ST. LOUIS – The City of St. Louis has a stop sign issue.
FOX 2 has confirmed the city used cardboard-like stop signs as replacements for damaged or stolen signs made of sturdier metal or fiberglass for a short period last year. Hundreds of the flimsy, cardboard-like signs remain in use and are failing.
From yield signs and one-way signs to school zone and no parking signs, residents say stop signs are perhaps the most important of all.
“I ride my little scooter every day, and I depend on stop signs, yield, bicycle (signs),” Laura Henson, Soulard resident, said. “If you can’t see them, and they’re not going to last, what’s the point? That’s very cheesy, very cheesy. I mean, my gosh!”
Residents wonder what the point of stop signs that appear to be made of cardboard is.
Alderwoman Cara Spencer (Ward 8) says it’s unacceptable.
“It is not an appropriate material for a stop sign,” she said.
The flimsier signs now seem to be falling apart across the city. Things got so bad that for a while, half of a stop sign was missing, apparently sawed off, at a crosswalk at the Barnes-Jewish medical campus in the Central West End.
A spokesman at St. Louis City Hall told FOX 2 that the city was no longer using the flimsy signs and was going back to the metal ones purchased through MoDOT.
The material in question was actually corrugated plastic, the spokesman said.
The signs certainly have a cardboard-like consistency, with a paper texture on the backside. They tend to warp, with red reflective material on the front peeling away when exposed to St. Louis weather.
FOX 2 has learned the signs were used for about three months last year when a supplier changed materials. There may be a few hundred still posted out of tens of thousands of stop signs citywide.
“When I couldn’t get a stop sign a few years ago, I went onto Craigslist and found a guy in north St. Louis that was selling (metal signs). They are not impossible to find. Certainly, we can find something that is better constructed than cardboard,” Spencer said.