Author Archive

2021 Bike and Pedestrian Counts!

Trailnet is participating in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project for the ninth year in a row! 

As we continue to collect count data each consecutive year, we are able to show changes in bicycling and pedestrian activity. Documenting these changes is essential to shaping infrastructure projects that make our region more livable for all.

We need volunteers who can commit to counting bicyclists and pedestrians at designated locations from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 14th and/or Sept. 15th.

Sign-up here to help us count!

The counts are a simple tally form. You’ll need to print a copy of the tally form for each “screen line” shown for your location.

You can check out the locations and the screen lines on our map before you sign up. Two weeks prior to the counts you will receive an email with more instructions, as well as the tally form. You will need to print out the tally form(s) prior to the count. You will need one tally form for each screen line at your location (most locations have two).

Bringing sunscreen and a chair will increase your enjoyment of the counts. If you are at a particularly busy location (ex. Skinker and Forest Park Parkway) you may want to ask a friend to join you to help count, besides everything is more fun with a buddy! 

Note that in cases of inclement weather, such as thunderstorms, Trailnet will reschedule this event to the following week as a policy. Please use your best judgment and seek shelter if the weather becomes threatening.

Also check our Twitter and Facebook pages for ongoing updates or if you have any questions. In the event of a cancelation, counts will be done the following week on September 16th and 17th. 

Thank you for your support!

-Trailnet Team

Our Trailnet Champion: Our 2021 Summer Intern! Meet Aidan

Trailnet is honored to offer enriching internships every year that allow people to gain experience building a better, more connected St. Louis. Trailnet interns come from dynamic backgrounds and are immediately plugged in to our exciting work. This month, we’re highlighting Aidan Gillespie, one of our talented 2021 summer interns.

Read on to learn about how Aidan is dedicated to working towards a more sustainable planet with active transportation options for all.

Aidan Gillespie

1) What you did this summer (outside of Trailnet)?

 Well, perhaps most significantly, my wife and I added a new child to our family when our son was born this July.  He has been an absolute joy to be around.  Aside from that, I’ve spent time exploring some new biking and walking routes in my neighborhood.

2) What you’re studying in school?  

I’m a student in SLU’s Master of Urban Planning and Development program.  I’m finishing up my second year in the program as a part-time student.

3) What drew you to intern at Trailnet?  I have always been fascinated by transportation planning issues and the way transportation intersects with so many other facets of a community’s livability.  Trailnet has been the perfect place to work alongside people so mission-driven and so passionately engaged in making Saint Louis a safe place for all people to use low-stress transportation modes.  In particular, I was drawn to Trailnet because of its reach.  Trailnet collaborates with so many communities and organizations that I’ve been able to see the vast web of individuals and groups committed to active transportation.

4) Can you tell us about your planning involvement at SLU?  I participate in the SLU Urban Planning Association events and I’m a student member of the APA.

5) What about your time at Trailnet was valuable to your career?  First, the internship definitely offered opportunities to get to know some of the leading advocates for active transportation in Saint Louis.  Second, I had hands-on experience with real planning projects that benefit communities.

6) What has been the most fun Trailnet project to work on or learn about?  As someone who enjoys exploring maps, I really liked working with Sam to compile and plot data for the quarterly crash report.  Also, since Trailnet is hoping to create a program for partners to adopt a bike lane, I spent time reaching out to other communities with similar programs to learn best practices.  I learned that people in this field really love their work and are eager to share what they’ve learned along the way.
7) What do you do like to do for fun?  I enjoy taking my sons on walks to new places, running, traveling to the National Parks, genealogical research, and playing subway mapping games like Mini Metro.

Thank you so much Aidan for you time and work at Trailnet! You are so wonderful, and we all wish you a wonderful school year!

The Real Cost of Distracted Driving

CW: Car crash, death

This is hard and important. 

In 2019, Randall Siddens was helping pick up cones after a triathlon in Columbia, MO. when he was hit and killed by a person driving while looking at their phone.

The video produced by our partners at Mercy Injury Prevention – Springfield worked with Randall’s wife and the first responders who were there to tell Randall’s story. Randall’s story is a real and tragic reminder of the risk whenever someone is on their phone while driving.

(This video contains dash cam footage from immediately before and after the crash, as well as emotional testimony and may not be appropriate for all viewers)

Dangerous, distracted driving poses one of the biggest threats to people walking and biking in our community. In Missouri more than 2,500 crashes a year involve people using their phones while driving.

Trailnet is working with partners across the state to curb distracted driving and pass legislation that limits phone use by people driving. This bi-partisan coalition, Hands Free Missouri, is pushing for driving rules that limit people from using their phones while driving to only, push-button voice activated, or hands free modes.

These hands-free cell phone rules have been shown to save lives in other states and are working to pass life-saving legislation here. 

Trailnet is helping organize and plan these efforts for the upcoming legislative session. This month, Trailnet staff visited the Missouri Capitol to meet with state legislative staff and statewide partners with the goal of passing legislation to curb distracted driving.

It is vital that Missouri lawmakers pass meaningful distracted driving legislation and each of us realize the real, human risk that comes from distracted driving.

If you want to get involved and help fight distracted driving:

  • Set an example for the people in your life by not using your phone while driving
  • Take MODOT’s Buckle up Phone Down Pledge https://www2.modot.org/BuckleUpPhoneDown/ 
  • Share Randall’s story
  • Get involved with Trailnet’s advocacy work by emailing our Policy Manager: kevinhahn@trailnet.org

Radical Adventure Riders (RAR) Cycling Industry Pledge

Earlier this year, Trailnet joined with 160 other bike businesses and nonprofits pledging to help make the cycling industry a more welcoming and inclusive space. 

The Cycling Industry Pledge is an effort of Radical Adventure Riders (RAR), a group dedicated to improving gender and racial equity in the world of bikes. It focuses on improving representation, comfort and access to the cycling industry for women, LGBTQIA+ folks, and people of color.

Cycling is one of the most male-dominated parts of the outdoor industry. As a bike-focused nonprofit that hosts rides we have an opportunity — and responsibility —  to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within our corner of the bike community.

Taking this pledge is one small but important step to help get more people on bikes and create spaces where people of all backgrounds can enjoy riding together. 

This commitment parallels our work focused on improving core transportation (walking, biking, and transit) access and community engagement grounded in racial equity and focused on communities with greater needs.

Learn more about RAR and the Cycling industry pledge here.

Becca Smith: Our new Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Trailnet is so ecstatic to introduce our new Marketing and Communications Coordinator. Becca Smith joined our team to advance our work of making walking, biking, and riding public transit a way of life in St. Louis. Becca is working towards growing our audience, sharing our story of success in achieving our mission, and promote our rides and events. Becca graduated Truman State University with a degree in Business Admin and Marketing in 2020. She has previously worked at small businesses in the St. Louis region and loves engaging and getting to know everyone. Becca found Trailnet amazing to create safe streets for any and everyone walking and biking in St. Louis and the opportunity to promote sustainable and healthy ways of life.

“St. Louis is such a special place with incredible people, small businesses, and outdoor parks and places. I’m passionate about diversity and creating a better planet for everyone to live and feel safe. I’m so excited to meet the Trailnet family, please feel free to reach out and say hi!” -Becca

Becca has lived and grew up across the river in Collinsville, Illinois. She’s adopted from Seoul, South Korea. Becca majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and minored in English at Truman State University. Outside of work, Becca enjoys coffee, baking, reading, embroidering, crocheting, camping, and hiking.