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Slow Your Street Guide wins TRB Award

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Trailnet has received an award from the Transportation Research Board for Slow Your Street: A How-To Guide for Pop-up Traffic Calming. Grace Kyung, Trailnet’s Special Projects Director, developed the guide to make it easier for everyone to create their own pop-up traffic calming demonstrations. Trailnet has installed these temporary demonstrations in several St. Louis neighborhoods to show how streets can be designed for those who walk and bike. Several other cities, including Tulsa and Indianapolis, are currently using the Guide to plan traffic calming demonstrations. View the Guide online. Read more about Trailnet’s pop-up traffic calming projects.

 

 

Wendy Campbell, Trailnet Champion

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Wendy Campbell and her kids have been riding bicycles for a long time. As a resident of north city, Wendy would drop her then two-year old daughter at daycare and commute to her job, where she parked the bike in her office. “It was a really nice purple bike with a baby seat on the back. I would ride everywhere and the baby loved it. People looked at me like I was a parade float,” she recalls.

There are lots of things that Wendy loves about riding a bike: the benefits of getting exercise, the ability to directly experience her surroundings, and the chance to easily engage with people that she encounters. In 2010, Wendy and her family moved to the Dutchtown neighborhood, where she enjoys riding to “take in the beautiful architecture, the jewels, the little pocket parks, and seeing people I know in the neighborhood,” she says.

Having visited other cities with well-developed biking infrastructure, Wendy feels that Trailnet’s vision to connect St. Louis is greatly needed and long overdue. She looks forward to a network of “safe, protected bikeways that will get us anywhere we need to go and give people a chance to get out of their cars, saving money on gas and enjoying lots of health benefits.”

Wendy also predicts that the network “will create a domino effect. The more people see other people on bikes, the more familiar and possible it will seem. People who don’t have cars will be able to put their bikes on buses or MetroLink and get to their destinations. One of the best things about it is that it will put more people out on the streets and that will help to make our streets safer.”

Wendy Campbell knows a lot about what makes communities work, and is involved in her south city neighborhood in many ways. Shortly after moving to the area, she became a Block Captain, providing information and resources to neighbors, and welcoming newcomers to the community. She has worked with her local elementary school, Froebel Literacy Academy, as a crossing guard and den mother of a Cub Scout troup.

As one of Trailnet’s original Walk Bike Ambassadors, Wendy has helped to identify ways that safety can be improved in her area for walkers and bikers, and was a critical neighborhood advocate for a traffic calming demonstration near Marquette Park. She was elected 20th Ward Committeewoman in 2016 and works closely with her alderman, Cara Spencer, to promote the interests of her constituents.

Wendy’s generous and outgoing personality suit her perfectly for these many community roles, and also for her job as a Parking Enforcement Officer. She describes her job as “the perfect job. I get to walk a lot and meet and talk to people all day. Even if I won the lottery I wouldn’t quit my job!” After receiving her first paycheck last winter, Wendy bought toiletries and hand warmers, put them into zip lock bags and gave the bags to homeless people downtown, her first location as a parking officer.

Between her family, her many roles in the Dutchtown community, and her job, Wendy doesn’t have much time to stand still. She acknowledges that “new stuff excites me. You might have uncertainties and anxiety at first, but that’s followed by the rush of mastering a new thing.” She adds that “I don’t feel useful unless I’m doing something. That’s what makes me come alive.”

Wendy Campbell hopes that her enthusiasm and her willingness to work for her neighborhood will spread to her kids and to others in the community. That enthusiasm is one of the qualities that drew her to her fiancé, Byron Brown, who also serves as a Block Captain in the Dutchtown neighborhood. The couple shares an appreciation for their rich and diverse neighborhood and the belief that “if we agree to look out for each other, it makes this ride on planet earth a little better for everyone.”

2017 Bicycle Fun Club Volunteers

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Hang out with friends, enjoy some time in the countryside, and help us out all at the same time!

We need volunteers at our rides to help with

  • Ride registration
  • Signing up new members
  • Leading group rides
  • Staffing rest stops

Click here to sign up to help. Ride volunteers get a voucher for a free ride, a t-shirt, and a chance to meet lots of fun and interesting people!

Trailnet Champions, Ann and Vance Crowe

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Ann Crowe took up bicycling while living in Washington, D.C., where an extensive network of cycling paths made commuting by bike a convenient way to incorporate exercise into her daily routine. Ann moved to St. Louis to be closer to family and to pursue work in engineering. After deciding to make a career change, Ann began volunteering at Trailnet rides and fundraising events while completing her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Her volunteer activities allow her to “meet many new people and see different parts of the city and surrounding areas,” she says.

Ann’s volunteer experience introduced her to a “warm and welcoming community,” and she believes that a “shared love of biking provides common ground” for people that participate in Trailnet events. Ann’s husband Vance now joins her on many of the weekend rides, which she credits with giving him “the same confidence and passion for cycling and health” that is so important to her.

As a physical therapist, Ann understands the critical importance of regular exercise for maintaining health and recovering from injury. She notes the abundance of research supporting the positive impact of exercise on mood and overall health, and sees evidence of these effects at Trailnet events. “It only takes a morning at a Trailnet ride to see this come to life in the laughter, support and friendships created through group exercise,” she says.

Even with many years of experience as a bike commuter and recreational cyclist, Ann is aware that for many people concerns about safety may mean that they don’t bike or walk if no specific infrastructure exists. She is committed to building a community where more people have access to the benefits of active transportation. “Having a network of safe and connected bikeways and sidewalks will make biking and walking easier and available to more people,” she says. She also predicts that “as more people use the bikeways and sidewalks, they will feel personally invested in supporting the growth of this network.”

In addition to volunteering time to Trailnet, Ann and Vance are Trailnet Peloton members, providing financial support for the protected bikeway vision. They strongly believe in “dedicating personal efforts and resources to build infrastructure that empowers communities.”

Ann and Vance also feel that positive change will come to St. Louis only if individuals take the initiative. “Whatever challenges we face, the best way to identify problems and solutions is to get personally involved, seeing the community by biking on the roads and paths, meeting our neighbors, visiting and supporting local businesses. Trailnet gives us the opportunity to come together as individuals and make our city healthier and more interesting, with access and opportunity for everyone to enjoy a more active lifestyle.”

 

Tactical Urbanism Webinar

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Trailnet and the Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association will be hosting a webinar on tactical urbanism on Thursday, March 2nd at 10am. The webinar will provide information about cross-sector collaboration and how it can have an impact on the built environment. Trailnet will also be sharing their success from the Plan4Health project. Learn more at Planners4Health. Register here.

Cliff Cave Trail Expansion Under Attack

An important expansion to Cliff Cave Park in south St. Louis County, years under development and with broad public support, is being stopped by one new St. Louis County Council member.

Trakas claims that emails on the subject are running 50-50 for and against the trail–and we need to change that in a BIG way if we want to save this important trail.  We need 10-to-1 in support–or better. Your help is vital.

Please take 2 minutes today to call & email Councilman Ernie Trakas “I support the Cliff Cave Park Trail – Please don’t slow or stop it.”

ETrakas@stlouisco.com – 314-615-5442 OR his assistant Carmen Wilkerson 314-615-0159cwilkerson@stlouisco.com

If you live in the STL County, please also cc: your own County Council member.

Contact info for all County Council members & full details about the situation below.

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CLIFF CAVE PARK UNDER THREAT – YOU CAN HELP

For several years, Great Rivers Greenway and St. Louis County Parks have been working on the Cliff Cave Park Trail, a key connector in the Mississippi Greenway.

The planned trail is beautiful and will connect people who walk and bicycle over several difficult obstacles to an amazing overlook and miles of riverfront trail.

Construction is set to start in March. But a new St. Louis County Council member is threatened to stop the trail altogether. He claims that messages are running 50/50 for/against the trail and we need to change that in a BIG way today.

Suggested message & STL County Council contact info is below – or visit our online Cliff Cave page.

SUGGESTED MESSAGECliff Cave Park Trail - planned overlook

  • Be polite and persuasive when you contact your elected officials–this is by far the most effective approach.
  • Use a brief, clear subject line such as “I strongly support the Cliff Cave Park Trail”

  • Clearly state that you strongly support the trail and strongly oppose his effort to slow or stop it.  You support it and support moving forward with it quickly. Unfortunately in this case, delay is equivalent to opposition. Trakas is trying spin his opposition as “just slowing down to take time to consider the options” but the problem is, the trail is been under study and consideration for many years with all sorts of public meetings involving thousands of people and public comments. With money already spent and preliminary construction underway, Trakas knows that delay will kill the project–which is what a very few, very persistent neighbors want.
  • A short message is as effective or more effective than a long one.
  • Include your connection to the County (live, work, visit, vacation, etc) , especially if you live work, or visit St. Louis County District 6, Ernie Trakas’s district in SE St. Louis County.
  • Include a sentence or two, or a quick story, showing why trails, bicycling, and walking are important to you personally, to your community, and/or to St. Louis County.

Your message is about Cliff Cave Park specifically, but is also a valuable opportunity to raise the profile and importance of trails, bicycling, and walking with the St. Louis County Council.

County Council members need to know that the County has many strong supporters of the bicycle, pedestrian, and trail system in the County.

We are working closely with our local partners, members, and affected agencies on this effort, including Trailnet, the regional St. Louis area advocacy group that works the create positive change in the St. Louis bi-state region by encouraging healthy, active living and that founded the region’s trail system in the 1990s.  Look for more information coming soon from both us and our local and regional partners on this important issue.

Contact Information for St. Louis County Council

If you live in the County, contact your own County Council representative and also cc: Mr. Trakas, who is the key decision-maker on this issue.

If you don’t live in the County or have a connection to a particular Council District, you might email Mr. Trakas and cc: Steven Stenger, St. Louis County Executive.

Phone calls are very helpful. And email message is also helpful, and both phone and email followup is best of all. A posted letter or fax is also very effective, simply because constuents more rarely take the time to send a ‘real’ letter and that makes each one more impactful.

Map of St. Louis County Council Districts.Cliff Cave Park

Thank you! It really does make a big difference when you take the time to contact your elected representatives.

Special Project Director for Trailnet’s Protected Bikeways and Sidewalks Master Plan

Trailnet is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with a 29-year history of fostering healthy, active and vibrant communities where walking, bicycling and the use of public transit are a way of life.

GENERAL SUMMARY

The Special Project Director will lead the master planning process for Trailnet’s vision for a protected bikeway and sidewalk network. The project director will position Trailnet as a trusted regional leader and convener that is committed to an authentic community engagement process that reflects Trailnet’s core values. This 18-month project is high impact and high visibility and will serve as a catalyst spurring momentum for regional change.

The Special Project Director will lead the community engagement process building external relationships necessary to assure project success. The project director will collaborate with Trailnet managers and directors to identify and design strategic marketing and communications to support the project and the organization’s development plan. The Special Project Director works under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer and the Director of Programs for support and collaboration.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

The Special Project Director collaborates with the Development Officer, Planning Manager and the Education/ Encouragement Program Manager, and supervises interns.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The Special Project Director’s primary responsibilities will consist of managing and leading the creation of the Protected Bikeways and Sidewalks vision, including:

  • Project management of planning process, including managing consultants, staff, and volunteers
  • Leading the public engagement process, including facilitating committees as they make recommendations for the master plan
  • Creating content for the master plan
  • Analyzing, synthesizing, and prioritizing information, including government documents, planning research, news of emerging best practices, and maps
  • Critically assessing processes, procedures, and recommendations for equity impact and making appropriate recommendations
  • Working with the Director of Programs to build budget and revenue targets; assemble appropriate staff teams to implement the protected bikeways/sidewalks master planning process
  • Working with Trailnet leadership to identify new funding sources, pitch projects to potential funders, and cultivate relationships
  • Leading and assisting with best practice education through workshops and presentations
  • Recruiting, selecting, and training interns, volunteers, and community advocates as appropriate
  • Developing content to market and promote the plan for website and social media
  • Providing administrative support and other duties as needed
  • Providing technical assistance on fee for service projects as appropriate
  • Attending select committee meetings and professional development as warranted

REQUIRED ATTRIBUTES

In order to be successful, the Special Project Director will need to exhibit the following attributes:

  • Process oriented, with the ability to inspire others to buy into the Master Planning Process, and the ability to understand, modify, and build upon the process
  • Innovative and bold, with the ability to assess when it is appropriate to take risks in advancing Trailnet’s vision and values and the ability to bring new perspectives
  • Systems oriented, with the ability to think critically and strategically, including long-term initiative development; comfortable with problems
  • Deep understanding of, and commitment to, equity and inclusion; ability to understand systemic issues and work with the community to address wicked problems
  • Curious; open to new ideas and continually seeking to improve their practice
  • Comfortable with conflict and collaboration; able to form diverse partnerships
  • Ability to embody and articulate Trailnet’s values, including a deep understanding of the Planning Lens guiding the visioning process and commitment to placemaking

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS

  • Bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning or equivalent and a minimum of 5 years or more of relevant project management, facilitation and staff supervision experience. A Masters in Urban Planning or Public Policy preferred, but not required. Strong candidates will have experience in urban planning, urban design, community development/organizing, or public policy. AICP and/or CNU-A preferred
  • Knowledge and familiarity of bicycle and pedestrian facility design, urban design, and equity and planning, and urban planning best practices
  • Ability to facilitate meetings, organize public events, and work productively with a variety of stakeholders representing different interests
  • Ability to manage multiple projects with differing deadlines
  • Ability to work independently and manage self and partners while being a genuine “team player”
  • Ability to understand and analyze data using descriptive statistics
  • Ability to work in a fast-moving and at times intense environment
  • Must be highly computer literate – Google Drive, Microsoft Word, Excel, & PowerPoint required; GIS, InDesign, and Adobe Suite preferred
  • Must interface with a wide variety of stakeholders from elected officials to community residents
  • Must be comfortable facilitating meetings, making presentations, and speaking in public settings
  • Ability to write in a persuasive and clear manner

COMPENSATION

This 18-month contract position offers a salary with a starting range of $45,000 and adjusted to be commensurate with experience, Compensation includes competitive benefits package. Flexible hours, a casual work environment, and an office located close to public transportation, indoor bicycle locker station, and Enterprise Carshare are additional benefits.

HOW TO APPLY?

Qualified applicants should go to this link or copy and paste (https://goo.gl/forms/COGEuzDHw34hKBA23) in browser and submit CONTACT INFORMATION only by February 15. Please give us your email address only. An assessment will be sent out to all applicants on February 16, giving each applicant an opportunity to demonstrate their skills. The assessment will take approximately two hours and the form will close at midnight on February 26. Please do not send letters and resumes. After reviewing the skills assessment, we will contact the top six candidates by March 1 to request resumes and cover letters. Thank you for your interest in Trailnet- we are excited to learn more about each candidate.

Trailnet is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is our policy to make all personnel decisions without discriminating on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, physical disability, mental disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, national or ethnic origin, and any other protected status.

Dangerous by Design

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How does St. Louis rank in comparison to other metropolitan areas in terms of pedestrian safety? Where is the most dangerous place for pedestrians in the country? Answers to these questions can be found in the most recent Dangerous by Design report, released in January by Smart Growth America.

The report has been produced for several years and identifies metropolitan areas and states that are most dangerous for people walking. The January report uses pedestrian fatality data from 2005-2014 to rank cities and states by

  • pedestrian deaths per 100,000 in population
  • a “pedestrian danger index,” calculated as the share of commuters who walk to work and the most recent data on pedestrian deaths.

Of the 104 metro areas ranked in the report, the two largest cities in Missouri, Kansas City and St. Louis, rank 45th and 52nd respectively. Florida has been the most dangerous state for pedestrians for the past four years, and it now has 8 of the top 10 most dangerous cities for pedestrians. In the past decade, over 46,000 people have been killed by motor vehicles while walking. The poor, the elderly, and people of color – those who are less likely to own cars or drive – make up a disproportionate share of the victims.

The report emphasizes that better street design will play a critical role in improving safety for people walking. Arterial roads, such as Manchester or Kingshighway in St. Louis, are particularly dangerous for pedestrians. These roads were designed for fast moving vehicles, often have sections that lack sidewalks, and have limited safe crossing opportunities for people who are walking. Arterial roads consign people traveling on foot to second-class status.

Trailnet has worked tirelessly for passage and implementation of Complete Streets policies in our region. A Complete Street is one that is designed with all users in mind: motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, the elderly, and the disabled. Making streets welcoming and safe for all users promotes active lifestyles, and helps to build communities that are vibrant, economically strong, and appealing to residents and employers.

 

RFP for strategic planning for Missouri’s regional active transportation organizations

RFP for strategic planning for Missouri’s regional active transportation organizations

Trailnet and our peer organizations in Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia request proposals for strategic planning services to inform future collaboration between the four organizations and to further our shared goals to improve the health and livability of our communities.

RFP Issued: January 20th, 2017
Questions Due: February 3rd, 2017
Proposals Due: February 10th, 2017

Download the full request for proposals here (PDF).

Partner organizations include Trailnet in St. Louis, BikeWalkKC in Kansas City, PedNet Coalition in Columbia, and Ozark Greenways in Springfield. This work is supported by the Missouri Convergence Partnership, a funder’s collaborative that includes the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and the Missouri Foundation for Health.

Questions and proposals should be directed to rfp@bikewalkkc.org.

 

Pace Car Program Launched in Dutchtown

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Thanks to generous funding from the Dana Brown Charitable Trust, there are now Pace Cars cruising the neighborhood around Froebel Literacy Academy in Dutchtown. Pace Cars serve as models of safe driving behavior and increase driver awareness of pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles.

Students in Froebel’s Leadership Development Program composed a Pace Car Pledge that includes items such as:

  • I pledge to stop for people who are crossing the street.
  • I pledge to not use my phone to talk or text while driving.
  • I pledge to wear my seatbelt and to make sure that all of my passengers are buckled before driving.

Students also worked to recruit Froebel staff, family, and community members to sign the pledge. Pace Car volunteers receive a magnetic “Neighborhood Pace Car” logo to display on their car.

The program was officially launched on December 8 with a visit from Officer Patrick Clancy of the Metropolitan St. Louis Police Department. Officer Clancy answered questions posed by Froebel students and staff, and suggested ways in which the Police Dept. can help to reinforce the Pace Car Program.

Over twenty drivers have volunteered to sign the Pace Car Pledge and our goal is to increase that number to forty in the next few weeks. Because many Froebel students walk to and from school everyday, our hope is that Pace Cars will help to improve safety for the children and for the community as a whole. If you are a resident of Dutchtown, or frequently drive in the neighborhood, sign the pledge! Contact Ginny McDonald at ginny@trailnet.org for information.