Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
Well, shocker. This is something most of us living in the St. Louis area know pretty well. "The feds are taking notice of: rising weekend gas prices in St. Louis." This is a source of conversation quite often among area residents, the price of a gallon of gas goes up sometime on Thursday and then drops again on Monday.
"The Federal Reserve in St. Louis says this hike is very common, and it happens nearly every weekend with an increase of around ten percent. But on Monday, prices return to normal. The Federal Reserve recommends waiting until Monday to fill up if you want to get ahead.
“It’s not entirely clear why cyclical pricing in St. Louis follows a roughly weekly timetable with peaks on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays."
What?!! What isn't clear about this? People fill up on weekends to get out of town or run errands or go places. Oh, yes, they do understand this: "It is possible that demand for gasoline is higher during the weekends, and gas stations raise prices to take advantage of this effect,” a study by the Economic Research of the St. Louis Federal Reserve reported."
A beautiful Saturday ahead of us and this means the St. Louis Zoo will be packed. It's like everyone in the Metro area wakes up on these nice weekend days and thinks, "let's take the kids to the zoo." And that means the traffic trying to get into the zoo at Hampton will be stopped in the right lane which makes it really dangerous for traffic not going to the zoo and driving west they come around a bend after Kingshighway right into stopped cars.
Each year officials try and make people understand that Hampton is not the exit to take to the zoo. They desperately publicize the idea that Kingshighway is the better exit, but most people do not. And so the cars are stopped all along the long exit curve to Hampton and onto highway 40, some on the shoulder, some not. What makes this doubly dangerous is that the right lane after Hampton is exit only at Skinker and many drivers realize this too late. They get out of the zoo jam and then realize they have to get over to the left to avoid Skinker exit and they're getting over into traffic which was in the left and middle lanes to avoid the zoo jam.
This is my exit heading back to the seminary and I see this all the time. Even though I now know what to do, you just can't control the sudden impulses of other drivers.
So if you're coming west on 40 this morning, be aware.
A notice from KMOV's Laura Hettiger this morning: "Another semi rolled over near Poplar Street Bridge and 55 in downtown overnight. it's the 4th time in just 3 weeks."
These roll overs are happening on the new westbound exit ramp from the bridge to 44/55, a ramp MoDOT spent almost 2 years working on to improve the former ramp. So what is causing this? Is it that the ramp is still not functional enough to handle traffic efficiently or is it that the trucks are taking it much too fast?
I'd submit it is the trucks going to fast for the curve. If you have driven from Illinois you've surely noticed how much in a hurry these trucks are once they get past the construction slow down near the King Bridge exit. So many semis just take off like a shot once past that spot and can't slow down enough to take the sweeping exit curve.
Here is an explanation from one of KMOV's commenters:
The main problem with the ramp is the angle of the bank based in the turn radius is too flat.
Additionally, what is pretty scary when you are in the left lane on the westbound Poplar and happen to glance at the eastbound traffic, you'll notice that the concrete dividing wall is quite low and is all that separates you from the huge trucks zooming east right on your shoulder. The speed limit is 50 on the bridge and into Illinois for quite some time, but in reality that is not the case.
KMOV's Laura Hettiger counted 20 construction sites in the St. Louis Metro area this week which is quite a few. Everything seemed to begin all at once and when you get through one, you're soon looking at another.