David Stokes

Cheryl Fleming is one unhappy commuter:

Fleming said she won't ride MetroLink partly because it consumes too much time. "I'm going to drive through other people's neighborhoods and depreciate their roads," she said.

This quote is from a Post-Dispatch article on Rep. Scott Muschany's town hall forum on the coming I-64/40 project.  It is always a good thing when public officials open listen to the taxpayers, so I commend Scott for holding this forum.  But Ms. Fleming's comments jumped out at me.  As Ms. Fleming attempts to intentionally "depreciate" the roads around mid-county, she is going to quickly run into one very hard fact of transportation in St. Louis.  There are many east-west routes, but not a whole lot of north-south routes for her to choose from.  I have heard MoDOT discuss this in planning meetings.  There are enough east-west routes available that the commuter traffic during 64/40's closure might not be as terrible as some think (no doubt it is going to be very bad.)  However, the north-south traffic situation might be far worse than people realize during construction.  Just take Downtown Clayton for instance.  There are only two ways to leave downtown Clayton going south without first traveling east or west: Hanley and Brentwood. (I am not counting I-170 as it ends just south of Clayton and will be partly closed anyway.)  Take one of these routes out for construction and the other one is going to be a nightmare.  If you move east or west to avoid it, you'll be stuck in east-west commuter traffic before you even have the change to go south.  Ms. Fleming can drive through neighborhoods to "Depreciate" the roads all she wants, but sooner or later she is going to have to cross the closed I-64, and she can't do that via neigborhood roads.  At that point MetroLink might look like a good option for her to get to work at her Church. 

About the Author

David Stokes
David Stokes was a policy analyst at the Show-Me Institute from 2007 to 2014 and was director of development from 2014 to 2016.