ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones holds a town hall meeting to discuss ways to improve traffic and pedestrian safety on Grand Boulevard in north St. Louis after deadly crashes in the past few months.

Grand Boulevard has been a hot spot for crashes, with multiple people dying on the street. Thirteen pedestrians and two bicyclists have died in the city this year.

The uptick in traffic violence is pushing the city to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to make improvements and “offers a way forward.”

“With the help of increased police and calming measures such as speed bumps, roundabouts, wider medians, better traffic lights, and more,” Jones said. “It’s imperative that we need a long-term solution.”

According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, distracted driving is the leading cause of crashes, followed by tailgating, running red lights, and speeding.

Trailnet, a nonprofit organization, reported that so far in 2022, there have been eight crashes on North Grand with one death and seven crashes on South Grand with two fatalities.

“Our streets are way too wide. We were built for a million or 850,000 people,” said Charles Bryson, Trailnet policy catalyst. “We now have 250,090 people, so we need to figure out a comprehensive plan or study a plan to understand how to reduce the width of our streets and how do we make them safer, and one of those might look like reducing the speed.”

The intersection of Natural Bridge and Grand is one of many hotspots for crashes.

“Forty million is not enough, but it’s a start, and we’re pleased with a start,” Bryson said.

The city and its partners vowed to make changes once approved. The next steps are to introduce a bill to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen in the coming weeks.

The hope is to have it move through quickly. People can voice their opinions in those meetings soon.