Parking along the north and south shoulders of a portion of Premier Parkway near Route 370 in St. Peters soon will be prohibited.
That’s what city officials agreed to last week to deal with a situation where vehicles are parking along the parkway to pick up and drop off workers at businesses in the Premier 370 Business Park.
The city’s Board of Aldermen will have to approve an ordinance to allow city parking restrictions; however, city officials say all they have to do is install no parking signs on the parkway between Truman and Spencer roads.
Alderman Dave Thomas [Ward 1] brought up the parking situation at the board’s Jan. 25 work session saying vehicles parked on shoulders inhibit the use of the lanes along the road and limit the use of a bicycle path. Vehicles are parking on the shoulders that function as bicycle lanes.
“It’s an incredibly dangerous situation,” Thomas said. He said vehicle drivers are walking along the road and congregating and wandering out into road lanes particularly as they wait to pick up commuters who are working at warehouses and other businesses nearby. Vehicles parking along the parkway also are leaving ruts and carrying rocks and dirt onto it.
Bicyclists are forced out onto the parkway – a roadway with an increasing amount of truck traffic – to maneuver around vehicles.
Technically, the city already could issue tickets because a Missouri statute already says it is a violation to park in a designated bicycle lane. However, Special Counsel Randy Weber and Police Chief Jeff Finkelstein said any tickets issued now would have to go through circuit court for resolution. Both said they would prefer issuing a city violation that would go through the city’s municipal court system.
Thomas and Burt Benesek, St. Peters’ manager of transportation and development services, said they and city staff have spoken with businesses along the parkway and have found support for the no parking signs. Instead of parking along the parkway, traffic should turn into the place of business where someone is being picked up or dropped off, Thomas said.
Officials have indicated that it is important to do something about the parking situation now to inform other businesses that may locate here about proper drop-off and pick-up procedures.
“It’s a problem that could get worse,” said Alderman Michael Shea [Ward 3].
Thomas said other business parks in the area, such as the Earth City Business Park along Interstate 70 in St. Louis County, restrict parking on their streets.
City Administrator Russ Batzel said the signs would not be a major expense because they would be posted on the bicycle trail signs.