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Reaching Forest Park A Challenge For Pedestrians Near SW Corner

October 19, 2010 Accessibility, Parks, Planning & Design 9 Comments
ABOVE: Forest Park (upper right) is walking distance to many. The center is Clayton & Skinker. Image: Google Maps (click to view)

Forest Park is a major regional asset, larger than New York’s Central Park. Many people live within walking distance of the park but reaching the park isn’t an easy task.  This post is about trying to safely reach Forest Park via Skinker & Clayton Ave.

ABOVE: Aerial of Clayton & Skinker (vertical) showing no crosswalks across either road into Forest Park, hard to reach bus stop.

If you look the image above, with the top intersection being Clayton & Skinker, you can see crosswalks don’t cross either into Forest Park.

ABOVE: No crosswalk or pedestrian signal looking east across Skinker from the NW corner at Clayton
ABOVe: From the same corner looking south, a crosswalk & pedestrian signal are provided
ABOVE: looking west from the SW corner of Forest Park
ABOVE: rotating to the right (north) you see there is no sidewalk along Skinker to reach the bus stopÂ

ABOVE: Once on the corner of Forest Park you see the jogging trail
ABOVE: looking south from the corner of Forest Park, no crosswalk or signal

ABOVE: looking north toward Forest Park new concrete where a crosswalk should be
ABOVE: looking north toward Forest Park new concrete where a crosswalk should be

Pedestrians (able-bodied & disabled) need to reach Forest Park.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. klynn1283 says:

    I'm glad you posted this. The SW corner is where I approach/enter Forest Park and it's very dangerous not having any sort of pedestrian cross walk signal. As a former NY'er, I've perfected the art of jay-walking and timing traffic just right…but I've seen mothers/children stand there for 10 minutes, just waiting to cross…and never wanting to take the chance.

    Glad I'm not the only one noticing this issue!


  2. David Strom says:

    As a cyclist, this area continually infuriates me as well. You would think with all the highway money that went to improve I-64 and the various bridges that were built within a few feet of the corner you mentioned, we would have much better access for non-auto traffic. Sigh.

  3. Daron says:

    Agreed. I previously made the suggestion that a Dogtown Greenway be made on McCauseland to connect Forest Park to the Shrewbury station and the River Des Peres. It should be a high priority bike corridor, not a deathtrap.

  4. Brian says:

    For crossing Skinker, a traffic engineer would likely tell you that adding a crosswalk across this wide street of seven lanes would significantly lenghthen the red light for Skinker traffic and/or add to the total lenghth of the cycle. But look at all that ample pavement to stack cars during a longer red light for peds to cross. Otherwise, add a pedestrian refuge island or two, so that the crossing distance becomes shorter.

    And that’s the very missed opportunity for crossing the ramp opposite Clayton. The brand new traffic island built for New I-64 could have been a pedestrian refuge. Thanks to the island, the crossing distance is now comparable to that made by the parallel, existing crosswalk.

  5. Anonwums1 says:

    This intersection is a lot worse than you could imagine. Here is what happened to me, and I know several other people who have had it happen.

    I'm standing in Forest Park at the end of the bike trail. I want to cross the street. I can either cross several lanes of traffic along the exit ramp to I-64 (bad idea) or cross Skinker (seems like a better idea). So I stand on the corner and wait for traffic to run east-west so I can cross over Skinker as if there were a crosswalk there (as you well know, the law states that a crosswalk exists at any intersection whether it's painted or not). As soon as the light turns green, cars start turning right off the exit ramp onto Skinker. They are required to yield to the pedestrian but they don't. I patiently stand and wait for a car to yield. One car finally stops, so I enter the intersection. I soon realize that the car stopped because the light turned red, and now cars are barreling down Skinker coming at me. They don't even bother stopping even though they can see a pedestrian standing in the intersection. I frantically run across traffic and feel like I have narrowly averted death.

    I have been organizing a campaign to have the city fix this intersection. MoDoT is well aware it's a problem, but they need to secure several thousands of dollars worth of funds to install a crosswalk signal (which would need to halt traffic in all directions given the right turn yielding problem). Originally, the highway 40 renovation project budgeted improvements to fix this intersection. However, they decided to abandon the plans because it allowed them to finish early, thus making them look good and giving the contractors a very large bonus. Personally, I think it's one of the worst intersections in the entire city, and it appalls me that MoDoT spent so much money fixing that area for cars but never really seemed concerned about pedestrians.

  6. Bismarck says:

    I tried to cross from the park to the gas station a couple weeks ago at night. It seemed too dangerous. So I biked back down Skinker to a safer crossing.

  7. Double J says:

    It is not just bad for pedestrians, it is equally bad for drivers. I am not sure if it is still a problem but the left turn signal to get onto 64 Eastbound from Southbound Skinker was always incredibly short. Trying to make a left turn from Clayton (westbound) onto McCausland (Southbound) is nearly impossible without cutting off traffic or running a red light. Also making a right turn at the Hi-Pointe (the little side street) onto McCausalnd is a mess because of all of the blind spots from oncoming traffic. I agree this is probably the worst intersection in all of St. Louis. Hopefully if they do change it will be equally friendly to pedestrians, bikers, and cars.

  8. JZ71 says:

    A big part of the “problem”, for both drivers and pedestrians, are Clayton and Oakland. If that intersection (next to the Hi-Pointe) “went away”, it would be possible to remove both some left-turn lanes and several cycles from the signal timing from the main intersection of “new” Clayton Rd. / Skinker / I-64 ramps.

    Alternately, the eastbound ramp onto I-64 could have been relocated to Oakland, further east, eliminating one bridge, with “new” eastbound Clayton turning into a left-turn-only lane (onto Skinker) north of the Amoco BP station. But in their ultimate wisdom, MoDOT and the City did not want to fight that battle with theneighbors, so everything was pretty much just rebuilt, not changed or improved.


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