ST. LOUIS — A posh Central West End neighborhood known for its private, gated streets is divided over a plan to reshape Lindell Boulevard.
Alderwoman Heather Navarro has a plan to reduce the number of lanes on Lindell from four to two along the north edge of Forest Park. She also wants to add parking and bike lanes in each direction.
Navarro said it's all in the name of safety and said city engineers have signed off on the plan.
"Right now, we have so much pavement for the population that we serve that it just makes it really easy for people to speed and it makes it really easy for people to zigzag in and out of traffic," she said. "So, the more that we can reallocate this pavement to other users and do it safely, I think the better off we all are."
But some in the private neighborhood of Portland Place worry the reduction will make it harder to access their neighborhood where residents have shut off access themselves with gates blocking traffic on their private streets.
Others in their neighborhood worry what fewer lanes will do to rush hour traffic in the neighborhood and argue the $500K for the project could be better spent elsewhere.
"If you have a speeding issue that's a law enforcement issue that's a traffic issue," said Portland Place resident Russell Jackson. "And, and you could fund a cop for a lot less than $500,000."
Other homeowners across Lindell from Forest Park want the reduction so badly they are suing the city in the hope of forcing it to take action.
They claim in a lawsuit that a more than 100-year-old agreement requires the city to keep Lindell quieter. They said that was the deal when neighbors near Forest Park gifted the city Lindell back in the early 1900s.
Alderwoman Navarro said she is willing to compromise with neighbors worried about traffic back-ups and make changes to the plan. But she said the plan is going forward as long as she can find the funding.