Sunday, April 03, 2011

Pity the Poor Traffic Circle

For the past week, new measures have been put into effect to address the continuing backups at the Hampton Avenue entrance to Forest Park. Traffic gets so congested that it can take forty minutes for cars to get from Interstate 64 into the park. The situation gets dangerous as cars back up onto the traffic lanes of the highway.

This week, Metro started a new trolley in the park to help move people around. The beautiful new traffic roundabout at the southeast corner of the Zoo was closed, forcing drivers entering from Hampton to the eastern side of the park. Unfortunately, these measures don't seem to be helping much.

According to Sunday's Post-Dispatch, there were still long delays for drivers to get into the park on Saturday. The ironic part of this is there are only delays at one entrance: the Hampton entrance off of Interstate 64. This is an easy problem to fix. In fact, it's really a self-imposed "problem". Drivers bring this problem on themselves by all trying to squeeze through the same entrance.

The Post-Dispatch ought to run a "WAR HAS ENDED" style, 3-inch tall banner headline on the front page of the paper, all week if necessary, notifying the public that Forest Park has THREE SIDES, all with multiple entrances. Sub headline: "No Waiting at Kingshighway, Lindell, and Skinker Entrances!".

Imagine instead of an entrance to Forest Park, we're inside a grocery store. At checkout, there are ten cashiers waiting for customers. But everyone lines up to go through the same checkout lane, creating a massive backup in that one lane. All the other lanes are wide open with no waiting. We would think that was pretty silly, wouldn't we?

It's not that different in Forest Park. So long as everyone tries to enter the park through the same entrance, there will always be delays. Pity the poor traffic circle. The traffic problems in Forest Park certainly weren't its fault...

5 comments:

Scott Pluff said...

Agreed, someone needs to educate the public. They could start by improving signage along I-64. Something like "Going to the Zoo? To avoid congestion, use Skinker or Kingshighway exits."

Some like to complain that people should just know better, but given that half of the zoo-goers are from outside the metropolitan area, they simply follow the signs that are posted which tell them to exit at Hampton.

Rick Bonasch said...

Excellent point, Scott. Trying to fix traffic problems at Forest Park from inside the park will never work. The delays are created outside the park, not in it.

Linsey said...

I admit to getting lost inside FP more than once on foot, car and bike. Its confusing as hell for this dyslexic grid-lover. The hampton entrance is the simplest, easiest way to get in and orient yourself. Especially if you are going to the zoo.

GMichaud said...

What is amazing is that they just rebuilt the whole area, why was this problem taken into account? It's not like that entrance is brand new and they didn't realize that it was heavily used.

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