How can St. Louis streets become safer for drivers, bikers, pedestrians?

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 5:47 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - The recent hit-and-run death of a biker has reignited residents to call on the City of St. Louis to make changes to improve road safety.

Danyell McMiller was hit and killed by someone driving a white Kia sedan with no license plates Tuesday afternoon on Grand near Tower Grove Park. St. Louis Metropolitan Police reported that the driver fled the scene.

At least 15 people have been killed this year by a car while walking or biking, according to SLMPD.

“He’s going to be missed a lot,” Shamika Lee said, McMiller’s sister. “In the neighborhood, there’s a lot of people that he does work for. People get hit, yes, but nothing to this extent I’ve seen. I mean--I hear about it all the time happening in other places, but I never thought it’d hit this close to home.”

“Our streets are based 850,000 people that we no longer have,” said Charles Bryson with Trailnet, a nonprofit that studies St. Louis City and County roads. “I think that the--most people believe that the streets department is woefully underfunded.”

Bryson says re-engineering streets to be more narrow can slow people down, simple fixes like street signs and fresh paint, more officers and physical barriers separating bike and car lanes.

St. Louis Alderman Joe Vollmer played a large role in getting Italian-themed intersections and crosswalks in The Hill to get drivers to slow down.

“It’s so colorful you can’t miss it,” Vollmer told News 4. “People are using the crosswalks. When they weren’t marked, you would see people just cross at any point. We keep seeing people do what they call the ‘St. Louis stops.’ They come up and just kind of roll. This has definitely stopped the rolling.”

During a press conference Wednesday, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said police are increasing enforcement at busier, dangerous intersections, and traffic calming studies are being done.