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St. Louis City On Record Opposing South County Connector

(via Flickr/Mykl Roventine)

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has become the latest entity to go on record opposing a new boulevard through portions of St. Louis County.

The city board adopted the resolution by a voice vote today, calling the study that evaluated the need for the road "deeply flawed." The county says the planned four-lane boulevard known as the South County Connector will help create better access between Interstates 64 and 44.

St. Louis County will build and maintain the road, which runs mostly in southeastern St. Louis County. But the planned route cuts off a small part of River Des Peres Park in the city, and will run on top of two bike trails,  which could crimp future expansion of the trail network.

It's not fair, said Ald. Scott Ogilvie, that city residents are impacted by something that "is designed for people commuting from Mehlville to Clayton."

"What is more important that shaving 15 seconds off someone’s commute time is providing a quality place to live for our residents," Ogilvie said.

It's not just bicyclists and pedestrians in the city who will be impacted, argued Ald. Donna Baringer. She says the connector's route will result in more traffic along River Des Peres Boulevard – a road that already needs work.

"River Des Peres is in the position of almost having to close the outside lanes during heavy rains because there’s nowhere for the storm water," she said. "So when you read about the cars going that go into River Des Peres off of River Des Peres, it’s because we actually have no curbing there and it’s considered very dangerous."

With the resolution, St. Louis city joins Maplewood, Shrewsbury and Webster Groves in opposition. Local advocacy groups Trailnet and Great Rivers Greenway have also raised concerns about the connector.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.