Maplewood police warn drivers to stop ignoring locked community gate

MAPLEWOOD, Mo. - A gated St. Louis County community is bringing a warning from police. Too many times, drivers are trying to go around a locked gate and damaging property along the way.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, the Maplewood Police Department sent a warning to drivers to watch out for the gate on Hazel Avenue and S. Big Bend.

The post read:

You come to a locked gate in the roadway at Hazel Avenue and South Big Bend. What do you do?

A: Drive on the sidewalk
B: Turn around
C: Ram the gate

If you see people taking options "A" or "C" give us a call. This is happening on a frequent basis and is causing damage to the sidewalk/curb in the area. #Maplewood #sidewalksarenotroadways

“They speed down the street and then they slam on their brakes and then speed all the way back,” said resident Abitha Boyle. "I hadn’t heard that someone had hit it, but I have seen with my own eyes. People go around it and bust the culvert or the sidewalk, so it’s definitely an issue.”

A city representative explained that the gate was installed to help divert cut through traffic coming from the now-closed Tim Horton’s Coffee Shop on South Big Bend.

“The concern was that you would have a huge amount of business traffic coming down a residential street,” said Steve Terelmes, who lives on Hazel Avenue. “Also because the egress is directly on to a residential street and people might want to avoid the busy traffic coming from Big Bend.”

Other neighbors said that the gate serves its purpose to keep their narrow, one-way street safe from unnecessary traffic coming through.

There is even a sign that reads ‘Street not Through.’

“We would really like people not to drive down our street if they don’t have to because it’s closed off,” said Thomas Bankston, who has lived in the neighborhood since the 70s.

Neighbors also told FOX 2 that the gate will stay especially since they expect another new business to move in soon.