Freeze Page Avenue Plan, Sierra Club Urges Missouri Commission's Environmental Impact Statement Called Deficient

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A one-year freeze is needed on plans to expand Page Avenue, a Sierra Club official told members of the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission recently.

"Your environmental impact statement is deficient," said Ron McLinden, the transportation committee chairman for the Ozark chapter of the Sierra Club. "It appears that its purpose was not to explore alternatives and consider their varying impacts, but simply to justify a 10-lane megahighway."

Tapping into the highway department's plans to expand Page Avenue into St. Charles County - as well as plans for the expansion of the Blanchette Memorial Bridge and Route 370 in northern St. Louis County and St. Charles County - McLinden addressed the projects' long-term effect in encouraging suburban sprawl and dependence on individual vehicles.

"Paving more roads is not the answer to traffic congestion problems," McLinden said.

He said traffic congestion along Interstate 70 should improve when Route 370 is complete in 1977. When that is done, questions could be raised about the need for the Page Avenue extension that will serve the same general area, said McLinden.

James W. Gamble, a member of the highway commission, replied, "Surely you don't deny a demand for additional transportation in numerous places in metropolitan St. Louis? Our numbers clearly show that there are distinct capacity problems in this area that we're up against now."

McLinden presented 10 recommendations, which included the Page Avenue moratorium request. He asked the highway department to conduct a second environmental study to look at issues not previously addressed and to submit the finding for further analysis. …


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