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Why do St. Louisans ignore stop signs? ‘What’s with St. Louis?’ author addresses that quirk and more

Valerie Battle Kienzel’s new book, “What’s with St. Louis?” tackles some of St. Louis' strangest traditions.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Valerie Battle Kienzel’s new book, “What’s with St. Louis?” tackles some of St. Louis' strangest traditions.";s:3:"u

There are myriad oddities about St. Louis that if you’ve lived here long enough, you’ll learn to nod and make commentary about in polite conversation. Toasted ravioli. “So, where did you go to high school?The Billiken, for goodness’ sake.

Author Valerie Battle Kienzel’s book, “What’s with St. Louis?” released earlier this year, serves as a compendium of such quirks. On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Kienzel joined the program to discuss various categories of quirk ranging from food to sports to history of the area.

One such area of discussion? St. Louis traffic and, specifically, the St. Louis “rolling stop.

Why do St. Louisans do this?

People feel that there are too many stop signs, so they often ignore them or don’t fully stop at the signs, Kienzel said.

In her research, Kienzel interviewed the director of the St. Louis Streets department to get to the bottom of why people feel this way. She found that the City of St. Louis has a total of 22,000 stop signs for 1000 streets.

“There is actually an ordinance on the record books, a law, that says you must come to a complete stop,” said Kienzel. “Not just a casual, look left and right and keep rolling, but you need to come to a complete stop where your car does a little jerk.”

Listen as Kienzel, and listeners, discuss their favorite quirks about the city:

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.
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