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ST. LOUIS – Strange stripes are popping up on St. Louis streets. People are confused. They’ve never seen traffic semicircles painted through crosswalks at all four corners.

The stripes are supposed to make things safer in places where too many crashes could soon lead to tragedy.

They are at six intersections along Compton Avenue: Park, Lafayette, Shenandoah, Magnolia, Russell, and Arsenal.

“They’re painted bump outs,” said Sixth Ward Alderwoman, Christine Ingrassia.

They are meant to put a squeeze on traffic and slow drivers down in places where stops signs and speed limits are routinely ignored.

“It’s definitely an issue,” Ingrassia said. “I have a number of residents who have more than one car totaled or sideswiped. People are travelling at a high rate of speed and not adhering to speed or stop signs.”

The stripes are just the beginning.

Heavy reinforcements – large concrete spheres – will be rolled out to keep drivers from simply driving over the semicircles.

“It’s not a finished product right now. We’re still waiting on the spheres. They’ll be bolted down. There will be three at each corner,” Ingrassia said.

They should be installed in the coming days. The projects costs about $200,000.

There are bump outs in other cities too, like San Francisco, but sidewalks and not pavement fill the semicircles there. The cost for that would be in the millions of dollars.