Lane Shifts and the Loss of Common Sense

You can’t drive far on St. Louis highways today without encountering a lane shift due to construction. On Highway 40 alone, there are 3 lane shifts from Kingshighway to I-170. As I drive through these lane shifts, I can’t help but notice just how challenging it is for many motorists to stay in their lane. I suspected that if you were to watch traffic at one of these lane shifts, you would see many dangerous situations in a short time. Little did I know how true that would be. See the video below. . .

It seems that drivers are just not paying attention. They’re zipping down the road, following the car ahead of them, unaware of the signs for the upcoming lane shift. The next thing they know, they’re across the dotted line. We tend to assume that the lanes follow the seams in the concrete and asphalt — which typically do line up with the painted lines — but can we not pay a little closer attention?

What are your thoughts? Can anything be done to make these seemingly simple lane shifts safer? Share your ideas by leaving a comment.

Welcome to Highway 40 Insight!

Welcome to Highway 40 Insight, a web site devoted to St. Louisians’ favorite road construction project!

Kingshighway Intersection

This site provides you with an independent viewpoint on the Highway 40 project and an opportunity for you to discuss the road work — or vent if you so choose. I hope to provide you interesting articles outside of the standard traffic reports and lane closure updates, touching on topics we all think about while driving on Highway 40. I mean, don’t you ever wonder why can’t people stay in their lane when the lane shifts?

I also plan on analyzing both the current construction and designs for the new highway. Special features on this site include:

  • Predictions — Using my total lack of traffic engineering knowledge, I will stake my highly honed reputation on bold predictions of just how well traffic will flow post-construction. Will backups on Highway 40 really disappear when the project is complete? What about all those new bridges and on-ramps — how well will they work?
  • Intersection Analysis — Relying on the mantra of air traffic controllers — “safe, orderly, efficient” — I will provide a scorecard of each new intersection along the construction route, rating it on those three criteria. Is it really safe? Will traffic flow orderly or will it be chaos? And, most important to many drivers, will it be more efficient than the old design?
  • Alternate Routes – This feature will give you an opportunity to weigh in on your favorite way to bypass the construction. In addition to looking at just how to get from Clayton to Town-and-Country, “Alternate Routes” will examine topics just a little off the beaten path.

Just to be clear, Highway 40 Insight is not: another traffic reporting site, a listing of lane closures, or MoDOT-sponsored. There’s plenty of sites to get official traffic and construction information, but only one site with a unique perspective that allows you to contribute to the conversation.

So, again, welcome, and I’ll see you on the road.

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