Best Combination Highway Entrance/Exit

Highway 40 at Forest Park Expressway and Jefferson Avenue

Only do this when you're feeling lucky. Try entering Highway 40/I-64 east coming off the Forest Park Expressway and exiting at Jefferson Avenue. You're dumped into 40/64 in the fast lane, and you have just a half-mile to cross three lanes of dense traffic while every bozo is trying to pass on the right. You find yourself slowing down and making the perilous lane changes with a series of sudden backward glances, eyeballing the field because you can't trust those tiny swatches of visibility the side and rearview mirrors afford, not when cars are zooming up at 70 mph or more. Sometimes you just can't make it and have to pass Jefferson and exit at 20th Street, which means backtracking and more aggravation. Could traffic engineers have devised a more diabolical scheme? Linda Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Transportation, says that stretch of highway probably met entrance/egress standards when it was built some 40-50 years ago, though today things are different: Traffic volume has increased, and drivers are going much faster. Besides, adds Wilson, addressing the Jefferson-exit madness, "I'm not sure why anybody would want to do that, not when you can stay on Forest Park, exit at Market Street and follow it to Jefferson. There's no need to get on 40 at all." The answer is simple. It is a truly insane maneuver yet, in the daredevil spirit, somehow exhilarating -- unless, of course, you end up in a wreck. Look for a revamping of 40/64 sometime around 2004.
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