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2021 Quarter 2 (April – June) Crash Report

We are over halfway through 2021, which means it is time for another quarterly crash report. This report examines crashes from April 2021 to June 2021 on roads within the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County. The report compares the number of bicycle, pedestrian, and vehicular crashes during a three month period to the same time period in the previous year.

Overall, there’s been a slight decrease in total pedestrian and vehicular deaths in the City and County. We’ve also seen an increase in the total number of vehicular crashes resulting in an injury in the City and County, as well as an increase in pedestrian crashes in the County. Trailnet also analyzed crash trends along particular roads and corridors. We saw that in the City there’s been less pedestrian crashes along the N. Grand Avenue corridor and along all interstates with the City’s boundary. In the County we’ve seen a decrease in crashes along St. Charles Rock Road and Chambers Road, but a notable increase in crashes in the City of Kirkwood.

We encourage you to take a look at our interactive map for both St. Louis City and County. This map shows exactly where the crash took place and also provides additional information on crash characteristics like posted speed limit, type of road, possible circumstance of the crash, and other details.

Click the document to enlarge it.

This graphic shows total number crashes from January 1st to June 30th of 2021.

Click here to enlarge the image.

Clayton works with Trailnet to adopt new Complete Streets Policies

A new set of rules governing how the City of Clayton builds and maintains its streets to accommodate people walking, using mobility devices, biking and using transit is now law. 

Trailnet began working with city leaders to update its Complete Streets Policies last year and the policies were approved by the Clayton Board of Aldermen last month.

Complete Streets Policies are a collection of rules that communities adopt to govern how they build and maintain their streets. These policies are passed in order to prioritize the safety of people walking, biking, using wheelchairs, and other non-car transportation, as well as improve safety for people driving.

Clayton’s reformed policies are a result of Trailnet and the city working to:

  • Improve rules governing equity
  • Update design standards
  • Modernize how the success of these projects is measured
  • Clarify when exceptions to these rules can be applied
  • Improve how street projects are selected

Clayton’s original complete streets ordinance was adopted in 2012, but over the years, national standards for complete streets evolved to further prioritize the needs of people outside of cars. With that shift, Clayton’s policies required this important update.

These changes were vital to create streets that balance the safety and needs of everyone using the street.

Trailnet receives $40k grant for Jefferson County walk-bike strategy

Trailnet will begin developing a walking and biking strategy for Crystal City, Festus, and Herculaneum in Jefferson County. These efforts will help the communities prioritize infrastructure upgrades, programs and policies to improve access for people walking and biking.

Trailnet will provide support, training, and community engagement resources for the three communities. The goal of the work is to identify future projects for the three communities and provide ongoing technical assistance to advance improvements and identify future funding.

This work is possible thanks to a $40,000 grant from the Jefferson Foundation.

The Jefferson Foundation provides support for charitable and educational activities that promote individual and community health and well-being in Jefferson County. The foundation was formed in 2013 when Mercy Health System acquired Jefferson Regional Medical Center (now Mercy Hospital Jefferson) in Crystal City. Since 2014, the foundation has awarded 1,141 grants for a total of about $52.1 million.

St. Louis City retains Silver Bicycle Friendly Community status. Here’s how it can improve

The League of American Bicyclists is a non-profit organization that represents the bicyclist movement to create safer roads, stronger communities, and a more bicycle friendly America. The League published their spring 2021, Bicycle Friendly Community ranking. The ranking provides advocates and cities with assistance to build places more welcoming to people who bike. 

St. Louis maintained its silver status as a Bike Friendly Community! Trailnet is proud of the work St. Louis has done in recent years, but we’re excited to keep working with the City become more bike friendly.

Read the Leauge’s full report card here.

6 Key Steps to Becoming a More Bike Friendly City: 

  1. The City needs to continue to expand and improve low-stress biking and walking network in every neighborhood in STL to support people of all ages and skills getting on bikes. This includes work to continue implementing Trailnet’s Connecting St. Louis Plan, upgrading more of the city’s painted bike lanes to protected cycle tracks, and increasing traffic calming.
  2. The City and St. Louis Public Schools should continue to expand bicycle safety education. Bike safety should be taught in schools, such as the Safe Route to School programming, for students of all ages. The City should work to ensure that schools and surrounding neighborhoods are safe and convenient for biking and walking. Likewise, Organize a city-wide wide to School event every Fall and Spring. This should include outreach to parents and could include fun competitions and encouragement to get more kids on bikes.
  3. The City should Adopt a target level of bicycle use. Currently Trailnet operates the region’s bike-walk counts and census data shows less than 1% of people commute by bike. The City should adopt a goal and plan to increase the number of people biking to work.
  4. The city should adopt a comprehensive road safety plan and pursue policies to reduce traffic crashes and deaths for all road users
  5. St. Louis should re-implement a bike share system as a convenient, cost effective, and healthy way of encouraging locals and visitors to make short trips by biking. It would also make biking more accessible to all and bridge the gap between public transit and destinations

Meet the Regulators Cycling Club

The amazing group decked out in neon yellow and blue jerseys who’ve shown up in force for our last two rides! We appreciate their support and work in the community to share the joys of cycling.

The Regulators Cycling Club originally started in 2012, as a small group of men cycling on Madison County Transit Trails. The club had the intention of meeting to exercise and enjoy fun, outdoor recreational activities. These rides and trails provided the Regulators a safe haven, and it allowed riders the ability to learn how to cycle and encourage other people biking to accompany them on their group rides.

For the next three years, the Regulators met every Saturday morning to ride 50 miles on the trails. As these rides progressed, the Regulators grew and began participating in larger charity events and group rides, local and abroad.

In 2016, the “Regulators Cycling Club” name was officially born. The name came about and was befitting as the one cyclist repeatedly played, “Regulate” by Warren G and Nate Dogg, as the group’s theme song on every ride. The vote was unanimous, and thus began the group’s adventure into becoming stronger cyclists, by incorporating road cycling and group riding at all levels. 

The Regulators have been riding together for 9 years and transformed from a small group of men cycling to welcoming all cyclists regardless gender and/or race. The group strongly focuses on promoting cycling, health, and visibility to the Black communities.

The club continues to grow in membership and recognizes that women and minorities are underrepresented in many bike advocacy efforts. The Regulators are driven to grow in the community and partner with many groups and rides in the Missouri and Illinois area!

Find out more about this awesome group here!

Follow them on Facebook at The Regulators Cycling Club!

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.

Federal funds for core transportation projects move forward

Yesterday, five regional projects for improved walking, biking, and transit (core transportation) cleared an important hurdle on their way towards construction. 

These projects are sponsored by our partners at the City of St. Louis, Great Rivers Greenway and Metro Transit.

The projects were approved by a transportation-focused committee of the East West Gateway Council of Governments, and are a key step before a final vote by the full EWG board on August 25, 2021.

The projects in St. Louis City include:

  • Funding to replace the Compton Ave. Bridge, including a cycle track (aka protected Bike lane) plus sidewalk and crosswalk upgrades
  • A city-led effort to build a cycle track on South Broadway between River Des Peres Greenway and Dover St. at Bellerive Park
  • Accessibility, lighting, and canopy improvements at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Metro Station 
  • A segment of the Brickline Greenway from Sarah St. To Grand St.

Great River Greenway also received funding for an extension of the St. Vincent Greenway from Werley Ave. to St. Charles Rock Road in St. Louis County.

Additional funding was awarded to Metro for 18 new call-a-ride vans for seniors and people with disabilities as well as 20 new buses which will be hitting the streets in the next few years.

Congratulations to our partners on this key step and the strides towards bringing more core transportation projects to the region. All of these projects were awarded funding through competitive federal transportation funds administered by East West Gateway. Learn more about these funds on the EWG website.

Advocacy Action: Help update U.S. road standards for safer streets

Tags:

An 800+ page federal document that has cemented unsafe road designs in our communities is being updated.

You can help make our streets safer by weighing in on the process. Trailnet and national partner organizations are calling on U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to overhaul the document to prioritize safety for people walking and biking.

Our sample comments are below, Friday May 14 is the deadline to add comments. You can submit your comments here.

Background on the MUTCD

This spring the Federal Highway Administration is reviewing an enormous document called the MUTCD (Manual on Traffic Control Devices). This manual provides traffic engineers with regulations and guidance for items like signage, markings, and roadway design for all U.S. roads.

Side by side comparison of two situations: one is a rendering of a street crossing with a colored crossing, painted bike and bus lanes and a stop of pedestrian sign with the text NOT ALLOWED, the other is a seven lane road with two adults' and a child in the median tryin to cross with the text MUTCD compliant
NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials)

For the first time in 10 years, the MUTCD is up for review. Now is a great opportunity for the public to weigh in and help fix a document that fails to address everyday street safety. Regulations in the MUTCD consistently undermine the safety for people walking and biking while prioritizing convenience for people driving cars.

This failure is evident in how our current road design standards continue to create an environment that is unsafe for people walking and biking. In St. Louis County and St. Louis City, total deaths (walking, biking, and driving) have been steadily rising since 2010, with over 170 deaths in 2020, the highest in that 10-year period.

NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials)

Priority Areas in need of Immediate Fixing: Trailnet agrees with other likeminded organizations like NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials), America Walks, and The League of American Bicyclists. Together we agree that in order to prioritize safety for people walking and biking, a complete overhaul and rewrite of the MUTCD is desperately needed.

This rewrite must address key priorities like:

  1. The 85th Percentile Rule: The MUTCD advises traffic professionals to use an outdated metric called the 85th percentile rule. This rule sets speed limits at the speed where most people (85% of drivers) drive normally. Meaning that based on the size and type of road and given normal flows of traffic 85% of people drive below that set speed limit.
    This creates a cycle where each time speed limits are reviewed they are progressively increased. We know from NACTO’s City Limits document that “relying on [this type of] system focused on driver behavior, rather than a defined safety target to set speed limits, significantly limits the ability to reduce traffic deaths.” This “Rule” should no longer exist and should be phased out of the MUTCD.
  2. Pedestrian Signal Requirements: The MUTCD does not require pedestrian-specific crossing signals to be installed at existing or new traffic lights. It instead relies on measures like previous pedestrian deaths and the number of people crossing  to warrant new pedestrian signals.
    Additionally, the MUTCD doesn’t allow other factors such as: expected pedestrian traffic or the number of people who drive to cross busy streets instead of walking to justify adding signals for people walking. Currently, for a signalized pedestrian crossing to be added to a school, the MUTCD requires that there already be 20 children willing to risk their lives at crossing the street in an hour, before a signal can be added to protect them.
  3. Crosswalks Guidelines: The MUTCD severely lack proactive safety regulation covering the installation and use of crosswalks. For a new signalized crosswalk to be installed, a location must have 93 people cross the street per hour or have had 4 or more pedestrians crashes in a 3-year period. The MUTCD also does not allow for colorful crosswalks within the roadway, even though high visibility crosswalks have been proven to enhance pedestrian safety, while also contributing to neighborhood vibrancy. 
  4. General Lack of Standards for Pedestrian Safety: Throughout the MUTCD there are several sections that mention pedestrian safety measures. However, a lot of those measures are not a federal regulation, but mere guidance that is not legally required for traffic professionals to adhere to.
  5. Regulations that Deter Important Bike/Ped/Transit Projects: Within the MUTCD there are several regulations that can potentially deter things like bike lanes and bus rapid transit projects. For example, there are specific design requirements for bike lanes that cross driveways and certain intersections. Bus rapid transit projects often require expansive and expensive traffic studies that delay these types of projects, which prohibits cities from making strides to expand their public transit networks.
NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials)

It should be mentioned that a majority of these comments and areas for improvement are shared among organizations like NACTO, America Walks, Trailnet and other similar biking and walking advocacy organizations. The fact that many national organizations have shared similar criticisms to this document shows the weight in how several regulations and standards impact the safety of people walking and biking on our streets. For more information on other MUTCD comments from those other organizations, we suggest these resources:

Trailnet is also realistic in the fact that a complete overhaul and rewrite of this document will take time to create and approve, and we believe that many of the current proposed amendments, are better than continuing with the 2009 version. As such we have crafted some specific suggestions to these amendments that could be incorporated while a full overhaul of this document is undertaken. You can read our specific immediate suggestions here, with the perspective that a full overhaul is still very much needed. 

People’s lives and safety are jeopardized by the current document. While the proposed amendments make things marginally better, FHWA and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg should act with conviction and expediency to  overhaul this document. Every minute wasted subjects our most vulnerable road users to the faulty logic within this document that prioritizes the convenience of people driving over the lives of people walking, biking, and trying to cross the street. 


Below is a comment template that you can copy, paste, and input into the Federal Register’s comment portal. Feel free to customize this letter with some of the specific advocacy pushes that are important to you.

Friday May 14 is the deadline to add comments. You can submit your comments here.

Sample Letter Text

Federal Highway Administration 

US Department of Transportation 

1200 New Jersey Ave S.E. 

Washington, DC 20590

RE: Serious concerns about the MUTCD in its current form

Dear Acting Administrator Pollack and Secretary Buttigieg,

As a supporter of Trailnet, and a person who _________, I am commenting to elevate certain concerns about the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Here in St. Louis we have seen an increase in traffic fatalities and crashes over the last 10 years and federal standards and guidelines (like those in the MUTCD) have done little to regulate how roadways should be designed to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety, and in many cases have actively worked against it. These fatality rates are not unique to St. Louis, these trends are being seen across the United States and other like minded advocates like myself welcome an MUTCD that works for all road users, not just those using a motorized vehicle.

Documents like the MUTCD perpetuate out-of-date street design guidance and absurd regulations that prioritize the efficiency of moving traffic over the safety of people walking and biking. I join Trailnet and other transportation advocacy groups like America Walks, NACTO, and the League of American Bicyclists, to ask that the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices be completely rewritten with a focus on enhancing pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Specifically, revisions to the MUTCD need to focus on:

  • Prioritizing safety over speed. This means relying less on the 85th percentile rule and more on safety for all road users. 
  • Standards that put the safety of people walking first on signalization and markings at intersections. This includes requirements for crosswalks and pedestrian signals at all intersections, relaxing regulations on colored crosswalks, and increasing the time pedestrian signals last, among other things.
  • Supporting pedestrian, bicycle, and transit projects that improve mobility for those users,in a way that doesn’t delay project timing, incur unnecessary costs, or deter these projects in general. 

In conjunction with Trailnet and many others, I formally ask that the Federal Highway Administration rewrite the MUTCD in a way that prioritizes safety for people walking and biking, and allows traffic engineers and professionals to effectively plan and design roadways that encourage people to use core transportation options like walking, biking, and the use of public transportation.

Thank you, 

[your name]

Tucker Bike-Walk-Bus project moves towards construction, receives $1.1 M grant

artist rendering of tucker protected bike lane project

A .9 mile cycle track is coming to downtown St. Louis. Today, the Tucker Bike-Walk-Bus improvement project received a $1.1M federal construction grant clearing the way for construction.

The project is sponsored by the City of St. Louis and was developed by Trailnet along with community partners. It includes a .9 mile cycle track (protected bike lane), bus stop upgrades, and crosswalk improvements.

The improvements along Tucker Blvd. stretch between Chouteau Ave. and Washington Ave., crossing the Mill Creek railyard and connecting into downtown. This North-South route creates a more-accessible, less-stressful, and safer connection into downtown.

The two-way cycle track and numerous intersection safety improvements along the corridor will create a safer connection for people walking, biking, and taking the bus. These improvements include bus islands, pedestrian refuge islands, Americans with Disabilities Act improvements, crosswalk signal upgrades, and high-visibility crosswalks along this .9 mile stretch of Tucker Blvd.

map of tucker project showing connections to other greenways and bikeroutes, includes bus stop locations

Tucker Blvd. was identified for improvement based on public input in Trailnet’s Connecting St. Louis plan, the Downtown St. Louis Transportation Plan, and the Design Downtown STL plan. This project represents a key step to better connection and a implementation of these planning and community engagement efforts. 

These plans prioritized Tucker Blvd. as a safe, low-stress connection over the rail yard downtown. The rail yard is major barrier for people on bike and on foot in the region. Tucker was selected over other route options based on resident input, the width of the bridge, connection to public resources, access to public housing, the lack of interstate ramps, among other factors.

This construction project is one of several moving forward in St. Louis City that that prioritize people walking and biking.

These projects include:
– The Tower Grove Connector – another partnership between Trailnet and the City
– Replacing the Compton St. bridge to include a cycle track
– A cycle track along 20th St. and 22nd St. aligning with Project Connect linking north city and the central corridor
– Great Rivers Greenway’s Brickline Greenway Project

GRANT DETAILS
The federal funding for this project comes from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) by the US Department of Transportation. TAP funds are competitive grants aimed at supporting smaller bike, pedestrian, and other community-based projects. The funding was awarded by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWG). EWG is responsible for transportation funding, in an eight county area in Missouri and Illinois.

WHAT’S A CYCLE TRACK?
A cycle track is a protected bike lane that physically separates bike traffic from car traffic and people walking.
Cycle tracks can come in different variations (one-way vs. two-way) and can use different methods of separating bikes from sidewalks and the street (curbs, raised lanes, planters, etc.)
Cycle tracks provide important separated space for people of all ages and abilities to bike.

This project will feature a two-way cycle track on the west side of Tucker Blvd., with curbs separating bike traffic from car traffic and the sidewalk. Detailed plans are available here.

NEXT STEPS
This project will now move forward, with construction planned for 2023.

This progress is thanks to the generous support of partners including the City of St. Louis, The Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District, People for Bikes, Alderman Jack Coatar, a number of family foundations, area businesses, as well as Trailnet members and supporters like you.

We’re Hiring: Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Trailnet is looking for a communications professional to advance our work of making walking and biking a way of life in the St. Louis region. The Marketing and Communications Coordinator will guide our communications and marketing strategy to tell our story of success in achieving our mission, while maintaining and strengthening the Trailnet message and brand.

Trailnet has a wide audience of 2,000 members and more than 19,000 constituents that follow and support our work. This position is highly collaborative, leading online, social media, print, PR, multimedia, and brand management initiatives in a fast-paced environment.

The Marketing and Communications Coordinator reports directly to the Policy Manager, works closely with the leadership team, and coordinates communications with the program areas of rides, planning, and advocacy.

About the Organization
Trailnet is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization with a 33-year history making walking and biking a way of life in the St. Louis region. Trailnet achieves its mission through a variety of programs that get people moving and help the region build for better walking and biking

Responsibilities
– Work with staff to manage Trailnet’s brand, messaging, and voice
– Oversee the development and release of all content for every department
– Create and deliver marketing and communications plans for various initiatives, events, and programs
– Consult with staff to create promotions and marketing materials/media for projects, programs, and events
– Lead the creation of web content across all social media platforms, website, and calendar events; monitor and maintain up-to-date and correct content on all platforms
– Produce and manage email communications, including a regular newsletter, and project-specific communications
– Carry out and track marketing fulfillment on all sponsorship agreements /contracts with the support of the Development Director, Rides Manager, and other staff
– Work with staff to strategize, schedule, and manage Trailnet’s social media
– Coordinate the production of Trailnet’s print and electronic collateral: fundraising materials, postcards, flyers, press packets, etc.
– Create public notices, social media and radio advertisements
– Organize and manage marketing materials and media; on-call monitoring of social media; track and document all media hits
– Provide copy editing and proofreading as needed
– Work tabling events as needed

Qualifications
– Bachelor’s degree or demonstrated commensurate experience
– 1 to 2 years of relevant experience preferred
– Must be highly computer literate with the ability to effectively use technology and social media marketing strategies

Requirements
– Creative writing/marketing skills
– Strong copy editing skills
– Strong written and verbal communications skills
– Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, G-suite, and WordPress
– Organizational skills in scheduling and monitoring social media and contracted marketing activities and agreements
– Strong problem-solving skills
– Strong organizational and time management skills
– Self-motivated—able to work alone and as a member of a team
– Demonstrated ability to work in fast-paced environment with a strong sense of prioritization
– Able to interact with a diverse community of staff, partners, participants, and volunteers
– Willingness to work some evenings and weekends throughout the year
– Graphic Design skills and visual / artistic skills are a plus
– Mailchimp or email CRM experience is a plus
– Proficiency in photography and videography is a plus

Compensation
The position is full time (40hrs/ week with reduced work week available at 30 hrs) with a competitive benefit package including medical and dental insurance, salary is 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. Salary range is $31,200- $34,093.

Commitment to Equity and Equal Opportunity
Trailnet is committed to support 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, faith background, 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.

Work Conditions:
Office Environment with work from home as the standard during the COVID-19 pandemic Dependable high-speed internet is required for frequent video calls via Zoom and Google

The Marketing and Communications Coordinator should have a presence at 15-20 outdoor events in the bistate region, including bike rides and community rides throughout Spring, Summer, and Fall. Barring COVID-19 restrictions on event schedule.

Fundraising and outreach events take place at a variety of indoor and outdoor locations.

Physical Responsibilities:
Transport up to 25 lbs. of tabling or outreach materials to events
Work at a computer
Staff tables at outreach events

Application Information
Applicants should send a cover letter and resume to hr@trailnet.org.