Pedestrians fear crossing traffic near Kirkwood Commons, MoDOT eyes $15 million in upgrades

“I don’t feel safe at all.”
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 10:26 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Repeated crashes involving drivers and pedestrians are at a concerning level in Kirkwood. The area of concern is right around the Kirkwood Commons, from Big Bend down to I-44.

“I don’t feel safe at all,” Eric Wilson said while waiting for the bus to pull up. “Especially if I’m trying to cross the street. It’s dangerous dodging cars.”

Wilson said he sits with his eyes locked on passing traffic while he waits for the Metro Bus to pull up on South Kirkwood near I-44.

He said dodging speeding drivers to cross multiple lanes of traffic is a nightmare.

“It’s almost impossible to get across,” Wilson explained. “A lot of times, I miss the bus if I’m on that side to go to Walmart. If I try and get across, I miss the bus at least three of four times.”

Those on foot have been forgotten. Cars seem to be more important as there’s no marked crosswalk nearby.

“It’s pretty bad. It’s not good,” Wilson said.

MoDOT does have its sights on this stretch, aiming to repave Kirkwood Road as well as make it safer for those with disabilities to use and cross.

This $15 million development is just one part of MoDOT’s Route 67 Pavement and ADA Improvement Projects. There is a sister project at Swan up to Page, which makes another seven miles of road under construction upcoming. Those two projects, on top of active construction on Route 100, Lemay Ferry, Tesson Ferry Road, Telegraph, and Watson Road in Crestwood.

According to the City of Kirkwood, since 2016, 11% of all its pedestrian crashes happened between Big Bend and I-44. That’s the most citywide.

“Show me the plan. I’d like to see the plan,” Michael Carmody with Safer Streets for Kirkwood and St. Louis County said Monday afternoon.

Carmody aims to make Kirkwood more pedestrian friendly.

“Just a few months ago, about 2,500 feet, a woman was run right over and killed trying to cross this street,” Carmody shared. “The number of incidents through here is astronomical.”

Local advocacy organization Trailnet told News 4 that five of the six recent crashes in this stretch of Kirkwood Road happened 150 feet or less from a bus stop.

“I understand the concern everybody is feeling,” MODOT Area Engineer Ryan Pearcy shared. “I drive myself. I don’t understand what the issue and the ignorance and speed limits aren’t being followed in our district. It is concerning for everybody.”

MoDOT said it wants to relocate bus stops from street side, closer to the traffic signal to enter Kirkwood Commons. A space where once upgrades are made, will be a much safer location.

“That would help a lot,” Wilson said. “That would truly help. It would.”

The project will also put crosswalks on both sides of the I-44 Bridge.

Now this project was put out for bids once before, but MoDOT said Monday high bids took it off the table.

MoDOT said the plan is to bid and award this project in March. News 4 is told construction could start in April, with it wrapping up by October 2024.