Downtown stoplights

A catch-all forum for urban discussion. If it doesn't fit elsewhere, post here.
Has anyone ever contacted the city, and do they listen, if you have questions about the synch (or more than naught, non synch) of the stoplights? Any street heading East/West has you sitting at a red light as you look forward to the next light sitting on green. And then, of course, as you proceed on your finally turned green, that next one turns red. Pine, Olive, theres no escaping it. With HWY 40 closed at 14th/Clark and 7th/Clark, the trek to HWY 40 is usually dodging "pedestrians" who have no desire to move across the street quickly, or at proper places, and waiting out lights when there is not a car in sight. Just wondering.
On weekends when there is little traffic downtown, it takes half an hour just to get across downtown. They need more lights to go on blink on weekends. Otherwise you sit there for minutes watching an empty intersection.
The ridiculously long light at 18th and Locust is so bad, it has its own listing on FourSquare.
I sometimes wish for just stop signs at each street, but that wouldnt work either.

Flashing yellows down Olive, Locust, Pine, etc would be perfect, all day, everyday. Theres not that much traffic every day. And as long as I sit at lights just trying to get to Jefferson from Tucker is absolutely ridiculous.
That is awesome. I thought it was just me going crazy on the east/west direction of Olive.
Have you contacted Todd Waelterman (@StlStreets on Twitter)? He does seem to at least reply when a complaint is received:

http://twitter.com/stlstreets

Rachel Lippmann ‏@rlippmann
Seriously, @stlstreets. Why is it so hard to get lights synced in this city???

13 Aug Todd Waelterman ‏@StlStreets
@rlippmann We are constantly tweeking things. And with school buses/traffic out now, there might be some adjustments needed. What...

7:17 AM - 13 Aug 12 via HootSuite · Details
13 Aug Rachel Lippmann ‏@rlippmann
@StlStreets Biggest trouble spot is always Lindell between Vandeventer and Euclid. It's a rare day when I don't hit every red light.

13 Aug Todd Waelterman ‏@StlStreets
@rlippmann Lindell is a work in progress. The traffic electricians are pulling in the fiber cable that will allow us to program the...

13 Aug Todd Waelterman ‏@StlStreets
@rlippmann In the meantime, traffic is going to make some timing changes that should make Lindell flow better until the fiber is all...


-RBB
I'm glad the streets director is at least responsive. But I find the traffic delays downtown ridiculous when the lights were supposed to have been synchronized years ago. :roll:

Paging Joe Bonwich...I remember Joe posted links to several articles regarding the synchronization of downtown traffic signals. Anyway, I think the project was supposed to be complete by 2003. Or maybe that was 2004. Then I think the official word became "next year", which is the same answer Blues fans get every year when they wonder if the team will make a serious run for the Stanley Cup. I'm still waiting on both... :roll:
It was done five years ago. Quit complaining.

brickandmortar » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:20 pm wrote:
Well currently they are installing upgraded signals/fiberoptics that will be coordinated. Hopefully this happens soon because this is bad, especially on weekends when there are no other cars around.


And as noted, it's not just downtown. Most lights in the city cycle mindlessly, even newer ones. I've called and emailed the Streets Dept about the (then) brand new traffic light at River Des Peres and Shrewsbury Station. When they built it, it had cameras, but it never worked. Not long after, they took the cameras down, but they still claim the lights are sensored (they are not).

http://business.highbeam.com/435553/article-1G1-115818706/downtown-commuters-can-expect-life-fast wrote:
St. Louis has begun upgrading its traffic light system to get the stoplights on major streets synchronized. Next year, officials say, driving downtown will be a lot easier on the nerves.

Tom Gamblin realizes the importance of cleaner air and the economics of easy travel, but he thinks a system of timed stoplights in St. Louis will have a simple and more immediate impact.

"It cuts down on tempers," said Gamblin, whose job it is to upgrade the lights.

If that's true, downtown commuters soon will be a much happier bunch. Next year, work will begin in that area on an updated system of timed traffic …


April 25, 2004

Perversely, your Alderman may be the best bet for complaints about stoplights. I complained about a then-new stoplight at Taylor/Clayton near FPSE and the medical campus - it cycled through 24hrs a day and a cycle was nearly 2mins. It was quickly changed to a blinking red after about 9pm.
bprop wrote:
Quit complaining.


About what? The lack of synchronized traffic signals, or the futility of supporting our local hockey team? I'd say both can be quite frustrating. :P

Seriously, you're right about this being a citywide issue. The lights along Lansdowne between the Shrewsbury Metrolink Station and Wabash Avenue are really a pain. Not only are they rarely synchronized, if ever, but they also last a long time even when there's little or no cross traffic.

Alex, I'm not surprised that contacting one of our 28 mayors (29 if you count the real one) is the way to go.
^ Insane, eh? Traffic planning by part-time pols elected with 800 votes and representing 1/28th of the city.
I have found that if there are no cars coming on the cross street and no police around, driving through the light works very effectively when trying to reduce one's travel time.
newstl2020 wrote:
I have found that if there are no cars coming on the cross street and no police around, driving through the light works very effectively when trying to reduce one's travel time.


As a downtown pedestrian, I have come to the conclusion that you're in the majority.
Well now of course you have to watch out for pedestrians. I am especially courteous, obviously.
Traveling by auto from east to west in this city can be really annoying. However traveling north to south is less painful. I suspect it is to funnel traffic to the interstates more quickly and another reason it's easier to live in the burbs. We consistantly make it easier for visitors than permanent residents in this city. We should focus more on making STL a better place to live not just visit.
newstl2020 wrote:
I have found that if there are no cars coming on the cross street and no police around, driving through the light works very effectively when trying to reduce one's travel time.


Works for me too. No traffic? No pedestrians? No police? No signal enforcement cameras? Go! :twisted:

(Keep in mind that there are intersections during certain times of the day in certain locations in which you're more likely to see a tumbleweed blow through than a car, a cyclist, or a pedestrian. Just proceed with caution!)
With all the crime down here, especially at night, I will not be a sitting duck for carjackers. Always be moving is my motto. And if an officer were to actually be down here to pull me over, I would tell them Im much safer with you behind me with the cherrys going than sitting at 18th and Olive just asking for a thug to come grab me or my car, waiting at that 2 minute red light.

(Cant wrap my head around shooting people for their cel phone and cash. What is wrong with that culture...Unbeleivable!)
STLFAN5050 wrote:
With all the crime down here, especially at night, I will not be a sitting duck for carjackers. Always be moving is my motto.


That's the way I see it as well. I'd rather run the light and kindly explain my reasoning to officers with their car behind mine than to be an easy target.
Doesn't it go without saying to go through these reds late at night when no one is around?
This has got to be a goddam priority RIGHT NOW. In this day and age of efficiency and expediency, we need the county's stoplight system. Waiting around at stop lights for no reason causes people to

1) quickly get on interstates to avoid this BS
2) run red lights and break the law


This has to change.
whitherSTL wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:24 am
This has got to be a goddam priority RIGHT NOW. In this day and age of efficiency and expediency, we need the county's stoplight system. Waiting around at stop lights for no reason causes people to

1) quickly get on interstates to avoid this BS
2) run red lights and break the law


This has to change.
I don't own a car and I agree.
HOWEVER there's a lot at play here.
1) Oneway streets and the proliferation of stoplights over stop signs give the impression that our streets have one primary function: to move cars. Which needs to change. Two way streets, 4-way stop sign intersections, more parallel parking, narrower roads, and added sidewalk activity will naturally slow drivers at and between intersections. This is made worse but relatively empty downtown streets. Red lights are much more aggravating when you're not even waiting for anyone.
2) St. Louisans drive a lot. Our average commute is MUCH higher than average by mileage and higher than average by time spent commuting. If the city re-densifies, traffic will get worse (Even if more people take transit. Induced demand is great) but overall commute times will be shorter. It used to take me 45 minutes to get to Fenton during rush hour. Taking the entire length of Gravois in city limits doesn't even take that long during rush hour. Reducing the amount of driving done in general will reduce frustrations.
3) The lights are actually really terribly timed. Between downtown and Grand, I used to deal with the stop signs on Locust because it was faster than getting stopped at 9 out of 10 stoplights on Olive.
aprice wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:04 pm
I don't own a car and I agree.
HOWEVER there's a lot at play here.
1) Oneway streets and the proliferation of stoplights over stop signs give the impression that our streets have one primary function: to move cars. Which needs to change. Two way streets, 4-way stop sign intersections, more parallel parking, narrower roads, and added sidewalk activity will naturally slow drivers at and between intersections. This is made worse but relatively empty downtown streets. Red lights are much more aggravating when you're not even waiting for anyone.
I remember hearing about turning one-ways to two-ways in downtown, but then conversations seemed to die.