ST. LOUIS – The City of St. Louis is making its largest investment in road and pedestrian safety.
On Wednesday, Mayor Tishaura Jones signed the St. Louis Safer Street bill (BB120), utilizing $40 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the purpose of calming and redesigning city streets.
“The message is the same: no matter the color of your skin, or your zip code, or what side of Delmar you live on, traffic violence and reckless driving is an issue that touches our entire city, and it’s getting worse,” Jones said.
The Safer Streets bill would move St. Louis away from its old-fashioned ward-by-ward traffic safety approach toward a citywide master plan.
The bill will fund infrastructure projects that fall under one of three categories:
- Implementing already completed traffic studies that have previously lacked funding;
- Making improvements in ten dangerous, high-crash intersections;
- Improving main thoroughfares already set for repaving (Goodfellow, Union, Jefferson, Kingshighway, and Grand).
According to Board of Public Service President Rich Bradley, once the studies are completed, they’ll go to the design phase, and then the projects will be bid out. Construction would begin on any approved projects in 2024.
“St. Louis has never made a city plan or a citywide effort to address this important issue, and that changes today,” Jones said.
This investment comes after two recent horrific crashes.
Seventeen-year-old Janae Edmondson of Nashville, Tennessee, is facing a long road to recovery after a speeding driver failed to yield and crashed into another car. That second vehicle struck the teenager, who was in town with her family for a volleyball tournament.
This happened on Feb. 18 at the intersection of St. Charles and North 11th streets. Edmondson lost both of her legs as a result.
This past weekend, St. Louis police say the driver of a Chevy Impala ran a red light in Midtown, causing a crash that sent a Tahoe over an overpass at Forest Park Parkway and South Grand Boulevard. The driver left the scene and is still at large.
Eight people were in the Tahoe at the time of the crash. Four passengers were killed: 19-year-old Richard Boyd, 19; Corntrail McKinley, 20; Anthony Robinson, 19; and Bryanna Johnson, 18.
“They’re tragic reminders to all St. Louis drivers. Slow down, obey the rules of the road, or it may cost you your life,” Jones said.
2022 was the second-deadliest year for traffic fatalities in the city’s history, with 78 deaths.
St. Louis Transportation Fatalities, 2011 – 2022