intersections for no apparent reason.

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These next three images, below, illustrate the repeated instance of the first car being on the left stopping at the right spot with the car on the right arriving later and blocking the walk. The driver in this example ignored the no-turn on red.

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These next images start off the same as many of the others. The GMC truck stops prior to the crosswalk. A Dodge SUV pulls up in the right lane and blocks the walk. But something different happens this time, the driver realizes that no-turn is allowed. The driver also spots me taking pictures and/or the person walking on the sidewalk from behind me and approaching the intersection. The driver of the old Dodge SUV slowly backs up so that he clears the crosswalk. Again, these pictures are in order:

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Below is a continuation of the images above. The Dodge SUV is now mostly out of the crosswalk and the pedestrian is at the ready. Like most St. Louis pedestrians, he motions for a car to make their left turn from northbound Grand to westbound Magnolia even though he has the right of way. This pedestrian did look to know the area.

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Again, the pedestrian didn’t look lost or like a tourist, he seemed like he knew where he was going. This might explain why he crossed the street in the space where the old crosswalk used to be.

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As you can see above, the pedestrian did end up going back to the right to the ADA ramp (not that he needed it). The driver of the Dodge SUV remained patiently behind the new crosswalk line. Thanks go out to citizens that complained to officials about this situation during the last week. I also want to thank the various city officials, most likely Director of Streets Todd Waeltermann, for getting a crew on this right away.

 

Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. GMichaud says:

    Steve, It is good to see a branch of government responsive to your observations and comments by citizens. If it keeps up maybe meaningful change is possible. When the city realizes that the citizens want to be partners in building a better city, and more important, understand how to harness the creativity and energy of the citizens we will all be better off. Small scale actions like this can add up to a large scale livable city.

     
  2. Jim Zavist says:

    As always, the squeaky wheel gets the grease . . . but, we shoudn’t need to be so squeaky!

     
  3. kd says:

    Why shouldn’t we be squeaky? And … Steve, I think the Prius is overpriced, too. Will you also qualify that vehicle with that adjective? I hope so.

     
  4. wag314 says:

    I have noticed that when people pull to a stop they do not want to be exactly next to the person in the adjacent car. This isn’t so apparent in the winter when everyone has their car windows up, but its really bad in the summer with the bass bumping and people smoking in their cars, I purposefully pull in front of or behind an adjacent car so our windows are staggered for these very reasons. This could be the case here, but in this instance in order for these people to stagger their cars, one will always be in the crosswalk, especially if making a right turn, on red or not.

    wag314

     
  5. Patrick Wessel says:

    to clarify:
    kd, jim did not say we shouldn’t be squeaky, he said we shouldn’t need to be squeaky…aka the government should accomplish these things correctly when they initially do them, not when post-facto when we complain of their errors.

     
  6. LisaS says:

    Jason’s got a point that I hadn’t noticed before he mentioned it, but people do seem to prefer staggered windows to everyone parking in a line.

    Enforcement is an issue all over the City, and many of the neglected violations (right on red w/o stop, cars in crosswalk, running red lights & school bus stop signs to name a few) directly affect pedestrian safety.

    Bottom line: we can squeak all we want, but in the end, those of us driving automobiles need to take a greater role in respecting and protecting pedestrians.

     
  7. equals42 says:

    Why does St Louis lack red right-turn arrow lights? I have noticed that most people miss the “no right on red” signs that are mixed in with the jumble of other indicators around intersections. What (almost) everyone notices are lights. Putting red arrows on intersections would decrease the number of offenders. I don’t know the cost of changing lights, but where it is a safety issue it should be considered.

     
  8. Webby says:

    You’re very generous, equals42. In my experience, people do not MISS the signs, they IGNORE them. A lot of St. Louis drivers have a very bad case of “those rules don’t apply to me.”

     
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