Trailnet engages elected officials and the general public to promote safety for everyone who uses our streets, sidewalks, and trails. We are building public and political will to support active transportation options that are affordable and provide access for everyone. Advocacy activities include:
- Serving on local and state government committees to promote multimodal transportation including bike/pedestrian projects
- Educating the general public about the benefits of non-motorized transportation alternatives and encouraging our constituents to support bike/pedestrian legislation
- Educating motorists about pedestrian safety
- Monitoring and updating community meetings regarding proposed walking and biking projects
- Engaging trained Walk Bike Ambassadors to be community leaders, partnering with Trailnet in advancing walking and biking in St. Louis with an emphasis on our new protected bikeways vision
Serving up to 10,000 participants each year, Trailnet’s Bicycle Fun Club (BFC) is one of the most active programs of its type in the nation. The Club offers a three-season schedule of weekend bicycle rides, generally featuring low traffic, scenic rural roads in Missouri and Illinois. Many rides are tied to food and local festivals, and several are urban rides, offering cyclists unique views of the city of St. Louis. Trailnet’s Service and Gear (SAG) wagon cruises most routes with cold water, cookies, basic mechanical assistance, and a pick-up service. The full support and varying mileage options appeal to riders of all ages and abilities.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning
Trailnet works with municipalities and counties across the St. Louis bi-state region to develop bicycle/pedestrian master plans. We facilitate a process that:
- Helps communities envision safe and attractive routes for walking and biking and recommends bicycle/pedestrian programs specific to communities
- Identifies barriers and opportunities for seamless connections
- Suggests potential greenways and on-road opportunities for active transportation
- Provides preliminary cost estimates for proposed facilities and programs and identifies potential funding sources for improvements
- Provides trail operations and maintenance plans
Consulting and Technical Assistance
Trailnet works with community leaders and staff to facilitate plans that implement best practices to foster healthy, active, and economically vibrant communities. We identify and address barriers to daily walking and biking, design livable streets and places, and collaborate to improve access to local healthy food. The long-term goal of Trailnet’s Consulting and Technical Assistance is to build capacity and foster partnerships to advance our shared vision. All technical assistance staff are directly engaged in community-based work and have academic qualifications in public policy, urban and regional planning, public health, dietetics, environmental engineering, and education. Ongoing consulting projects include:
- Planners4Health: this grant will allow collaboration with the Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association to conduct traffic calming demonstrations across the state, helping communities to envision the impact of safer street design and the benefits of adopting complete streets policies.
- Missouri Livable Streets: as the lead technical assistance provider for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ Missouri Livable Streets project, Trailnet offers trainings across the state to regional planning organizations to help communities envision and adopt complete streets policies.
Education and Encouragement
Trailnet promotes commuter bicycling by teaching skills for on-road cycling, and identifying safe and pleasant connections for bike travel in the St. Louis region. Trailnet works with businesses, universities, and communities to improve active transportation options and promote car-free commuting. Specific encouragement projects include:
- Participation in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project: data collected annually provide a measure of the impact of biking and walking investments and help to guide infrastructure development.
- Monthly Breakfast for Bikers events (April through September) provide free coffee and breakfast for bike commuters.
- Celebration of National Bike Month and Bike to Work Day build a culture and community of biking.
Trailnet also participates in the national Safe Routes to School Program, designed to promote the health of children and communities by encouraging daily physical activity as a part of a neighborhood’s social fabric. By encouraging students to walk or bike to school, the program ensures reliable means to arrive at school safely, on time, and ready to learn. Trailnet currently serves six school districts, ten elementary schools and thousands of children in the St. Louis area, offering technical assistance to schools that have the capacity to implement the program.