In what could be the largest investment to make St. Louis streets safer, St. Louis City Mayor Tishaura Jones proposes using $40 million from the American Rescue Plan to address longtime needs.
This comes after two people were killed by drivers along South Grand, ramping up demand from residents for action.
“I’ve never been more afraid for my life in any other city than here in St. Louis,” said Nestor Zummaya who lives near Tower Grove Park just blocks from the deadly crash last month.
Zummaya doesn’t own a car and bikes every where.
The mayor’s proposal calls for using ARPA funds to create a city-wide mobility and transportation plan. For years, traffic safety approaches like crosswalks, speed bumps and traffic calming measures have been done on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis.
“Its just sort of an ad hoc one by one approach which then has to be approved by aldermen,” explained Catherine Hamacher, an urban planner. “It’s not an efficient approach nor really an effective approach.”
Hamacher has been a part of several projects over the years to help make streets safer. She says a city-wide plan is what people have long asked for.
The mayor’s office says $40 million would go towards improvements at high crash sites and major streets like Jefferson, Grand, Union, Goodfellow and Kingshighway.
To make this happen, legislation must be introduced then passed by the Board of Aldermen.
“We’re focused right now on the legislative process and hope alders have heard the concerns of the community about the need to make our streets safer,” said a spokesperson for the mayor’s office.