Years of conversations at community meetings, public testimonies and outspoken advocacy in pursuit of safer streets culminated in the signing of the St. Louis Safer Streets Bill (Board Bill 120) on March 1, 2023. Trailnet CEO Cindy Mense stood by the mayor’s side and gave remarks on behalf of all of Trailnet’s neighbors and supporters who stand to benefit from this unprecedented investment!
Trailnet will continue to engage with the City to make sure that this money is put to use efficiently, effectively and in the interests of all road users.
Distracted Driving Banned
For years, Trailnet and our statewide partners have recognized distracted driving as one of our most pressing problems. Along with other members of the Hands-Free Missouri Coalition, we have advocated tirelessly to get Missouri legislators on board with a hands-free driving law.
This 1.1-mile corridor is a pilot project for the City’s Calm Streets initiative. The construction of phase 1 was the result of years of hard work and collaboration across the City. We look forward to seeing how this project will progress—eventually connecting two of our City’s largest parks and paving the way for future infrastructure improvements across our streets network.
Pop-Up Traffic Calming Demos
It can be hard to imagine what new infrastructure could look and feel like to walk, bike or drive through. That’s where traffic calming pop up demonstrations come in. We use temporary materials like brightly colored cones, tires and flowers to demonstrate a cross walk, bump outs, fewer driving lanes or a bike lane.
We hosted two of these this year: one for MODOT on Route D in St. Louis City and another on Park(ing) Day on Compton Avenue.
New Community Trail for South County Students
A team of Spire volunteers constructed an all new walking and biking path on the property of Bayless Elementary School this summer! The project was the result of a collaboration between Trailnet, Spire and Bayless Schools, funded by Spire Serves and carried out by volunteers through Spire’s Day for Good program. The trail is an asset to the school’s bike education programs.
7th grader Sudais Abdirahman reminded us of the importance of getting outside and being active, saying, “It… gets my mind clear because the breeze gets in my hair and it’s… relaxing,”
Trailnet’s First Soiree
In our 35th year we tried something new.. and it was a rousing success!
Trailnet’s inaugural Paving the Way Soiree was a new take on our annual fundraising event—a night for us to celebrate with our friends and supports, to recognize the partners who make our wins possible and to raise a little money.
This year’s event also featured the presentation of our first ever batch of Members, Advocates and Partners (MAP) Awards. We can’t wait to build on this event and celebrate more deserving community leaders in the years to come!
Miles of Smiles at Trailnet Rides
Trailnet’s rides are a big part of how we carry out our mission. Rides provide a safe place for people to have fun on their bikes, meet other active people, explore their community, and make a statement with their presence that our streets are for PEOPLE!
The best part of our rides are the smiles! You can’t help but smile when you’re riding your bike. It’s just fun!
Two Lifetime Advocates Making St. Louis Better for People Who Bike, Walk and Roll
Q&A with Bill and Carla Sauerwein, owners of Pedego St. Louis
Conducted by Trailnet Marketing & Communications Coordinator Justin Seaton
Justin: Hi Bill! I understand you and Carla have long histories as bike/walk advocates. Tell me about how you got involved in this world.
Bill: Both Carla and I have been cyclists all of our lives. Carla is a pediatric RN and for years ran the St. Louis SAFE KIDS Coalition. She led education and advocacy to prevent childhood injury, including supplying and promoting bike helmets and car seats. I served as Mayor of the City of Oakland form 1997 – 2001 and with the idea of providing safe streets and walkways for residents, constructed almost all of the sidewalks you see in the city of Oakland and redesigned many of the streets. As Mayor, our city-wide capitol improvements plan was nominated for a state-wide landscape architect design award.
J: How did you first become involved with Trailnet? Tell me about your partnership with us over the years.
B: I suppose my first connection to Trailnet came when I attempted to acquire a small strip of abandoned railroad property within the City of Oakland in order to construct a park. In that process, I met Ted Curtis, then the Director of Trailnet, who introduced me to Trailnet and its mission. Trailnet ended up completing the northern leg of the Grant’s Trail with the property and the City constructed a park around the trail. Our store is adjacent to the park. Thereafter, Carla and I became supporters of Trailnet, participating in Trailnet rides and learning about the many projects undertaken by Trailnet.
More recently, as we met the dedicated staff of Trailnet—Cindy, Corrine, Kevin and others—and witnessed firsthand their hard work and dedication, we knew that Trailnet was an important organization to support. We share its mission…. and over the years we have helped raise funds so that they can continue to make streets and trails safer and available to all.
J: When/How did you open Pedego St. Louis, and how has your business connected you to the St. Louis cycling community?
B: We opened Pedego St. Louis in June, 2019 by rehabilitating an old, run-down building adjacent to Grant’s Trail in Oakland. From our location, we meet and talk to cyclists and trail users every day. We have greatly expanded the cycling community by putting people back on bikes that had for one reason or another gotten away from cycling. We have gently introduced the St Louis cycling community to electric bikes which are now widely used for commuting, leisure riding, trail riding and for the all around enjoyment of bicycling.
J: Speak briefly about the E-Bike that you are contributing to Trailnet’s upcoming raffle (winner to be announced at the 2023 Paving the Way Soiree)
B: The bike we have donated to Trailnet this year is a Pedego Avenue. Since this model was introduced a year ago, it has become the number one selling Pedego Electric bike. The Avenue utilizes a “hybrid style” frame that is familiar to everyone and is a great bike for riding and commuting on streets and paved trails. It is quality-designed, lightweight and balanced. Like all Pedego Electric Bikes, it comes with a 5 year warranty that includes the electrical components. Everyone loves this bike.
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.
Trailnet Board Recommends Strategic Use of Funding
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.
Former Director of The City of St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency joins our growing team!
As Policy Catalyst, Charles will lead Trailnet’s strategic policy and advocacy agenda through coalition-building, community outreach and government relations.
Charles began his career in non-profits, working in services for the unhoused in Baltimore, Maryland. After two years with Catholic Charities in Baltimore, he moved to work with the Illinois Department of Public Aid, where he oversaw federal and state grants for services for the unhoused. Eventually, he moved back to his home state of Missouri, where he worked for the Missouri Housing Development Commission as a proponent for low-income housing tax credit development for six years.
When Mayor Francis Slay was elected in 2001, he called on Charles to work as an advisor in his administration, where he was responsible for developing and implementing the overall neighborhood, ethnic and religious outreach plan for the City. During his time in City Hall, Charles worked with three mayors—as special advisor, Director of Public Safety, and for the last eight years, as the Director of the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency (CREA), enforcing federal, state and local fair housing, equal employment opportunity and public accommodation laws, rules and regulations, “a job I truly loved,” said Charles.
Charles will start with Trailnet in late June. As our new Policy Catalyst, he has one overarching goal:
“Listen. Listen to what the community is saying. Look at how our policies, procedures and practices can impact the needs of those various communities. Whether it’s black folks feeling underserved by public transit; Whether it’s the LGBTQIA+ community feeling afraid to walk in certain areas at night; Whether signage in our region adequately serves folks who speak English as a second language. The one thing I want to be able to accomplish is to listen to folks and address their needs.”
Charles currently lives downtown, a short walk from the Trailnet offices.
“I live downtown, in part, because I wanted access to public transit. Public transportation is a big deal for me, so I’m excited to see how my passion for transit can factor into this work.”
He also enjoys hiking, and he says he’s getting into biking.
“I’m in walking shape—I walk about 6.7 miles every couple of days through Forest Park—but that doesn’t mean I’m in biking shape. So I’m working on that,” he said with a smile.
We’re excited to have someone with Charles’s passion and experience join our team. Welcome!
Trailnet’s 2019 Movers & Shakers Gala Brings Advocates Together
Trailnet Announces Transportation Policies as Priority at Annual Gala
Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate active transportation at Trailnet’s biggest fundraiser of the year! With your help, we are advancing walking and biking in St. Louis.
Throughout the night, our expert speakers described Trailnet’s heightened priority to increase safety for people who walk, bike, or use public transportation. Scroll down for more information about the event and make sure to check out the slideshow below!
Trailnet, on Wednesday, November 6, announced its heightened priority to increase safety for people who walk, bike, or use public transportation.
City of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said enhanced, multi-modal transportation systems have shown to improve quality of life in cities that have taken steps to prioritize people over cars, adding St. Louis is poised for this type of effort.
“When it’s safe and easy to walk, bike and use public transit, those are great places to live,” Krewson said. “That’s what I want for St. Louis.”
Krewson added making St. Louis streets more accommodating can have a positive ripple effect on the region’s general public health.
“One of the highest transportation priorities that we have is the safety of people walking,” Krewson said.
Scott Ogilvie, Transportation Policy Planner with the City of St. Louis’ Urban Design Agency, was the keynote speaker for the event. Ogilvie spoke about how city streets weren’t always as car centric as they are today, noting there was a time when streets operated more as public spaces.
Ogilvie spoke about the upcoming Louisiana Calm Streets project, which is a direct result of Trailnet’s effort to educate local leaders on enhanced street design that prioritizes people over cars. Ogilvie said the project will use designs that slow down traffic. Part of this strategy uses landscaping to physically separate people from cars.
“One mile of Louisiana Avenue, in the first phase, will be re-envisioned as a slow street where people can be comfortable and safe using the street for more than just transportation,” Ogilvie said. “This project grew directly out of a trip Trailnet organized to Portland for elected officials, residents, and city staff in 2015.”
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page also spoke at the event, describing Trailnet’s involvement in connecting people to the city and county through planning for bicycling and walking infrastructure.
“Decisions we make today have a lasting impact,” Page said. “If we are able to make those decisions in ways that support sustainability efforts for the region, they become an even greater achievement still.”
Ogilvie closed by saying that the pursuit of calmer, safer streets is on everyone.
“My job is to ask for more. But I need that to be all of our jobs,” Ogilvie said. “We all need to ask for more. Walking is essential. To engineer away our ability to walk is to steal away part of our humanity… Number one is slow down the cars. Number two: allocate more space for people-reallocate space away from the automobile and to people. And number three: put things closer together. When things are close together, you decrease the need for transportation in the first place, and make life a lot easier if you don’t, can’t, or don’t feel like using a car.”
Jason Hall, CEO and Co-Founder of Arch to Park, and Justin Kern, a medical researcher at Washington University School of Medicine, served as co-chairs at the Gala. Hall spoke about how proper transportation infrastructure can help St. Louis grow.
“Bike and pedestrian infrastructure like what Trailnet has envisioned is critical to making the City a growing place, a more equitable place, and help those organizations attract the talent they need to be successful,” Hall said.
Trailnet has a 30-year track record of advocating for better walking and bicycling in St. Louis. Trailnet educates civic leaders and public works staff who make decisions about street design and street purpose. The organization helps communities plan safer street networks.
CEO Ralph Pfremmer reflects on three decades of Active Living while looking ahead
For me, the middle of January always marks the halfway point of St. Louis’ winter doldrums. I was reminded of this one recent morning, waking up to zero-degree weather, feeling the sting of windchill on my face. As I travel the streets downtown, I am warmed by the fact that I still see bicyclists braving their way to work despite the cold! They are not waiting for the spring thaw to commit to a healthy, active lifestyle.
Inside our offices, with heaters plugged in, we are off to a great start to 2018 and you can feel the energy among the team members. This year is unique! This year is so much more significant than years past. This year marks Trailnet’s 30th anniversary and there is so much to look forward to. Whether consciously or not, we all start the new year thinking about healthy resolutions. Trailnet has resolved to make the healthy choice the easy choice. We want to make it safe and comfortable to walk and bike to the places you want to go. We think the best way to celebrate 30 years of making walking and biking better in St. Louis is to make significant improvements in community connectivity now, in 2018, while setting the stage for 30 years from now!
We embark on our 30th year with the tremendous momentum that your support is giving us. Take a look at Our Impact featured in the January/February newsletter, and if you haven’t yet, join us and count yourself among the people who are taking to the streets for healthy, active living. Join the fun.
Looking back, it’s really quite remarkable what Trailnet has achieved: so many people supporting our organization and so many diverse partners ready and willing to collaborate for change. Having started as a group of recreational bicycle enthusiasts, Trailnet has grown and evolved into—among other things—a very significant regional planning and advocacy organization. It goes without saying that Trailnet now exists as an important civic organization centered on improving the way we live in St. Louis, leveraging our past while staying committed to the platform of walking, bicycling and active living for all St. Louisans.
Trailnet’s staff and board of directors invite you to attend the kickoff of our 30th anniversary at our special event on Friday, February 9. Trailnet supporters, Cindy and John Lynch, will be our hosts at their unique venue, Break Room Concerts at Show Me Cables in Chesterfield. Seating is limited, so hurry to get your spot. Please join us as we kick off the new year and officially put an end to the winter doldrums!
So let’s look forward to having a fantastic year together. Get involved by participating in our events. Come to Beans, Bikes, and Brews on Saturday, March 10, when we announce all of our Bicycle Fun Club and Community Rides. Consider coming to one of our Peloton events. However you choose to participate, we promise you the opportunity to share your voice. We want to hear your Trailnet story. We’d like to know about how things have changed for you since Trailnet started and what your desires are for a region filled with so much promise as you enjoy a commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle.
The forecast for walking and biking is good, the weather is about to change. What better reason to challenge ourselves to renew our commitment to healthy, active living? It’s my hope that we all strengthen our commitment to ourselves and to the work that Trailnet is doing. Let’s join arm-in-arm as we propel St. Louis forward!
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.”
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.”