Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Slow Down, Says State; Not So Fast, Says County

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Slow Down, Says State; Not So Fast, Says County

Article excerpt

State and St. Louis County officials are at odds over a proposal to lower speed limits on four major South County roads, and residents such as Erika Stasiak and Bruce Bailey are divided as well.

In arguing for a reduction, Stasiak, 20, cites the broken leg and dislocated shoulder her father suffered in an accident last year on Lemay Ferry Road. The posted speed on much of Lemay Ferry would drop by 5 mph - to 40 or 45 mph, depending on the segment involved - under a state plan submitted recently to skeptical county officials.

"My father was very seriously injured because everyone was in a big hurry," Stasiak, a student at Meramec Community College, said Monday.

Bailey, 31, says lowering the speed limit would have little practical effect and that drivers still would go as fast as they like unless police enforcement was increased. Adding more left-turn lanes would do more good, he said.

"Anybody at five o'clock doesn't stop to think about the speed limit," said Bailey, who services fireplace systems, as he left the Sappington post office on Gravois Road. "They're too busy getting home and getting on with their lives."

Gravois between Tesson Ferry Road and Lindbergh Boulevard also would get a new 40 mph limit under the plan, down from 45 mph now. Posted speeds on other segments of Gravois would not change. The proposal also calls for reductions along stretches of Tesson Ferry and Telegraph Road.

State Rep. Gloria Weber, D-South County, said she and other legislators from South County began pushing for lower limits last year after getting complaints from residents, businesses and the Mehlville and Lindbergh school districts. Eventually, people from 23 different subdivisions got involved, she said.

Weber said the speeds on the state roads - which drivers often exceed - make it difficult for residents to pull in and out of subdivisions and to shop at nearby businesses. …

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