I have just finished meeting with Pete Rahn, the director of MoDOT. We talked primarily about I-64. It was a very good conversation. I feel much better about the project.
I asked Pete for two things.
First, I asked him to take the option of shutting down the highway for the entire project off of the table. He agreed. He is going to announce that at a news conference in about 30 minutes.
Second, I asked him to allow all of the stakeholders on the project - including the City of St. Louis - to help create the traffic maintenance plan. He agreed.
We can all take a breath now and work together to create a traffic plan we can actually live with.
We have viable options. Downtown is at the center of the region’s transportation system. There are lots of ways to get into Downtown: I-70, I-44, I-55, Manchester, Delmar, Gravois, and Forest Park Parkway to name a few.
So, if we are smart, informed, and if we work together, we can develop a good traffic plan.
Informed is the key word.
Starting this week, the City of St. Louis and Downtown Partnership will be seeking proposals from traffic experts to help us represent the interests of commuters, workers, residents, businesses, hospitals, and emergency responders in the planning.
We are going to quantify the economic impact of different traffic maintenance plans, and argue for a traffic plan that protects the City’s economy and minimizes the impact on stakeholders.