Traffic calming is the use of street design, or construction like speed humps or bump-outs to control speed on residential streets. And legislation awaiting Mayor Francis Slay's signature would bring a comprehensive policy on traffic calming to St. Louis for the first time.
"In a lot of cases, they're a lot cheaper than an enforcement technique that involves a police officer," said Alderman Scott Ogilvie, D-24th Ward and a consistent advocate for bike and pedestrian-friendly roads. "We can install these in a location for a few thousand dollars and it's going to control traffic 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for years and years on end. And when we slow people down, we improve quality of life in neighborhoods, and we decrease accidents for drivers as well.”
If Mayor Slay signs the measure, aldermen would work with the streets department and, when needed, the Board of Public Service to figure out what mechanisms work best in a particular neighborhood.
Alderman Tom Villa, D-11th Ward, was one of two aldermen to vote no. He called the process "a whole lot of government."
"“We’re going to get traffic engineers involved, and then we’re going to get consultants involved, and then we’re going to get BPS [Board of Public Service] involved and then 27 months later when they say no, the alderperson gets to call the people back and tell them no," he said.
Backers of the measure said the experts know best what works in certain areas.
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