Trailnet was invited to be a part of the signing of the St. Louis Safer Streets Bill on March 1. Here’s what that means, why we’re excited, and what more needs to be done.
On Wednesday morning, March 1, 2023, City of St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones signed the St. Louis Safer Streets Bill (also referred to as Board Bill 120) into law.
This is a huge win. It marks the City’s largest-ever investment into street safety and infrastructure, and Trailnet was invited to be a part of the ceremony.
We couldn’t have done this without support from our members and community.
Together, we have fought for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users over the last three decades. We laid the groundwork for change by shifting the conversation, focusing on systems, and gradually building public support. We sounded the alarm about traffic violence with the Crash Report. We built relationships with decision makers and met with elected officials.
The work isn’t over, though. Now, the funding must be carefully applied, on a comprehensive scale, to the problems it hopes to solve.
As Trailnet CEO Cindy Mense said in her remarks to the press, “While improving infrastructure is crucial, it will not, on its own, deter reckless drivers or put an end to the plague of traffic violence…. Trailnet and our partners stand ready to work with the administration in pursuing a vision of zero traffic injuries and fatalities on our streets.”
Together, we will continue to fight for Streets for All.
Trailnet is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a 34-year history of advancing St. Louis as a place where walking, bicycling, and the use of public transit are a way of life. By advocating for a network of safe, easy-to-access walking and bicycling routes across St. Louis, we aim to bridge transportation equity gaps and make it easier for people of all abilities to get from place to place. We work every day to make our region more sustainable by increasing active transportation options that curb greenhouse gas emissions. Trailnet brings people together throughout the bi-state region with a wide breadth of bicycle rides, educational events, and advocacy programs. Join our team and help make St. Louis a premiere city for walking and biking.
The Special Events Manager will be responsible for producing high-quality events and donor/member experiences that successfully promote the reputation and mission of Trailnet. The Special Events Manager will plan and execute the Trailnet footprint at all events with varying complexity and scope. These events range from producing the event footprint at Trailnet bike rides with registration and vendor tabling to planning small donor-focused events and an annual gala for 200-300. Reports directly to the CEO and works closely with the Development Director and Communications Coordinator. Coordinates with the Rides Team on ride event production.
Develops and manages production timelines and other documents; hosts briefings for staff and partners,
Manages the footprint of Trailnet Classics* including registration, tabling, volunteers, partner recognition, and sponsorship fulfillment and activation (does not include route support/design),
Coordinates closely with Trailnet Ride Team for bike route activation,
Sets the brand standard for all Trailnet events and partner events and ensures activation goes according to plan,
Plans and executes events, including securing venues for development events, communicating with vendors, and developing the run of show,
Manages event communications and event collateral/merchandise in collaboration with Development and Communications team,
Seeks out event feedback, develops surveys, collects evaluation data, handles post-event reports, evaluates outcomes and lessons learned together with staff and updates senior leadership,
Plans events within budget parameters and manages day-to-day budget for each event,
Responds to comments and questions from constituents related to events.
Results-orientation: has a track record of achievement and producing results (rather than getting immersed in the process), perseveres despite obstacles.
Project management skills: stays on top of multiple projects, plans backward, anticipates obstacles, engages stakeholders appropriately, and uses resources wisely.
Highly Organized with strong visual organizing skills–must be able to plan an event footprint and use simple software tools to communicate plans to the team.
Expert interpersonal skills: Clear and direct communication that delegates roles and responsibilities fosters teamwork and recognizes efforts. Comfortable being a team player and a team leader.
Racial equity and inclusion experience, skills, and values demonstrated.
Risk management experience, financial acumen, and a hospitality mindset are a plus.
A Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience and at least three years of experience from which comparable knowledge and skills can be acquired is necessary.
Experience and Skills Requirements
A track record of having developed and executed events for three years or more,
Excellent project management and coordination skills,
Expert interpersonal skills, including an articulate communication style,
Solid computer skills and ability to quickly adopt new technology.
A passion for Trailnet’s mission and the ability to convey our mission to various audiences with persuasive communication skills,
Supervises hourly and event day staff before, during, and after successful event production.
Supervises event day volunteers.
Be able to lift 30-40 lbs repeatedly and sit, stand, stoop, bend, climb, and reach to set up event footprint items. Event production requires transporting supplies and set-up materials from the warehouse using Trailnet vans and trailers to reach the event location.
The Special Events Manager’s primary responsibility is producing the footprint at Trailnet Rides. The dates for 2023 rides are established, and candidates should be available for the majority of the dates.
April 16th – StG Gravel Classic in Ste. Genevieve, MO
May – Event TBD
June 4th – Uphill Battle
June 17th – Juneteenth Ride
July 9th – I Scream for Ice Cream Ride in Edwardsville, IL
August 13th – Bottleneck Bridge Ride in Festus, MO
September 3th – Giro Della Montagna in St. Louis, MO
September 30th – Ride the Rivers Century in St. Charles, MO
To support these events anticipate pre-production day(s) leading up to the event, very early call times on event days, and long hours on event days. Depending on the event, lodging may be provided for the night before, particularly for events farther from the City of St. Louis.
Part-time work from April until December 15. Approximately 20 hours per week or 80-90 hours per month. Hourly pay $23-26 per hour. Position has potential to begin full time work in 2024.
Commitment to Equity and Equal Opportunity
Trailnet is committed to supporting diversity and equal opportunity in its services, administration, employment, research, and activities. We strive to foster a working environment that values contributions from team members, including those based on race, color, creed, gender, religion, culture, sexual orientation, sexual identity, mental disabilities, physical disabilities, or veteran status. We work with a wide range of external partners and stakeholders and seek candidates committed to their own cultural competency. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community are encouraged to apply.
*The Trailnet Classics are a series of supported, single-day, multi-distanced bike rides around the St. Louis Region. Every ride includes:
Marked routes, maps, and turn-by-turn navigation
Multiple rest stops with water and snacks
Support (SAG) vehicles on the route to assist with basic mechanical and first aid issues
How to Apply
Qualified applicants should submit a brief letter describing their experience and a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From intern to Programs Director, Taylor March left a lasting impact on Trailnet and the St. Louis region. Now, he is taking his talents to the state level, advocating for better walking and biking across Missouri as the new Executive Director of Missourians for Responsible Transportation.
For eight years, Taylor was the smiling face of Trailnet. It’s only right that we reflect on the legacy he leaves behind—a legacy of kindness, knowledge, professionalism and passion.
Taylor first joined Trailnet as an intern in the winter of 2010, while he was studying environmental engineering at Murray State University. He had worked as a bike mechanic since high school and was an avid environmentalist.
Though he didn’t know it then, Taylor’s passion for Trailnet’s mission (and his handiness with an Allen wrench) would serve the organization for years down the line.
Five years after his internship, having worked for several years as a solar engineer in between, Taylor returned to Trailnet on February 24, 2015 as our Youth Programs Specialist.
In his first full-time role, he led Trailnet’s bike education programs and designed our curriculum for smart cycling. He also worked on a number of Safe Routes to School projects, including one with Froebel Literacy Academy in south city. Taylor worked with Froebel through eight years and a handful of title changes at Trailnet.
“Working with Froebel and seeing that relationship develop and change throughout the years was so satisfying,” said Taylor. “From the walking school bus, to the installation of speed humps on Nebraska Ave., to the Calm Street now under construction on nearby Louisiana Ave… It was really cool to see the community buy in.”
Advocating for Change
Midway through his tenure with Trailnet, Taylor shifted his focus to the advocacy and policy spaces. As a long-time bike commuter, he was a natural advocate for safe, alternative transportation. As a leading expert in bike/ped best practices, he influenced change-makers across the state. And as an exemplary colleague, he fostered relationships that would blossom into our strongest partnerships today. To name a few…
Taylor co-created the annual Juneteenth Community Ride with our partners at 4theVille and grew the ride into a collaboration between the Missouri History Museum, Northside Community Housing and other aligned partners. The event draws over 200 riders each June and celebrates Black music, art, culture and history.
Taylor spearheaded our state-wide advocacy efforts. In collaboration with BikeWalkKC, Local Motion in Columbia, and Ozark Greenways, he helped create Missourians for Responsible Transportation and Hands-Free Missouri.
The Work Continues
Now, Taylor is off to lead the statewide partnership that he once helped to create. Trailnet looks forward to many more years of collaboration with Taylor and his team at MRT.
“Trailnet will miss him and his careful and precise explanations of the transportation system we are trying to change, his help changing a flat, and his ability to always find time to listen,” said Trailnet CEO Cindy Mense.
For your years of dedication—Thank you, Taylor! Let’s continue to work together to make Missouri better for people outside of cars.
Trailnet says: Funding Process for Infrastructure Improvements in St. Louis City Needs to Change
The next time you buy something in the City of St. Louis, take note of the sales tax at the bottom of the receipt. A portion of that tax has been the city’s primary means of funding infrastructure improvements since 1993. Thirty years later, the process for allocating that tax funding, called “Ward Capital,” is being reconsidered. Here’s why that number on your receipt matters, how the funding is currently being used and why the funding process needs to change.
The City of St. Louis currently has a ½-cent sales tax in place. This tax collects, on average, $8 million per year for capital improvements in the city. That sum is currently the City’s primary means of funding infrastructure improvements in all 28 wards.
At the beginning of each fiscal year, the $8 million total is split into 28 equal parts and distributed evenly to each ward. That’s about $300,000 per year, per ward, to be spent on capital improvement projects—filling potholes, replacing streetlights, street trees, improving sidewalks, etc.
If an alderperson chooses to spend their Ward Capital, they must first submit a project proposal. Once the project is approved, the alderperson takes the necessary funding from their pot of accrued Ward Capital and gives it right back to a city department. Ninety-eight percent of the Ward Capital from all 28 wards ends up in the hands of the Streets Department.
The current system is convoluted. It also further divides our city.
Our streets do not stop and start at ward boundaries, nor do each of these wards have the same needs. This system allocates funding equally, not equitably, and results in fractured, short-term solutions applied at the whims of 28 politicians.
A convoluted system
Let’s revisit the $300,000 per ward. That sounds like a lot of money, but according to St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Megan Green, recent traffic calming projects around Tower Grove Park cost over $1 million. Her ward received a grant for that work, but had Green relied solely on ward capital, she would have had to sit on her yearly allocation for at least four years to save enough money for those few improvements, and no other projects in her ward, such as street lighting or dumpster replacement, would have been funded in that timeframe.
Meanwhile, Tyus, who chairs the City’s Streets, Traffic, and Refuse Committee, has saved up nearly $2 million in Ward Capital over the years. Tyus has previously claimed obstacles to spending the money on her desired projects.
“‘They won’t spend it,’ she said at a board meeting in December. ‘They haven’t. I’ve been requesting. I can show you the letter.’”
Currently, alderpersons have $8 million in accumulated ward capital money that could be in use to repair our infrastructure.
Divisive and fractured
Whether they’re saving money for one big project or spending it on immediate needs, it’s clear that the current system leaves alders with no choice but to apply a patchwork of fixes to a city-wide network.
In her Riverfront Times Op-Ed, Mayor Jones hinted at a bigger-picture need, for which Trailnet has been desperately advocating—the need for a comprehensive plan in the City of St. Louis.
Ward-by-ward “piecemeal solutions” prevent the city from effectively planning for a safer, more accessible transportation network. If the Streets Department doesn’t know what projects lie ahead—if city departments are paralyzed by the inaction of individual leaders—they are not afforded the time or resources to plan for long-term fixes, staffing needs, or equipment purchases.
If the city continues to react only to the small-scale symptoms (potholes, crumbling curbs, etc.) of a large-scale, decades-old problem, our streets will never be safe for people outside of cars.
Whatever the new comprehensive system is, it needs to take into account the areas of greatest need.
Trailnet recently completed a full sidewalk assessment of The Ville and Greater Ville neighborhoods—the first complete study of its kind in the St. Louis area. Trailnet’s Community Planner walked over 30 miles of sidewalk, marking sections that were ADA-non-compliant, inaccessible or nonexistent. Forty-seven percent of the 61 miles of sidewalk assessed in The Ville and Greater Ville were in need of significant repair.
This study is emblematic of the largest issue with the current system—different wards have different needs. Trailnet’s annual Crash Reports identify the highest crash corridors across the city. Our analysis of crash data consistently reveals a glaring truth: Black and minority communities suffer from a disproportionate amount of traffic violence. The state of the streets, sidewalks and intersections on the Northside is one of the reasons why that disparity exists.
As a result of decades of disinvestment, Northside streets and sidewalks need far more attention and funding. It is unacceptable that all of these areas currently receive proportionate funding to address disproportionate realities.
The northside wards are the areas of highest need—the areas where it’s unsafe to walk, bike or catch a bus. These are the areas that must be identified as the highest priorities in the city’s comprehensive plan. These are the areas that must receive the largest investment from the ½-cent sales tax.
A number of systems might work more effectively than the current one. What matters most is that the current system be replaced by something better, something equitable, something that makes sense.
Trailnet’s recommendation is that the city do away with the ward-based capital improvement system. Instead, centralize the funding structure under one city department, and ensure that the money is being invested based on the infrastructure needs identified by a future comprehensive street study, as well as demographics such as poverty levels and car ownership. Treat the whole body, not its disparate parts, in pursuit of a safe system for everyone.
If you agree, contact the President of the Board’s office and your alderperson to voice your opinion. As the city moves from 28 to 14 wards this year, there will be many changes. A new and improved system for funding infrastructure improvements must be one of those changes, so that when you pay that sales tax, you know your money is being used to make our whole city better.
Trailnet will continue to advocate for a new system that better serves the people moving around our city. To stay informed on our advocacy work in the City, subscribe to our newsletters here.
Board Bill 120: What is it, and why should you care?
A provision for equitably implemented enforcement, such as automated enforcement, which would reduce traffic violence and dangerous driving behaviors without adding to current racially biased enforcement strategies,
A line item that explicitly names the city’s commitment to Vision Zero, and the creation of a position to oversee and follow-through on said commitment to a Vision Zero plan.
This amount of money, if used correctly, could be seriously transformative—the first draft of the bill proposes over 4x the average yearly annual budget that goes toward street maintenance in the city.
This is a massive step in the right direction. Trailnet is proud of the part we have played in advocating for these changes. Now we look forward to helping the City make these improvements as quickly and effectively as possible, so that sometime in the near future, our Streets can truly be forAll.
St. Louis, MO – The Board of Directors of Trailnet support the following statement:
The Trailnet Board commends Mayor Tishaura Jones for proposing that the City commit $40 million to a comprehensive, city-wide street plan. We recommend the Board of Estimate and Apportionment and the Board of Aldermen pass this much-needed legislation with the provision that a portion of those funds be spent on a Vision Zero Action Plan and a media campaign to encourage responsible driving.
We also call on other organizations and individuals to get behind both initiatives and send letters and emails to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment and the Board of Aldermen. Together, we may make our streets safer for all.
Trailnet CEO: St. Louis Mayor Proposes Additional Funding for Safe Streets
Trailnet is excited that Mayor Tishaura O. Jones will propose that the Board of Aldermen approve the investment of an additional $40 million in ARPA funding for Safe Streets. This is a bold move by the Jones Administration to begin to address one of the most critical issues our City faces—the epidemic of traffic violence.
In her press release, Mayor Jones acknowledged that ward-by-ward street planning is not working: “Piecemeal solutions to a crisis that touches our entire city sets us up to fail time and time again,” said Mayor Jones.
Chief of Staff Jared Boyd also announced at a traffic safety town hall meeting Monday that there would be immediate work on “crash corridors” where vehicle crashes and fatalities are the highest.
While these are positive steps, Trailnet acknowledges that implementation may be the hardest part. There must be rigorous and sustained public input into road changes. How will this system take into consideration the drastically underfunded and underserved areas of our city? Will new street designs prioritize people who walk, bike and use transit? Will automated enforcement be incorporated into the new street system? Will all of this be enough to help us achieve our vision of zero traffic fatalities in the City in the near future?
Trailnet stands ready to assist the City moving forward with community engagement, planning and other critical support areas. It is our hope that the additional funding outlined in Mayor Jones’s announcement will help create safer Streets For All.
— Cindy Mense, Trailnet CEO
Trailnet Optimistic About Citywide Street Study
City of St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones told reporters in an interview session on Thursday, September 22, 2022 that the City intends to explore more comprehensive planning and budgeting in pursuit of Safe Streets for All in St. Louis.
Trailnet is excited about this announcement and encouraged that the Jones administration is looking to address the epidemic of traffic violence in our region. Read more in the press release below:
In response to the continued epidemic of traffic violence in our region, Trailnet is partnering with the Community Mobility Committee (CMC) to lead a series of discussions on street safety. The goal of these discussions will be to provide recommendations to the administration and the community on ways to make our city streets safer for all.
Trailnet is seeking a qualified candidate to join our team as the Membership Coordinator. The Membership Coordinator will lead by example promoting membership, providing excellent customer service, and stewarding members into longtime donors.
The ideal candidate will have a philanthropic mindset, enthusiastically seeking opportunities to connect people to our mission. They should find joy in meeting and working with people from diverse backgrounds with a shared vision of a safer region for walking, biking and using public transit.
The Membership Coordinator reports to the Development Director and works in collaboration with fundraising, marketing, planning, finance, rides, and program staff.
About the Organization:
Trailnet is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization with a 33-year history of making walking and biking a way of life in the St. Louis region. We believe everyone should have access to safe, comfortable walking and biking connections where we live, work, and play in our communities. Trailnet works within the St. Louis region and across the state to respond to the demand for improved walking and biking networks that attract and retain talent, strengthen our economy, and connect people to the places they love. We are leading the way by developing policy and on-the-ground solutions to help people of all ages and abilities reach community and cultural destinations by walking, biking, or taking transit.
Our team includes community planners, advocates, educators, bicyclists, transit users, and staunch supporters of local business. We advocate for spaces that are designed to encourage people to walk, bike, and take public transit. We believe that creating communities begins with understanding and appreciating the unique differences of all who live and work there. We embrace diversity and want to move our region forward with safe, equitable ways to get around that improve everyone’s quality of life.
Overview of the Position
Membership and Solicitation Programs:
Serves as the first point of contact for members and prospective members, and makes excellent customer service a priority
Executes routine and special initiative programs to acquire, retain and upgrade members to achieve financial and administrative goals
Works closely with the Director of Development to coordinate at least two annual membership drives and two online appeals including overseeing large scale-mail piece design, coordinating with a mail house, list exchanges, etc.
Implements membership renewal process with timely donor reminder letters and outreach to lapsed donors
Produces direct mail, personalized correspondence and online giving documents
Produces accurate and complete membership rosters in adaptive and intuitive formats
Monitors, analyzes and proactively reports on membership results using trends in member type, average giving, member total, total giving, and suggests corrective strategies
Maintains supplies and stationery for all membership correspondence and fulfillment
Supports annual member t-shirt ordering
Gift Processing and Tracking:
Provides excellent donor stewardship by quickly and accurately receiving, tracking, and acknowledging all gifts
Adheres to and updates gift processing policies and procedures
Creates and maintains transparent and easy-to-navigate paper and electronic files
Works with the Development Director to create insightful and accurate reports to the CEO, Development Committee and Board
Donor Database and List Management:
Maintains the donor database to ensure its highest possible function
Routinely updates donor records with information from a variety of sources
Provides timely, high-quality data output for a variety of requests and purposes
Updates data entry and management procedures
Works with Rides Director and ride registration program to ensure ride registration supports membership recruitment and provides an excellent experience for members
Assemble targeted mail and email lists and share with partners as needed
Development and Fund-Raising Activities:
Supports Development Director for annual Gala and donor recognition events
Serves as a resource for volunteer recruiting and registration; collects and tracks volunteer hours in the donor database
Provides energetic, donor-focused support at fundraising and member events
Determines Trailnet’s involvement at community and corporate wellness fairs, and coordinates staffing for those events, working the events as needed
Strategically promotes Trailnet’s brand and membership in all aspects of work
Co-chairs annual volunteer and member recognition events with Rides Director
Finance and Administration:
Serve as back-up to Office Manager for phones and bank deposits
Works closely with the Finance Manager to ensure an accurate interface between Development and Finance
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required, relevant field (Marketing, Communications, Business, Administrative Studies, Human Resources, Fundraising/Philanthropy, or other Social Sciences) preferred
One year of experience working in an office setting, preferably in a non-profit organization in fundraising or communications
Experience and knowledge of donor database systems preferred (Trailnet uses DonorPerfect and will provide training specific to its use)
Computer literate with the ability to effectively use technology (Google workplace, Microsoft Office, printer-copier, postage meter)
Strong written and verbal communications skills
Strong problem-solving skills
Exceptional organizational and time management skills
Self-motivated—able to work alone, and as a member of a team
Demonstrated ability to work in a fast-paced environment with a strong sense of prioritization
Strong customer service orientation with the desire to interact with a diverse community of staff, partners, participants, and volunteers
Able to work weekends and some evenings throughout the year supporting Trailnet events and outreach: 10-12 outdoor events in the bistate region, including distance bike rides and community rides throughout Spring, Summer, and Fall.
Transport up to 25 lbs. of tabling or outreach materials to events
Work at a computer
Staff tables at outreach events
Make phone calls
As of January 2022, the majority of our staff is in a remote-work environment, with limited time in the office. All employees are required to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
Salary range is $33,000- $40,000.
Eligible for full-time benefits including Medical and Dental Insurance
Competitive benefits package, salary commensurate with experience, flexible hours, casual work environment, office located in downtown St. Louis, a short walk from MetroLink. A company car is available for some business-related local and regional travel. Free membership to the Downtown Bike Station.
Commitment to Equity and Equal Opportunity
Trailnet is committed to supporting diversity and equal opportunity in its services, administration, and employment, as well as research and activities. We strive to foster a working environment that values contributions from team members including those based on race, color, creed, gender, religion, culture, sexual orientation, sexual identity, mental disabilities, physical disabilities, or veteran status. We work with a wide range of external partners and stakeholders, and we seek candidates that are committed to their own cultural competency. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community are encouraged to apply.
Applicants should send a cover letter and resume to email@example.com. Applicants are encouraged to apply by February 27, 2022. The position will remain open until filled.