Posted on April 4th, 2019 by Zane Cagle
Tomorrow is Opening Day for the St. Louis Cardinals: Be Safe!
Cardinal Nation has been waiting months for opening day of the 2019 season. The game and festivities were to start today, Thursday; but due to the rain, the festivities have moved to Friday. Friday, the beginning of the weekend as well. It should be fun for all! Let’s be certain it is full success by avoiding drunk driving and distracted driving and get everyone to and from the festivities safely!
Don’t Drive Under the Influence
It’s Busch Stadium for heaven’s sake. We are going to be drinking some beer in St. Louis. Beers, hot dogs and pretzels! Tomorrow’s events begin around Noon. Traffic downtown will be hectic and getting increasingly worse as the afternoon progresses. Evening rush hour is always hectic and when you add 10,000’s of people to downtown, it is going to get more busy.
So, you usually know before you go to the game whether or not you will be consuming alcoholic beverages. Most games I attend, I imbibe and so do most of the people around me. It’s a personal choice, but there are many responsibilities that come with choosing to partake at the game and other festivities. The most important is that you have safe transportation to and from the game. Most generally, many drive over to downtown before the drinking begins and it only becomes problematic after the game. So, rather than wonder whether or not you will be “sober enough”, plan ahead so that you will not be trying to make the determination. Generally speaking, we are not good at evaluating and making great decisions while under the influence to just plan ahead!
Pedestrians, Pedestrians and More Pedestrians
Downtown traffic gets is always hectic in the afternoon/early evening, thus, when it is a game day–it is packed. A large number of pedestrians are also part of that traffic. We know that the number of pedestrian deaths has been on the rise, so do your part and obey street lights and walk safely. It is tempting as a pedestrian to be in a hurry, conversing with your group, and paying little attention to vehicles. Too often during the baseball season, we have serious pedestrian injuries or death.
Pedestrians are numerous downtown and it’s amazing how many people escape a near collision outside of our offices, daily. There are numerous car collisions at Broadway and Washington Avenue. Generally, these crashes occur when someone is trying to beat a yellow light or making an illegal turn left in an effort to again, beat traffic. Trying to “beat a light” can be catastrophic. We’ve seen these crashes and the results. It is worth your life to wait the couple minutes required to observe the light and wait for the next rotation of traffic.
Due to that intersection alone, pedestrians have to constantly be on the lookout a crash and pay attention to whether or not a car is going to be on the sidewalk with them! Pedestrians do not have the protection of a vehicle around them to soften the blow if they are hit. Up and down the downtown streets of St. Louis will be full of pedestrians. Pedestrians—cross at crosswalks! Furthermore, pedestrians in and around the stadium are numerous and the possibility of being hit by a car grows. Not only are adults at risk, but there are many, many children headed to the game.
As a motorist, slow down and be patient. Leave a little early so that you can allow for a longer commute tomorrow. As a pedestrian headed to the game–be patient and follow the lights. Only cross at crosswalks. Do not weave in and out of traffic on the hopes that you will get to the game a few minutes quicker.
Events for Tomorrow’s Home Opener
Pregame Schedule – the stadium actually opens at 9 a.m. I’m not sure why anyone wants to get there so early, but hey, to each their own.
From 9:30-11:45 a.m. – Opening Day Pep Rally
Gates Open at Noon with batting practice for the Cardinals followed by batting practice for the San Diego Padres
2:30 p.m. Pre-Game Ceremonies with an appearance by the famous Budweiser Clydesdales. Introduction of the Cardinals Hall of Famers and a 2019 Cardinal Hall of Fame Induction Class.
2:50 p.m. Introduction of the Cardinals and owner via motorcade. Presentation of the Color Guard and American Flag courtesy of Scott Air Force Base
3:05 p.m. the National Anthem will be performed by Kennedy Holmes, a St. Louis teen and finalist on “The Voice”, followed by a flyover by KC-135
Game Time is 3:15 p.m.
Traffic, Traffic, Traffic
Be patient, be attentive and make a plan! Know what you are doing tomorrow. The Metro offers transportation to many commuter parking spots so you can avoid downtown traffic. As well, St. Louis cab companies will be operating at full capacity tomorrow as well as ride shares such as Uber and Lyft. Take your time and be patient. It’s going to be a great celebration. A motor vehicle collision or a pedestrian injury certainly eclipses the entire day, so even if it is for the sake of the celebration—-make a safe plan. More importantly, get yourself and your friends home safely!
It only takes a few minutes to make a plan that could be the difference between a fond memorable night in the books or a nightmare.
We represent those injured in motor vehicle collisions including car crashes, truck crashes and motorcycle crashes. There are entirely too many motor vehicle crashes and St. Louis has become one of the most dangerous cities for car accidents. If you commute in the city, that is not a surprising factoid. Just like any other city, the same bad driving behaviors result in crashes such as illegal left turns, traveling the wrong way on a one-way, improper lane usage, speeding and failing to follow traffic signals. These bad driving behaviors are a result of lax driving and distracted driving.
In addition, Missourians are still a state full of those drivers still choosing not to buckle up. Other states boast 99% participation rates in seat belt usage, yet Missourians still fail to buckle up. When you study police incident repots like I do, you see the sheer number of people seriously injured or killed by being ejected from the vehicle in a crash. Once someone is ejected, their likelihood of surviving is drastically reduced.
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