Moving to St. Louis? Here Are Three Reasons Not To

Also known as the Gateway to the West, St. Louis is more than Missouri’s second-largest city. Its deep historical roots, tight-knit community, and solid transportation network are three major reasons why people move to St. Louis.

Are you also planning to make River City your new home? Then, you’ll be glad to know that it ranked among the 25 most affordable metropolitans in the US. But like they say, “there are hidden costs involved.”

In this article, we will explore three major reasons why you should not move to St. Louis or at least reconsider your decision.

  • Dangerous Highways

St. Louis is a mighty logistics hub resting at the heart of America. This means its rail, road, sea, and air transportation is top-notch to facilitate easy movement of people and goods. One example is that there are seven important highways or interstates running through the city.

These interstates have shortened commute time between St. Louis and its suburban areas as well as neighboring cities. However, such robust infrastructure comes at a cost. The city is setting a record high for industrial property absorption in terms of square footage.

The situation is such that there is hardly any room to construct more warehouses. This means scores of commercial vehicle fleets operate to and fro St. Louis. Given the sheer size of these vehicles, the city’s highways are highly risky, especially during night hours.

St. Louis is no stranger to deadly road accidents, many of them involving a truck, semi-truck, or trailer. A recent incident took place at the intersection of I-44/I-55 in downtown St. Louis. A semi-truck collided with a motorcycle, and the latter’s driver was rushed to the hospital where he later died.

Besides the physical injuries, emotional pain, and expensive medical bills, such accidents involve a tough legal battle in their aftermath. Truck accidents are complex, often having more than one liable party. Victims or their families (in case of wrongful death) need the support of a reliable St. Louis trucking accident lawyer to win fair settlements.

In some cases, both parties may share the liability. According to TorHoerman Law, the common reasons behind truck accidents in St. Louis include –

  • Driver fatigue
  • Rash or aggressive driving
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Passenger vehicles not steering clear of the truck’s blind spots
  • Mechanical failure in the truck’s parts
  • Inadequately trained drivers
  • Negligent hiring practices (by trucking companies)

The problem is only further aggravated by heavily congested interstates consisting of multiple lanes. The city’s officials are making efforts to reduce the number of lanes for smoother traffic flow. One example is Lindell Boulevard which was reduced from four to two lanes.

  • High Crime Rate

A 2022 study ranked St. Louis as the most dangerous US city. This ranking was done after considering factors like road accidents and violent crimes. It’s important to mention here that among other reasons, having major highways in all directions is undoubtedly a top one.

These highways are easy options for drug cartels and burglars to gain access to the city. There are other reasons for high homicides, including rival gangs, increasing poverty, parental neglect, and general apathy of the residents.

According to the City of St. Louis government’s resources, the African-American experience in the city has been turbulent. The race issues stemmed from the fact that St. Louis was situated in a border state where slavery was legal. Often termed “benign neglect,” this problem compelled a Black exodus during 2020.

As many as 27,396 Black people left St. Louis (in the previous decade) searching for safer cities to live peacefully. Fred Jamison was one such man who moved to St. Peters owing to constant gun violence in his previous neighborhood. The city’s population is steadily declining as parts of it are economically marginalized, resulting in constant violence and crime.

This is not to say that all 79 neighborhoods within the city are dangerous. Murder and assault rates are generally higher in the northern parts of St. Louis, and they cool off as you move towards the south. Some of its most dangerous neighborhoods (especially unsafe at night) include Gravois Park, Central West End, Dutchtown, Tower Grove South, Bevo Mill, Downtown St. Louis, and Carondelet.

  • Natural Disasters

Would it be a hyperbole to state that St. Louis is one place where nature seems to be offended by the existence of humans? Not really because if you successfully dodge manmade violence, you might get struck by a tornado, hurricane, or any other natural disaster.

Every year, the city’s residents must prepare themselves for harsh and unpredictable weather conditions. The highest number of disaster declarations has been for floods, closely followed by severe weather, ice storms, tornadoes, and drought.

The reason for nature’s assaults is considered to be the precarious geography and location of the city. Since St. Louis is crisscrossed by tributaries and nestled between two great rivers, floods are all too common.

Just last year, flash floods broke a century-old record as property roofs collapsed and vehicles drowned. There was one casualty, and people in hard-hit areas had to flee from their homes in search of refuge.

What’s most interesting is that St. Louis’ climate has become a lot more erratic in recent years. The record-high rains started just three days after the city’s governor declared the threat of a serious drought.

The Bottom Line

Has the article made you rethink your decision to move to St. Louis? In a way, this is good because it’s best to weigh the pros and cons before making a huge decision. However, know that no place in this world is perfectly safe or convenient.

Your final decision to relocate (or otherwise) should depend on whether the pros outnumber the cons. Even for each con, let’s remember that there are ways you can avoid becoming the next unfortunate statistic. For instance – learn the safest routes and drive carefully with full precautions.

Likewise, steer clear of the high-crime areas and adopt the locals’ ways of protecting against different natural disasters. If you can make it work, this Midwestern US city does promise an adventure of a lifetime! 

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