Why St. Louis Should Stop Turning Its Street Grid Into Cul-De-Sacs [VIDEO]

Categories: Of the People

Lindsay Toler
Street Not Thru...because we closed it off with concrete balls.
Blocked-off roads are a one-size-fits-all crime-fighting tool, Bose says. Smart criminals know the barriers mean police can only enter a street from one direction, so they park their get-away cars on the other side of the barrier for a quick escape.

Not only that, police have to wind their way through the maze of cutoff streets, increasing the amount of time they need to patrol a neighborhood for car burglars and prowlers.

"Whatever motivation there was 30 years ago [for closing a street] might not be relevant today," Bose says. "We should at least be able to talk about it."

Bose wants an official, streamlined process for neighborhoods that want to reopen their blocked-off streets. Neighbors who want to open or close a street have to get an ordinance passed by the board of aldermen.

Bose blogged about the need to make it easier for neighbors to open up their streets on Next STL, named the best blog by the Riverfront Times in 2013. A reader suggested making street closings like liquor licenses: Neighborhoods should have to get nearby residents to sign off before the city blocks the street.

"The cul-de-sacing of St. Louis hasn't solved our problems," Bose writes on his blog. "It's given us the worst of both worlds -- streets that don't go through and stroads (streets + roads) that can't handle peak traffic volumes -- all at high cost.

"Removing them just takes courage and choosing to have an open city."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at

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