ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Residents in a south St. Louis County municipality say they’re being overrun by 18-wheelers and other large trucks. The problem is that their street is being used as a detour by the big trucks, creating a huge danger for families.
“(Back in) February, my Acadia was parked here. Some semi came down, took my Acadia, drug it down Patsy (Drive). I mean, $30,000 in damage. … It’s unsafe for people who walk their dogs, it’s unsafe for kids cause they fly through here. There’s no regard for law,” Stephanie Jones said.
Residents say they’ve had the problem of traffic cutting through for years, but things have gotten worse since the Missouri Department of Transportation’s construction project along Interstate 55 and Green Park Road.
“The MoDOT detour includes ‘no truck’ signs at residential streets to route truck traffic to Route 21 in that area,” MoDOT said in a statement. “Some trucks may be routed there via GPS, but signage is in place.”
Residents have gone to Green Park city officials but have had no luck.
“We got no word. We go to city hall. We’ve been fighting about this problem for over 20 years. Everything’s disregarded,” Jones said. “We requested speed bumps; they said no. They can’t do it because fire trucks can’t get over them. That’s what we’re told, but if you go to any other municipality, they have speed bumps.”
Green Park City Administrator James Mello is aware of the complaints.
“The city is upset about it as well. There’s only so much the city is able to do proactively in order to stop it,” he said. “The police are aware of it. They’re pulling people over whenever they see violations. We have two neighborhood patrol officers that are here Monday through Friday. They can’t spend their entire shift dedicated to this one issue.”
Mello said the fault lies with one party: the truck drivers.
“It’s truck drivers that aren’t able to follow signs or properly follow the detours,” he said. “They’re either willfully ignoring it or just not taking enough ownership of their truck and job to avoid these areas. It’s a residential area; there’s no reason for truck traffic to cut through there.”
Residents say they have no sidewalks, and it’s hard to get out of the way of speeding 18-wheelers.
“I mean, when the subdivision was built, sidewalks were not commonly installed,” Mello said.
Installing sidewalks would cost approximately $3 million.
“The city is always open to installing them as part of our road maintenance, but we haven’t seen any proposals that the city considers to be in our best interest at this time,” Mello said.