A growing deer population near the western city limits is becoming a safety issue, according to Ward 3 Alderman Mike Pigg.

Pigg said some motorists might not be aware of it, but whitetail deer have been spotted recently strolling on LaMar Parkway, the quarter-mile street that extends between Old Gray Summit Road, near the city’s western edge, and Osage Street.

The heavily traveled roadway includes the city’s only rail overpass and carries motorists from south and west of the city to the Interstate 44 entrance.

Wildlife is a common sight near the city limits on farms, undeveloped land and Shaw Nature Reserve, but the number of deer coming into the residential area is growing, Pigg said.

“It’s not unusual to see deer on Old Gray Summit Road, but they are getting bolder and coming into the city,” he said. “You don’t expect deer to be there.”

Pigg asked the city to put up deer crossing signs to warn drivers that deer also use the roadway.

Speaking at the Sept. 17 board of aldermen meeting, Pigg said it might be time for the city to post some signs warning motorists.

The Department of Conservation also is warning motorists that the deer population is on the move now, due to mating season and that deer-car accidents are up in Missouri 7 percent compared with last year.

More than half of last year’s deer-vehicle accidents occurred from September, through December. November was the most dangerous month with 22.8 percent of the year’s deer-car collision, the Department of Conservation reports.

Time also is a factor. Most deer-car accidents occur at dawn or dusk. The Department of Conservation advises motorists to look for deer especially at those times.

Pigg said citizens should be conscious of the fact that this applies to LaMar Parkway, not just country roads.

“People should be aware,” he said.