St. Louis is blessed with a wonderful historic street grid. It gives us huge capacity for carrying traffic. Instead of having only one main route to get from here to there, the grid gives drivers infinite route choices.
Unfortunately, most drivers are so stuck in their routines, they never stray from their familiar traffic routes. As a result, there can be traffic jams on one street, while just a block over, traffic is moving smoothly. The closure of the Hampton Bridge over Highway 40 is forcing drivers out of their routines - and onto the grid.
So far, the experience is working out great. On weekends, traffic on Hampton would back up a mile with drivers attempting to access Forest Park. Now with the bridge closed, Hampton is flowing freely. Isn't that something? Drivers are being forced to use the nine other entrances to Forest Park.
Last week on the news, they interviewed a person from Wellston with an amazing story. He said he walked to work from his home in Wellston to his job in South City. That's an amazing story by itself, but what was even more amazing was the rest of his story.
He told the reporter that with the Hampton Bridge closed, he'd have a problem now walking to his job in South City. I couldn't believe me ears. I can understand drivers getting stuck in a rut with their preferred routes, but pedestrians? Unreal.
I'm thinking, "what about the Tamm Bridge?" All this Wellston walker has to do is cross at Tamm. From Wellston, it would be a short cut compared to Hampton anyway. After the interview, I wonder if the reporter showed him the bridge over 40 just a couple blocks west of Hampton...