Neighborhoods want city to curb cut-thru traffic

Adam Rollins, Staff Writer
Posted 6/20/22

Wright City aldermen are negotiating how to control or reduce cross traffic cutting through two neighborhoods on the northwest side of the city.

Aldermen last week said they’ve been …

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Neighborhoods want city to curb cut-thru traffic

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Wright City aldermen are negotiating how to control or reduce cross traffic cutting through two neighborhoods on the northwest side of the city.

Aldermen last week said they’ve been receiving complaints from Freedom Lane, located off of Bell Road, and from Weatherby Drive, located near Wildcat Drive. Both streets are primarily for residential use, and not meant for general public traffic.

Nevertheless, aldermen say both streets are being used as cut-throughs by drivers to skip certain intersections. Freedom Lane offers a small shortcut from Bell Road to the North Outer Road, cutting the corner for westbound traffic. Weatherby Drive is used as a bypass to go around the Wildcat Drive/Westwoods Road intersection, where traffic from West Elementary School sometimes backs up.

Residents along both streets say the volume of through traffic presents a safety risk and inconvenience to their households. This is particularly true of Freedom Lane, where cars are speeding through because of a lack of stop signs, aldermen confirmed.

The traffic complaints were discussed during the board of aldermen’s June 9 public meeting.

Alderman Don Andrews said some residents have been petitioning the city to prohibit any sort of through traffic on their street. However, aldermen responded that all public streets are open for anyone to use, and that there’s no reasonable way to enforce such a restriction.

Instead, Andrews proposed putting up stop signs at Freedom Lane’s intersections with Fredricksburg Way and Chancellorville Drive, and then doing further research into ways to discourage cross traffic through the other problem area on Weatherby Drive.

Alderman Ramiz Hakim additionally proposed a reduced speed limit on Freedom Lane.

One resident who lives near Freedom Lane said stop signs are going to become increasingly important because a subdivision developer has plans to build a playground on the south side of the road, while all the area homes are on the north side of Freedom Lane. Cars need to be slowed down to keep children in the neighborhood safe, the resident said.

Possible solutions are less straightforward for Weatherby Lane, where aldermen say residents are more focused specifically on preventing cut-through traffic. Alderman Andrews said some of the ideas being spitballed include things like blocking left turns from Westwoods Road onto Weatherby, turning Weatherby into a one-way road, or adding other speed controls that make cutting through less appealing.

“There are things we can do to stop people from turning in there just to cut through, but it will inconvenience the residents,” Andrews commented.

The board of aldermen said they want more specific feedback from residents around Weatherby Drive, and a petition indicating that a majority of residents are in favor of some additional traffic control.

“I don’t want to make something worse while trying to fix it,” commented Alderman Karey Owens.

No actions on the issue were taken by aldermen at the June 9 public meeting.

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