Oh how I hate sitting at traffic lights. I understand why they exist and can’t think of any better way to manage traffic, but I still hate them. And traffic lights in the City of St. Louis are some of the worst you’ll ever come across.
I live in Benton Park and workout at the Fitness Factory on Washington Avenue Downtown. My rage just increases every time I make that trip. My route takes me down Tucker Avenue and I swear that there are times that I hit ever light on a red. That half mile run from Chouteau to Washington can take forever under those conditions. Long enough to open even the most patient person’s eyes to this horrendous problem facing St. Louis: non-synchronized traffic lights!
Obviously, you feel the impact of this problem most significantly in areas with many intersections such as Downtown, but the problem is city-wide. The City has been talking up and “studying” plans for improved synchronization for years, but there has been little action. In early January, the Downtown St. Louis Partnership claimed that traffic signals Downtown, east of Tucker, will be synced by this April. That’s great, if true, but what about the rest of the City?
Just another one of those little things that leaves people with a bad impression of our fair city. How is it that virtually every county in the metropolitan area can have sensors in the ground to detect if a car is waiting at an intersection, but St. Louis can’t even sync the traffic lights of major transportation corridors without studying the problem for ten years? Unfortunately, nobody in City Hall seems to have a good answer to that question.
To be fair, I’m probably being overly dramatic about the situation, but there is not doubt that there is a problem. Feel free to share your displeasure with your local alderman if you feel particularly passionate. If there is a particular light you have had problems with, the City actually has a special website to report the issue. Let the complaints begin: light synchronization complaints.