A recent trip to Chicago changed our thinking on traffic calming in St. Louis. The Chicago neighborhood I'm speaking of is called Roscoe Village and they use speed humps all over to calm driving in this extremely dense residential neighborhood.
Why did these Chicago humps make such an impact? Because my St. Louis ass ramped one Dukes of Hazzard style in our beat up minivan. It was comical. We weren't in St. Louis anymore. People there actually do something to slow people down and protect residents over fly-through lanes.
In fact, I used to be of the opinion that when citizens starting talking to aldermen and the city about traffic calming, I'd be defensive. I know how the old guard St. Louis deals with traffic concerns....Schoemehl pots, one way streets and more f-ing stop signs.
North City has some of the worst examples, but Shaw and Skinker DeBaliviere are bad too.
But, recently in our neck of the woods, we've seen some intelligent and elegant uses of traffic calming measures.
We got a cup of coffee and gelato on South Grand last night and as we were heading west on Wyoming Avenue, when we noticed a well marked speed hump. We recalled our experience in the Windy City and had a short celebratory high five to the city and neighbors doing the right thing for the residents of Tower Grove South.
Then, we noticed the (near) finishing touches on the roundabout at Nebraska Avenue and Sidney Street on the border of the Tower Grove East and Fox Park Neighborhoods.
What more do the careless/unskilled/hateful drivers need to NOT run into this thing? It's already been hit once (better concrete than a person), proving the need as careless people use this as a speedway connection from Gravois to Lafayette or Park Avenues.
Then of course there is the traffic study with the mock bump-outs and concrete spheres along South Compton Avenue.
Living in these parts, I can tell you (only anecdotally) that these are doing their job. It's safer and the decorum at the stops is more civilized.
We love these efforts. Stay the course, this is good investment in PEOPLE and RESIDENTS. Let's quit focusing on tourists and visitors and start protecting the CITIZENS of St. Louis.