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23 Things Every St. Louisan Knows & You Don't

If you live in St Louis... You'll understand this.
If you've ever visited St. Louis... You'll understand this.
If you've never been to St. Louis... Consider this your Visitor's Guide to Driving in St. Louis.


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1. There are 75 "unofficial neighborhoods" in the City of St. Louis. St. Louisans commonly give directions--especially for restaurants--to strangers based on these neighborhoods, which aren't marked on any maps that are handed out by the tourist board, the AAA or Mapquest.

2. There are 54 school districts--on the Missouri side alone--each of which has their own school bus system with scheduled times to block traffic.

3. There are 91 official municipalities in St. Louis County. Each municipality has its own rules and regulations, and often their own police departments.

4. More importantly, most have their own snow removal contracts so it's not uncommon to drive down a road in winter and have one block plowed, the next salted, the next piled with snow and the last partially cleared by residents wanting to get out of their driveways.

5. Snow plowing is never a problem in the City of St. Louis. They plow nothing, and if the forecast calls for snow, they close everything. Except on "The Hill" (refer to #1 above) where each homeowner goes out to the street and shovels out one car-sized rectangle and then stands watch over it.

6. Any car parked longer than 4 hours in the city is considered a parts store.

7. The City of Ballwin actually proposed that drivers use connecting strip mall parking lots to get from place to place rather than drive on Manchester road to cut the traffic on Manchester. (And for good reason. There is a stoplight at every intersection on Manchester).

8. Laclede Station Road, McCausland, Lindbergh, Watson, Reavis Barracks, Fee Fee, McKnight, Airport Road, Midland, McKelvey, and Olive mysteriously change names as you cross intersections.

9. Gravois Road, Spoede and Chouteau can only be pronounced by St. Louis natives. (Highway 40 as is pronounced as "farty".)

10. A St. Louisan from South County has never been to North County and vise versa. West County just has everything delivered.

11. No native St. Louisan knows that Lindbergh runs from South County to North County. And if you tell them, they will not believe you.

12. Lindbergh belongs to every neighborhood except Kirkwood, who had the nerve to creatively change the name to "Kirkwood Road." (Which may be the reason for number 11.)

13. There are 2 interchanges to exit from Highway 40 onto Clayton Road and 2 for Big Bend. Stay alert, people!

14. If you need directions to O'Fallon, make sure to specify Illinois or Missouri. This is also true for Troy, Maryville, St. Charles, Springfield and Columbia.

15. The Page Avenue extension and Airport expansion projects took over
20 years to get approved. St. Louisans lost track of how many political figures claimed them as their own ideas.

16. St. Louisans were aghast when the federal government required them to redo the highway signs to indicate that the federal highways went to cities in other states instead of local municipalities.

17. Drivers are starting to cut their OWN plates rather than go through the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles to get new tags. You can also purchase tags from dealers behind Quick Shops in the city. They are cheaper, the clerks are nicer, and the service is faster.

18. Lambert Field and St. Louis International Airport really are the same place. The East Terminal, however, is a different place.

19. Highway 270 is our daily version of the NASCAR circuit.

20. You can go all four directions on Highway 270: North and South in West County, East and West in South County, and East and West in North County. Confused? So are the St. Louis drivers.

21. The outer belt is Highway 270 which turns into Highway 255 in South County. The inner belt is Highway 170. Highway 370 is an outer-outer belt. Highway 40 is the same as Interstate 64 (but only through the middle part of St. Louis). If you are listening to traffic reports and they are calling it 64, the traffic jam is in Illinois. If they are calling it 40, the traffic jam is in Missouri.

22. The morning rush hour is from 6:00 to 10:00 AM. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00 PM. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning.

23. Never ever try to cross a bridge in St. Louis during rush hour unless you have a sack lunch and a port-a-potty in the car.

Comments (3)

Kim:

I still have nightmares I'm trying to drive down Manchester road! This is all so true.

Deborah responds: And that hasn't changed, Kim. Just day before yesterday I drove about 3/4 of a mile on Manchester via the connecting strip mall parking lots.

#5 is my favorite! I can just picture everyone watching over their spot. Interesting list of facts.

Liz:

Hi, I was just looking for info on St. Louis and can't believe you posted this yesterday!

I am British but live in Amsterdam,Holland and am helping organise a convention or the International Society of Women Airline Pilots in St Louis next May. Can I contact you for info that would make US members want to revisit a city they well nightstop in and get non US members decide it's worth the trip from far away?

regards

Liz J C

Deborah responds: Liz, you would be more than welcome to email as much as you like! What a fun organization! Where will your convention headquarters be? About how many attendees will you have.
I'm a travel addict, and foodie. I'm also a bit of a St. Louis cheerleader.
So good to hear from you. I'm going to send you a direct e-mail in case you don't check back in on this blog entry.

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