The Kingshighway JogFebruary 17, 2010
Kingshighway is one of the city’s busiest streets, but up until less than 50 years ago, the road yielded to Forest Park instead of visa-versa. Thanks to Gateway Streets‘ Sunday Links last week, I was able to track down the year that the motorist won out over the city itself by looking at MODOT’s historical highway maps. I found that 1964 is the first year in which “the jog” does not appear on the state highway map. One more decision accelerating decline. Originally, Kingshighway took a 90 degree turn to the East at what is now Hospital Drive and then made another 90 degree turn to the South at Euclid (formerly Lake or Lay). This was due to the shape of the park!
This area now has so much traffic concentrated into BJC, Wash-U Med, etc., but these are basically one big campus cut off from the rest of the city. I just wonder what the area felt like before. It must have been very different.
Maybe one day Forest Park will be restored to its original boundaries and Kingshighway restored to it’s original, more pedestrian friendly route. We need to work with what our city already has to offer, even the sharp edges, instead of destroying it to remove minor inconveniences incurred from one particular perspective.