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Trailnet’s Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for a last minute gift this holiday season? Maybe you want to make a donation to a non-profit/organization instead of buying a physical gift? Check out this holiday gift guide put together by the Trailnet staff!

Below are a few great non-profits/organizations that our staff are highlighting this holiday season and a physical gift for anyone who loves walking, biking, or anything transportation related.

Suggestion From Taylor March – Director of Policy

  • Front Basket – “This basket from Wald is a practical size, is sturdy and includes supports that connect to the handlebars and down at the front axle, is almost universally compatible with bikes, is made in the United States in Maysville, KY, and can be easily upgraded with some nice bags if you desire. You’d be hard pressed to find a cheaper and better upgrade to your experience and ability to carry the things you need on your way. 
  • Price: $25.75 
  • Support Action St. Louis – Action St. Louis is a grassroots racial justice organization that seeks to build political power for Black communities in the St. Louis region. Action St. Louis builds campaigns that leverages organizing, communications, advocacy and direct action to mitigate harm against our community while fighting for long term transformation.

Suggestions from Matt Hartman – Rides Manager

  • Surly Neck Gaiter – “A Neck Gaiter is a versatile piece of clothing … Wear it around your neck to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Pull it up over your face when there is a biting wind. The options are limited only by your imagination, plus it’s wool so you know it’s going to do the trick keeping you warm … One size fits most necks.
  • Price: $40
  • Support The Missouri Interscholastic Cycling League – Their mission is to facilitate the development of high school and middle school teams/clubs for grades 6-12 and provide the education, training, licensing, and insurance for coaches and volunteers. They also produce high-quality mountain bike events and races that emphasize the value of participation, camaraderie, positive sporting behavior, and well-being over competition.

Suggestions from Sam McCrory – Programs Coordinator

  • Support GirlTrek – Pioneer a health movement for African-American women and girls grounded in civil rights history and principles through walking campaigns, community leadership, and health advocacy.
  • Happy City – Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design – Award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness, during an exhilarating journey through some of the world’s most dynamic cities. 
  • Price: $18 (At Left Bank and Subterranean Book)

Suggestion from Kevin Hahn – Strategic Policy and Communications Specialist

  • Support The Center for Hearing and Speech – The Center is working to create a world where there is access to communication services for all. The Center for Hearing & Speech provides professional, friendly, and affordable services to more than 40,000 individuals annually.
  • Merino 150 Beanie – “The Merino 150 Beanie is a lightweight, year-round essential. Run in it, skate ski in it, put it under a helmet for a chilly morning bike commute. Clean seams for a no-bulk fit. More durable now than ever with new Merino 150 fabric”.
  • Price: $25

Suggestions from Gaby Berberich – Membership Manager

  • Bike Chain Coffee Mug – Perfect java vessel for cyclists, garage nuts, and industrial aficionados. Ceramic, 14-oz mug, only for hand wash, not for microwave use.
  • Price: $18.84
  • Support Great Rivers Environmental Law Center – Great Rivers Environmental Law Center is a nonprofit public interest environmental organization working to: promote the public health by encouraging cleaner energy, improved environmental performance by businesses, and more efficient transportation and land use, thereby achieving cleaner air and water, and improving the quality of life in the region preserve open spaces, forests, floodplains and wetlands for their recreational, aesthetic, and agricultural benefits, and their values as flood storage and habitat for migratory birds and other species; protect disadvantaged populations from an unreasonable share of the environmental burdens of modern society and aid and advise citizens and organizations in asserting and defending their interests in environmental values before administrative officials, and, as a last resort, before the courts.

Suggestion from Kevin Keach – Project and Facilities Administrator

  • Support St. Louis BWorks – St. Louis BWorks inspires youth to pursue their dreams, care for the world around them, and explore new possibilities through experiential learning.
  • Sign Up for Bike Index – A bike registration services used across the country by individuals, bike shops, and police departments that gives everyone the ability to register and recover bicycles.

Suggestions from Joe Windler – Mobility Coordinator

  • Crash Course: If You Want To Get Away With Murder Buy a Car – Using the comic book format, this book vehemently dispels the notion that traffic accidents are inevitable and/or acceptable on any level, insisting that drivers own their responsibility, and consider the consequences of careless and dangerous behavior. It is part thought experiment, part testimonial, and part indictment of a dysfunctional transit environment that puts convenience for drivers ahead of logic, natural resources, and even ahead of human life. Crash Course questions the decisions that shape all our lives. Why don’t roads serve everyone who needs to use them? What makes some people not worth protecting? Where do we start in fixing a broken system that facilitates the use of vehicles as murder weapons in places like Charlottesville, VA?
  • Price: $17 (from Left Bank and Subterranean Books)
  • Support City Greens Market – At City Greens Market, our mission is to: Provide access to fresh, quality, and affordable food to our neighbors, promote healthy living in our community, provide a safe and comfortable space for our neighbors to interact, support local farmers as part of our extended communit

Midland Boulevard Demonstration Project

Since 2019 Trailnet and St. Louis County have been working to develop the Action Plan for Walking and Biking, a master plan designed to improve safety, connectivity, and accessibility for people walking and biking in St. Louis County. In October 2020 Trailnet and St. Louis County completed an important step in order to receive detailed feedback on one of the numerous recommendations highlighted in the Action Plan for Walking and Biking.

With the implementation of a temporary demonstration project on Midland Boulevard St. Louis County sought to gain additional feedback on the future of walkability and bikeability through the corridor. From October 16th to 21st St. Louis County installed a temporary conventional (or striped) bike lane from Vernon Avenue to Ahern Avenue along Heman Park in University City. The project also included pedestrian enhancements to the crossing at Ahern Avenue. For more information on implementation and planning process, feedback from users, and how you can implement similar projects in your neighborhood continue below!

Why Midland Boulevard?

At the beginning of the Action Plan for Walking and Biking, St. Louis County and its project team highlighted Midland Boulevard as a corridor that needed additional insight on travel patterns and capability for additional improvements. Midland Boulevard is specicial in how numerous municipalities (University City, Vinita Park, Overland, etc.) and everyday destinations (parks, libraries, schools, etc.) lie in close proximity to the roadway. Additionally, Midland is also one of the more popular roads for biking in the area and Heman Park is a popular walking destination in the area. With all of these contributing factors, Midland Boulevard, along Heman Park, became an optimal choice to install a demonstration project.

What is a demonstration and why install one?

Demonstration projects are used as a tool for conveying proposed improvements and gathering public feedback and data by altering a roadway for a temporary period of time. These projects look to change roadway design to impact how road users behave and interact with a corridor or intersection. Collection of traffic data and community feedback during the demonstration project time period is also crucial. The data and feedback collected during this time is used to help inform any decision-making processes surrounding any future improvements made to the project area.

What were the results/findings from the demonstration project?

In an effort to gain additional information on how vehicles and road users would interact with the redesigned road space vehicle speed studies and a short survey was developed. In the vehicle speed study, the demonstration project proved successful in lowering vehicle speeds and the percentage of vehicles traveling at 5 mph or more over the speed limit. Before the demonstration project the average vehicle speed was 34.9 mph (Speed limit along Midland is 35 mph) and 10.7% of cars were traveling at a speed of 40 mph or greater. During the demonstration project’s implementation the average vehicle speed decreased to 34.1 mph and 8.9% of cars were traveling at a speed of 40 mph or greater.

The survey responses also provided feedback that supported the demonstration project. Here are some of the highlights from the survey:

  • 12 out of 16 people surveyed disagreed or strongly disagreed that the current conditions (no demonstration project improvements) of Midland Blvd provide a safe environment for biking.
  • 13 out of 16 people surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that Midland Boulevard with the demonstration project improvements made the road a safer and more comfortable environment for walking and biking.
  • 16 out of 16 people surveyed support a permanent installation of the demonstration project improvements.
  • 14 out of 16 people surveyed said they would bike more along the project area if the improvements were made permanent.

How can I do something similar in my neighborhood?

While a full-fledged demonstration project may sound daunting to install, there are ways to try out new bicycle and pedestrian improvements within a community. An important first step is to contact local community leaders, whether that be an alderperson, council member, or city staff member (preferably Public Works or Planning/Development). It’s important to talk with these people as they may have information on if the community has the capability to install demonstration projects on specific roadways. 

Assembling a coalition of community members who support an initiative  is an important early step to install a demonstration project. Community support is vital for any bicycle or pedestrian project and the best way to build support is bringing together residents, business owners, school officials, and other community members. These coalitions  can create a plan for the demonstration project – where will it be, how long will it be up, what materials to use, how will the demonstration project alter the roadway, how will this demonstration project improve current conditions. All of these things are important to think about when developing a project plan.

If you are interested in improving safety in your community, don’t hesitate to reach out to transportation advocacy and planning groups like Trailnet. These organizations are sufficient and experienced in developing plans, talking with city officials, and providing materials for demonstration projects. Trailnet has a lending library of materials that are meant to loan out to communities looking to install demonstrations projects. More information on the lending library is available here.

2020 Transportation Survey Results

Click the infographic to expand

During February, Trailnet launched a general transportation survey to gain information on transportation trends and preferences of residents in the St. Louis region. We asked questions about walking and biking infrastructure, policy preferences, personal trends in active living, and other topics.

We want to thank everyone who took the survey in February and gave Trailnet feedback on how we can improve to achieve our mission to make healthy, active, and vibrant communities where walking, biking, and using public transit are a way of life. We are already making tremendous strides this year to improve walking and biking infrastructure and policy with our projects like the Tower Grove Connector, Tucker Blvd planning project, and St. Louis County Action Plan for Walking and Biking.

We’ve compiled some statistics from the survey which can be seen in the infographic to the right. We’ve also compiled some additional statistics, which you can read below.

Transportation Usage and Preference Data
  • 92% of respondents drive a car “daily” or “a few time a week”
  • 50% of respondents bike for fun/fitness “a few times a week”
  • 8% of respondents bike to get to work “daily”
  • 65% of respondents said they would like to walk for fun/fitness more in the next ten years
  • 42% of respondents said they want to more about types of walking and biking infrastructure and the pros/cons of each
Policy Preferences

We asked people about the prioritization of five different transportation policies. Here’s how they ranked (1 being most important, 5 being least important).

  1. Distracted Driving Legislation
  2. 3-foot passing law for people on bikes
  3. Statewide “Stop for Pedestrian” ordinance
  4. Work Zone Mobility Ordinance
  5. Automated Enforcement on red light and speeding violations
Infrastructure Questions

We asked what the minimum level of biking infrastructure people would need to feel safe on a collector road (Geyer or Compton Ave, 25 – 35 mph), 28% of respondents (the highest percentage) preferred an on-street conventional bike lane

When asked about how you would spend $10 million in bike facility improvements in the St. Louis region, here was the breakdown:

  • 47% – 10 miles of protected bike lanes
  • 35% – 75 miles of conventional (un-protected) bike lanes
  • 11% – 400 miles of signalized bike routes (way finding signs and sharrows)
  • 7% – 1.25 of greenways/multi-use paths