Traffic … it’s a fact of life for everybody who lives in an urban center. Fortunately, the traffic isn’t all that bad in St. Louis – at least, it isn’t when you compare it to other metropolitan areas in the United States.
In fact … a recent study concluded that St. Louis ranked number 34 in terms of “worst traffic” among all cities in the United States. To give you some context, Detroit, MI, was named the worst and Raleigh, NC, was ranked the best.
But before you start packing in favor of the Carolinas or parts beyond, let’s look at some ways you can mitigate the pain of city traffic. After all, St. Louis is a fabulous place to live, work, and play. Traffic? Well, it’s just an inconvenience. But knowledge is power – and that’s what we’re all about today.
As with any city that is undergoing a wave of growth, you’ll find that construction is everywhere, especially in the warmer months. This translates to lane closures and slowdowns during peak periods. Knowing how to get around will help you avoid the worst traffic and get where you’re going with less aggravation.
Bridges, bridges, bridges!
Wherever your destination might be, you should always be aware of how many bridges you will have to cross in an effort to get there. Our bridges are currently getting some major work done on them and this is probably one of the biggest hitches of all.
Tips to Help You Avoid Traffic in St.Louis
Downtown St. Louis gets pretty busy, but we find that the traffic more often comes from Illinois into St. Louis rather than just being from our own population.
Here are some of our top tips on how to avoid St. Louis traffic:
1. Live close to where you work.
This might seem obvious, but truly the best way to avoid traffic is to live as close as possible to work. Many people these days opt to telecommute or work from home more often, so this is also a way you can stay out of the crush.
2. Use HWY 44
Locals know that everyone is better off taking HWY 44—as opposed to HWY 64—to get in and out. So, if you happen to be living in a community that is located near to or off of 44, you are in a great place!
3. Beware the loop.
270 is the loop for metro St. Louis. The major interchanges on 270 can be pretty rough, especially during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods.
4. Coming or going from Chesterfield?
If you work in Chesterfield, you will likely get less traffic if you live between the city and Chesterfield over coming in from the West to Chesterfield. This is because all the traffic will be coming from Illinois into St. Louis.
5. Adjust your schedule.
Most people are going to be heading in one direction versus the other way at any given time, so think about where you live versus what the normal traffic patterns are. If you have flexible work hours or have the ability to set your own schedule, this can certainly help you avoid peak traffic times.
6. Know the afternoon traffic patterns.
The heaviest traffic flow in St. Louis is always in the afternoon. Typically, traffic is always really, really bad when you are traveling west between the city and, say, Chesterfield on HWY 64. This is because the people who work downtown are heading home, back out to the suburbs. If there is any way to set yourself up so you are going against traffic, then you’ll be much better off.
7. Take 270!
Route 270 is not bad, at least depending on what time of day it is. If you live in South County and you work in Chesterfield, taking the 270 is a smart choice. However, keep in mind that the interchange of 270 and 44 is particularly bad during the morning rush.
8. Consider MetroLink
MetroLink is St. Louis’ light rail transit system. It operates in the greater St. Louis area, offering bus and rail service throughout the city as well as the Metro East area of Illinois. If you can take transit even a couple of days a week, you’ll be contributing to better air quality and cutting down on the daily traffic in the city.
9. Keep our rush hours in mind
While rush hours are pretty consistent everywhere you go, ours is between three and six in the afternoon and from seven through nine in the morning.
As always, we love to help our clients get the most out of our fair city. If you have recently moved to St. Louis and are thinking about remodeling your home, reach out today.