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Downtown St. Louis traffic a concern after crash involving Tennessee teen

Some people in downtown St. Louis say more stop signs are needed, including on St. Charles Street where a teenager suffered life-changing injuries last week.

ST. LOUIS — Drive down St. Charles Street in the heart of downtown St. Louis, and you'll see it’s a short, but busy, stretch of road.

"You have all kind of people down here walking their dogs here,” said Alyce Lewys. Lewys has lived in the neighborhood for three years.

"We need more stop signs. We need more places to walk without worrying about getting hit,” she said.

Lewis also thinks the yield sign on St. Charles Street at North 11th Street needs to be replaced with a stop sign.

It's there that St. Louis police said Daniel Riley, 21, sped down the street in an Audi Q5, failed to yield, and collided with a Chevrolet Malibu and several parked cars before flipping over and pinning Janae Edmondson.

All that before his car flipped over on its roof and slid down the street.

Edmondson, 17, of Tennessee, was in St. Louis with her family to play in a volleyball tournament at America's Center.

"It's not a surprise to me people get hit or people get almost run over,” said Lewys.

In a statement, Evita Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, said "additional officers as well as assistance from the sheriff's department will be patrolling downtown.”

"However, I can't say this is solely in light of the recent tragedy” involving Edmondson, she added.

"Officers and sheriff's deputies are generally always staffed downtown ... during weekends and for scheduled events," Caldwell said.

"I don't think it's enough police presence. I just don't,” said a woman who works downtown. "People always running lights. It's like they don't stop for stop signs and that's a concern of mine,” added the woman, who declined to give her name.

"I'm building off what we already do here,” said St. Louis police Chief Robert Tracy.

Tracy on Thursday said the department is tackling traffic reform, including tracking hot spots and getting tougher on offenders.

"So, we've got to measure it, make sure we're in the right places and, you know, try to prevent the next thing from happening,” he said.

"I would like to see more if its going to affect something,” Lewys said.

Caldwell declined to say how many officers patrolled downtown.

"We don’t normally disclose the exact number of officers on a beat as it is considered a safety issue," she said.

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