Plea for Help!
My letter to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety about the O'Day Park traffic and aberration of an intersection on Missouri Highway DD

My apology for again jumping from Florida to the Midwest. This is an attempt to save one life. Be it human or horse

Please-if not interested, click the site map and look into some kayaking around Kennedy Space Center



Information about the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety can be found at the MoDOT (Missouri Department of Transportation) home page

The MCRS brochure/report and their goal of zero deaths is awesome!

Please Note: NO ONE of this widely dispersed MCRS organization deemed to bother with a response. Not a thank you, please go away letter, nothing. Perhaps their club rules prohibit responding to ordinary citizens? Yet their email address is on the 173 page report. Perhaps the MCRS is pure propaganda-No I do not believe that.

Anyway, since the MCRS did not respond, I created a page for my letter.

Because sadly someone is going to be killed at this park intersection--and it could have been prevented all along.


Full Disclaimer: I added the photos to this page.

The original letter (request for help) to the MCRS only contained "Page Two" of the response from the Chief Engineer of MoDOT

Despite the unrestrained development (flight from urban St. Louis) eastern Missouri is still Horse Country




To The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety

Dear MCRS, Champions for Highway Safety

Thank you so much for your efforts to arrive alive!


I am so impressed with the 173 page:

Missouri’s Blueprint – A Partnership Toward Zero Deaths that I actually read it twice!


Reading between the lines: this document had to be a labor intensive undertaking from heroes across the state in the hope of saving lives.

Zero fatalities is our ultimate goal -how can we accept anything else...”

Thank you.


The stories of the injuries, of the crash survivors & first responders were heart rending.

Which of course leads me to write this letter.

A concern for the safety of my direct family and strangers whom I dread to meet one day at an accident scene -as in your photos of destroyed vehicles and lives.


Actually I am terrified. Because it is not “if” but “When”


Please be so kind as to consider my plea to save just one life-Your stated goal: “Zero fatalities is our ultimate goal -how can we accept anything else...”



My elderly mother complained to MoDOT about a new park under construction in St. Charles County by the City of O'Fallon.


The 52 acre park scheduled to open in 2019 is located on the north side of Highway DD, one mile west of Interstate 64: “O'Day Park” was proposed as a passive green nature park; the City requested and received a MoDOT permit for parking 300 vehicles. Park plans include an amphitheater for concerts, conference center, camping area and a “Lazy River” water park/playground.


The complaint by Kim Ryba to MoDOT was that the park 'updated' plans had far exceeded the 300 parking limit permit. Our contention is that the current stated plans exceed the parking limit by approximately 90%-not counting the planned gravel shoulders on the park roads that will serve as overflow parking during concerts.


However we received a letter from the MoDOT Chief Engineer in Jefferson City Mr. Ed Hassinger, stating there was “No grounds to rescind the permit”.


Disclaimer: I was not going to write a letter until I happened to see Mr. Hassinger's name on the MCRS roster of members. Serendipitous indeed.


On another day, I might dispute Mr. Hassinger. Especially his written contention that O'Fallon has only changed their parking plans by “about one percent”. I might be inclined to inquire of his formula for determining “About One Percent”


Am I wrong to understand, that “about one percent means 303.3 parking spots?” (I am not a engineer & have been wrong before)

Saving lives is more important than quibbling over numbers of parking slots.


But really if the City of O'Fallon is releasing only 300 drunks onto Highway DD or 600 drunks (by our math) the result is the same. Death and dismemberment on a narrow road.


Zero fatalities is our ultimate goal -how can we accept anything else...”

I have to keep repeating that to myself, for I am beginning to have difficulty believing the seriousness of that mantra.

Highway DD, like many roads in Missouri is a narrow two road, where vehicles travel too fast, new developments are adding traffic & school buses. The area is still horse country with animals being trailered, and quarry trucks daily ply the road in excessive speeds.


By their own admission; Law enforcement does not enforce speed limits because there are no shoulders on Highway DD & consequently no where to pull over speeders. Law enforcement does do a superior job setting up alcohol impaired driving road checks (at the intersection of Interstate 64 & Highway DD) due to the outstanding successes of the Augusta area wineries.


In that mix of quarry trucks and inebriated drivers, rain or ice, breaking for deer, my family drives DD every day and yes they have been in accidents.


Moving toward zero deaths - providing more tomorrows for EVERYONE!” MCRS

So O'Fallon wants a water park and concert venue. We asked one of the O'Fallon City Council women “Whether the City of O'Fallon would bear any responsibility to traffic related deaths at their park entrance?”


The sharp response was “NO, because MoDOT gave us a permit”

Obviously the elected council woman is not a member of the MCRS or she might have had a more sensitive answer. Could you possibly send the City a link to your 173 page report on a goal of zero deaths?




By MoDOT's own figures 10,000 people a day use Highway DD

So MoDOT gives a permit for O'Fallon to release 300 or 600 drunks onto busy DD. That certainly is MoDOT's prerogative.


When the concerts end and 300+ vehicles are turned loose at once-with only a mile to the interstate-there will be a line of traffic stalled on DD attempting to exit the park. Driving into that at stalled line? Ah yes the celebratory wine aficionados and our heroic rescue services attempting to navigate that mess. Want to add ice or fog to that scenario?

Photos of the Park entrance are on my Malfeasance of the MoDOT page

How about the scenario of the quarry trucks driving 70 miles an hour and a family with children or a bus with children leaving the O'Day water park & pulls in front of the heavy truck? Will MoDOT offer a too-late apology at their error in judgment?

What about the people that live on the road directly opposite of the park entrance that will no longer be able to make a left (west) turn because of traffic entering the park? They will have to cross both lanes, enter the park and make a u-turn just to travel west. That is unless the line coming from the east is blocking the park entrance. Did MoDOT consider the problems and potential disasters?




Zero fatalities is our ultimate goal -how can we accept anything else...”


ok

From my understanding of MoDOT regulations, there should have been a turning lane into the park, because the entry from the east is on a slight curve which reduces the line of sight. -Believe me when I say I would have rather been at the dentist than reading MoDOT regulations.

From my understanding the turning lane was not required because the O'Day Park was going to be a passive green park with limited traffic-say day hikers and picnickers.


My understanding is there was an “omission” by the City of O'Fallon to MoDOT, -you can say accidental omission if you wish; about the weekly (parties) concerts & weddings at the park. Well the good ol boys are never really held to account.

Heir of Busch brewing will be building a 500 person restaurant, beer garden & brewery


And now a new deadly wrinkle: neighbors have decried that only 5 miles up the road on will be a 500 person Beer Garden. 500 hundred drunks. (nothing against drunks-as long a they are not driving)


HWY DD + wineries+ Oday park concerts+ 500 beer drinkers and the Bar Charts on the MCRS fatally reports are going to jump to the top of the page.


Forgive me for being flippant. That is sad, that is terrifying.


My family is at the mercy of the wisdom of both MoDOT and O'Fallon. They are at the mercy of “Deadly DD” as it is becoming known.

I omitted that the new O'Day park will have a teen center. So in addition to the drunks and stressed parents will be teenagers leaving the park while texting-normal every event added to this terrible scenario.


The City of O'Fallon in their own meeting minutes have stated the goal of capturing business in this park: Weddings, conventions, teens, children and concert goers. Their stated goal is to take business from the surrounding St. Charles area.


The City of O'Fallon passed a bond for $21 million dollars for park improvements-does that sound like a goal of a passive green park? I do not live in the O'Fallon City limits and so cannot speak on the subject of crony capitalism.


A business park is the prerogative of O'Fallon- However that is not a “passive nature park” & the O'Day Park should have a proper entrance.

Preemptively, at our own expense we have relocated our entrance gates away from Highway DD. We have done this to get our vehicles and horse trailers off of DD as quickly as possible to avoid the increase in expected traffic and wrecks.


Preemptively at our own expense we have placed our own signs near DD -before the park has even opened. “SLOW DOWN OR DIE”


We could only shake our heads when the MoDOT workers matched out signs with a lower speed limit sign (45 mph) -do not get me wrong, their sign is a good thing.


Can MoDOT do more? Besides just giving O'Fallon the permission to mangle people on DD?


For the safety of my family, and unknown strangers who I do not wish to see mutilated on the road way I am begging for some assistance.

I do not wish the 300 parking permit rescinded. Although I would feel some satisfaction if the City of O'Fallon had to explain the parking additions. Those 1% changes Ed.


What will save lives?

The absolute best solution:

The new park only has one entrance/exit.


In the beginning the City should have been made to direct their concert traffic to the service road for Interstate 64 (only one mile east) and away from the “No shoulder narrow Highway DD” --A drunk only has to hiccup and the vehicle will be off of the pavement & into the ditches. Route traffic away from the winery and beer hall traffic.


Second best solution.


If a new entrance is not feasible -please make the City put in a stop light at the park entrance. At least then people will have to slow down and the residents of “Country Day Lane” across from the park entrance will be able to turn west without risking their lives. Of course there will still be a line of traffic a mile long.


Finally, since the City of O'Fallon passed a bond for $21 million dollars for park improvements. The money for both the alternate entrance and the stop light (both would be ideal) is in their coffers.


And isn't one life saved worth the proper entrance and exit from the new Park?




My goal is zero deaths.


Thank you for any assistance to save the lives of my relatives & strangers.

If MoDOT in their wisdom chooses to do nothing:


Back to the legal question of responsibility: Is MoDOT going to cover the expense post traumatic stress of say when my brother is first to arrive at the scene of school bus versus a heavy quarry truck? And of course that of the distraught parents.


Or the pain of my niece who might only have one broken arm but watches in horror as her screaming beloved horse is euthanized because of four broken legs?


Or Me going to social media in anguish over my mother's death because O'Fallon and MoDOT allowed this engineering aberration of an intersection to exist?


And.......If it is me you read about in the paper or on your phone, killed on deadly DD-do not fret, I will not be around to beleaguer incompetence or indifference.




“Reducing the number and severity of traffic crashes is not an easy job. It takes a concerted effort from metropolitan planning organizations, regional planning commissions, community leaders, legislators, educators, law enforcement, emergency responders, engineers and citizens. EVERYONE must work together to ensure no more lives are lost because of something so preventable.” MCRS




FYI, My mother paid for her own signs on Highway DD “Slow down or die” to save lives.


My mother filed complaints with MoDOT to save lives. Seems like she should be one of the “Citizens” in your Blueprint propaganda statement.


That makes her a community leader taking action.




“EVERYONE must work together to ensure no more lives are lost because of something so preventable”---Preventable is the deaths at the O'Day Park entrance, that is if anyone really cares.




Thank you for your time,


Bruce Ryba


Stone Bridge Stables, Highway DD




MoDOT response for help



Return Home from O'Day Park Traffic page