Traffic concrete ball breaks off and rolls a block away in Gate - KMOV.com

Traffic concrete ball breaks off and rolls a block away in Gate District

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One of the traffic balls in the Gate District along Compton Ave. and Lafayette Ave. was hit and ended up rolling one block north.(Credit: KMOV) One of the traffic balls in the Gate District along Compton Ave. and Lafayette Ave. was hit and ended up rolling one block north.(Credit: KMOV)

SOUTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - One of the new traffic balls in the Gate District along Compton Ave. and Lafayette Ave. was hit and ended up rolling one block north.

The ball was struck by a vehicle on Wednesday and the concrete ball rolled until it rested against the curb on Henrietta St. Fortunately, it did not damage or hit anything else.

The President of the Board of Public Service, Richard Bradley,  and Alderwoman of Ward 6, Christine Ingrassia, believe the barrier was hit by a reckless driver.

Bradley explained to News 4 over the phone that the concrete balls are anchored to the ground with a steel pipe that goes two feet. into the ground. He says in order for the barrier to break loose from the ground, someone must have it at an extremely high rate of speed. Compton Ave. is a 30 mph zone.

Ranell's Cafe and Market is at the intersection with the barrier at Lafayette Ave.

"It could have been a kid or anyone walking there that got hit by a ball," said Janet Jackson, who's worked at the restaurant for the last six years. "Ever since those balls got there, it's worse. It is totally worse," said Jackson.

Some drivers of large and longer vehicles complain about making right-hand turns around the circular barriers.

"It's really hard for bus drivers," said Raymond Sutton, who drives buses frequently along Compton Ave. "You've got to wait until they clear out or you just have to go straight, it is so difficult," said Sutton. 

Ward 6 Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia tells News 4 that these intersections all passed turn-tests before they were installed, including approval for St. Louis Fire Department trucks being able to maneuver around them,

"I think what they need to do is try to move them back. If they could move them back, it would probably make it a lot better for us bus drivers," said Sutton. 

Gate District resident Shelay Spencer backed into one of the balls on Thursday accidentally. She thinks they are a hazard, instead of helpful. 

"I think they should remove them and maybe put them in a park or something," said Spencer. 

Bradley says the disconnected barrier will be re-installed on Friday morning to its original spot. 

Alderwoman Ingrassia says they will re-evaluate the success of the traffic calming project sometime this month, again in May and one more time at the end of the year before they consider any major changes to the barriers. 

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