Driver Surveys Cause Traffic Backup During Morning Rush Hour

HAZELWOOD, MO (KTVI) – A project meant to ultimately improve traffic flow had the opposite effect this morning in Hazelwood.

Traffic was backed up as St. Louis county workers handed out survey cards to drivers.
From 6-9am, workers with the St. Louis County Department of Highways and Traffic handed out postcard surveys to drivers in two locations.

It took place on Howdershell and Charbonier-both well-traveled roads.
The surveys asked about traffic patterns and are part of a project that could bring a new road to the area called Northwest Parkway.

But county officials gave no warning about what they were doing.
Handing out the surveys led to traffic tie-ups- drivers delayed during their morning commutes.

“It`s an inconvenience for the drivers. It`s not taking everyone`s time into consideration,” said delayed driver Boyne Haywood.

The proposed Northwest Parkway would run from 370 and the Earth City Expressway to the Hazelwood/Florissant area-an exact ending point hasn`t been determined yet.
The goal of the new parkway is to help alleviate driving difficulties on a road that authorities say is flood prone and unsafe.

That road is called Aubuchon, Charbonier or Missouri Bottom depending on where you are on it.

County officials say they distributed the surveys like they did to get the best information.
“The benefit of doing it this way is we get the cards out to each and every person who uses this corridor. If we sent them out in the mail, we would only reach kind of the people in the immediate area,” said Mike Bardot with the highways and traffic department.

Drivers we spoke with say they were delayed up to 15 minutes or so. They like the idea of a new road—just not the way the county went about distributing the surveys.

“I thought it would have been more convenient for them to maybe let us know beforehand that it was going to happen. I know they want to catch people as they`re coming through, it would have been nice to know so maybe I could have let out earlier and kind of prepared for the traffic,” said concerned driver Angela Shields.

Workers also handed out surveys in the same locations yesterday afternoon from 3-6pm.
County officials say this morning`s survey handout was the last one- no others are planned.

If it goes forward, the northwest parkway is still likely ten years away from opening.