Trailnet Attends Active Transportation Summit
The second annual Active Transportation Summit occurred on August 11th in Jefferson City. Representing Trailnet, our Education and Encouragement Manager, Taylor March and CEO, Ralph Pfremmer, went to the summit to share and hear ideas for making our communities more active, vibrant, and economically sustainable through bicycling, walking, and trails. The event included walk and bike tours of Jefferson City, a chance for Trailnet to discuss with other Missouri bicycle, pedestrian, and advocacy professionals from around Missouri as well as the annual meeting of the Missouri Chapter of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. Summit topics and themes ranged from the increase of tourism and the economic impact that bicycling, walking, and trails has on rural, suburban, and urban communities to the health and safety impacts bicycling, walking, and trails have individuals.
John Kohler, the Planning and Programming Manager for The City of St. Louis, presented alongside Jacque Lumsden from CBB: Transportation Engineers + Planners on the Louisiana Avenue Calm Streets Project, the first “Calm Streets” Project in St. Louis that was steered by a grant Trailnet provided. This presentation was an opportunity for Missouri pedestrian and bicycle professionals to learn the history, conceptual planning efforts, and project details that Trailnet wrote providing safe, comfortable, and inspiring street designs that could build neighborhoods and connect people to institutions and amenities.
To follow, Taylor March gave an overview on the current Complete Streets and Public Health policies Missouri has adopted – 35, to be exact. Communities all across the state have adopted Complete Streets policies because they see the positive impact these Complete Street projects have on neighborhoods making them better, safer, complete and connected. March elaborated on the connection between Complete Streets and public health and how any city, county, or neighborhood can improve the public health by adopting or implementing a Complete Streets policy.
In replacement of Patrick McKenna from MoDOT, Ralph Pfremmer asked to be a Keynote Speaker at this years summit. Pfremmer felt that presenting at the summit was a great opportunity for Trailnet to provide a regional perspective on what connectivity and mobility could look like in St. Louis. He stressed the importance of racial equity when developing new street designs like our protected bike lanes and sidewalks for the St. Louis region that connects our city and helps bridge our cities racial divide post-Ferguson. Keeping strong development, racial equity, and equal access regardless of location at the forefront of conversation when creating an improved transportation method are the keys to success for St. Louis to grow.