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Tucker Blvd. Bike-Walk-Bus Construction Update

artist rendering of tucker protected bike lane project

Updated Jan. 8, 2021

This week, the East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWG) advanced a $1.1 million federal construction application for biking, walking, and bus stop improvements on Tucker Blvd. between Chouteau Ave. and Washington Ave.

The project is sponsored by the City of St. Louis and was developed by Trailnet and community partners. This key route is one step closer to seeing a protected bike lane and other improvements recommended by Trailnet’s Connecting St. Louis Plan

On Wednesday, the EWG staff recommended this project for funding, an important step in advance of a final vote from the EWG board.

The rail lines south of downtown are a major barrier for people on bike and on foot in the region. They have been identified in numerous studies including the Downtown Multi-Modal Plan and Connecting St. Louis. 

The proposed two-way, curb-protected bike lane and numerous intersection safety improvements along the corridor will create a safer connection for people walking, biking, and taking the bus. These include bus islands, pedestrian refuge islands, crosswalk signal upgrades, and high-visibility crosswalks along this .9 mile stretch of Tucker.

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

Trailnet in partnership with others funded a preliminary engineering study — completed in March 2020 — to bring this project closer to construction.

The City submitted an application for funding through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) under the US Department of Transportation. This is a competitive grant aimed at supporting smaller bike, pedestrian and other community-based projects. The next step will be a vote from EWG’s board to approve this recommendation.

This progress is thanks to the generous support of members and supporters like you, partners including The City of St. Louis, Downtown STL, People for Bikes, Alderman Jack Coatar, a number of family foundations, and area businesses who are making this effort possible.

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

St. Louis County Council Approves Bike Reforms

St. Louis County unanimously approved a new package of bike-friendly traffic rules that prioritize the safety of people on bikes, and other vulnerable road users.

The ordinance prioritizes people’s safety and judgement when using lanes, creates a 3-foot passing rule, spells out when people are allowed to ride side by side, creates protections for vulnerable road users, and updates rules for e-bikes.

Monday night, the St. Louis County Council approved County Bill 385, introduced by Councilwoman Kelli Dunaway, which updates the county’s rules on how people on bikes can use roads in unincorporated St. Louis County.

Our streets belong to everyone and everyone should be free to safely use them. We are confident that these policies are an important step towards safer streets.

Trailnet and other advocates worked with Dunaway and the county council to include the needs and concerns of the community. These reforms are an important step to improving safety. Future work will need to ensure similar reforms are adopted by municipalities in the county, as well as St. Louis City and the surrounding region.

These changes highlight Trailnet’s stance that a road-design changes and infrastructure improvements are still necessary to improve safety throughout the region.

The new ordinance updates the county traffic code by:

Prioritizing people’s safety and judgement

Previously, the county has a one-size-fits-none approach, requiring bike traffic to stay as far to the right as “practicable” with no exemptions. If taken by the letter of the law, this means, riding in the gutter, in the door zone or on the shoulder. People riding bikes any other way could be cited for violating traffic law.

The new rules give people on bikes more flexibility under the law to use their judgment. It lays out different exceptions that more closely matches how people actually interact safely on the road.

The reforms create a default for people on bikes to ride in the same direction as traffic and to stay to the right side of the right-most lane. However, it prioritizes people’s safety and judgement when laying out conditions where people can use the full lane, shoulder, or change lanes to:

  • Avoid debris or other hazards
  • Avoid vehicles turning in right-turn only lanes
  • If the road is too narrow for bikes and cars to share the same lane
  • Preparing to make left turns
  • Avoid other unsafe conditions
  • If people follow these rules and obey other traffic laws, they would not violate rules against impeding traffic.

3-foot Passing

It also adds a 3-foot passing law for people in cars when overtaking people on bikes. It requires people driving to:

  1. Change lanes to pass, if there is a passing lane.
  2. If there is no passing lane, people driving must still give the person on the bike 3 feet of space while passing.
  3. It allows people driving to safely cross over the middle lane, even in no-passing zones, in order to give 3 feet to the person in the bike.

Riding Abreast

The legislation would also update the law to allow people on bikes to ride side by side on the street, which was prohibited under the old ordinance.
People may ride abreast if:

  1. They don’t significantly impede other traffic
  2. They are riding on the shoulder, bike lane, or bike path

People riding side by side must switch to riding singe file when they encounter other vehicles.

Vulnerable Road Users

The new rules also define Vulnerable Road Users including:

  • People walking
  • People using wheelchairs
  • People riding bikes and using scooters, skateboards, roller skates, etc.
  • People working on the roadway: construction workers, first responders
  • People walking pets
  • People in animal-drawn vehicles
  • People on mopeds or motorcycles
  • People driving farm equipment

The ordinance prohibits people driving in a “careless or distracted manner” if it causes injury to a vulnerable road user. This creates a penalty for distracted driving if it causes a crash, hurting a vulnerable road user.

This falls short of an overall distracted driving ban, since Missouri state law currently prevents local governments from passing their own distracted driving traffic rules. This reality prevents counties and cities from exercising local control, blocking them from addressing this dangerous behavior.

E-Bikes

This bill also extends rules governing bikes to include e-bikes and motorized bikes. The ordinance adopts the three class E-Bike system being used in 22 other states.

Moving forward

These reforms to traffic laws show an important level of political will in the County to support safety for vulnerable road usurers and people on bikes. The soon to be completed St. Louis County Action Plan for Walking and Biking is another important step to prioritize infrastructure to prioritize safety as well.

This success is important and Trailnet is committed to pursue bike-friendly policy and infrastructure in individual municipalities across the region.

Everyday Connections: Neighborhood-focused improvements

Beginning in the Spring of 2020, Trailnet began working with three St. Louis communities to improve walking and biking infrastructure and policies. Trailnet partnered with the Jeff-Vander-Lou and Ville/Greater Ville neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis and the City of Clayton to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety through improved infrastructure and policy.

Trailnet has been working with residents and community partners to plan and improve upon existing conditions within each community/neighborhood. This work was funded with assistance from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). Read more about what Trailnet is doing to improve connections to everyday destinations in each community.

Jeff-Vander-Lou Neighborhood

Expanding upon the work done in 2015 as a part of a Plan4Health traffic calming grant, Trailnet has been working in the Jeff-Vander-Lou (JVL) neighborhood by planning for traffic calming improvements to curb dangerous driving habits which affect safety for people walking and biking. Trailnet staff has been working with JVL community organizations and residents to 1) identify areas that are in need of traffic calming improvements and 2) brainstorm solutions that will help slow down traffic and enhance pedestrian safety. Trailnet staff met with numerous JVL residents, the neighborhood association, and a JVL alderperson to discuss solutions, timeline, and funding opportunities to make significant improvements within the neighborhood.

In preparation to work with JVL residents and organizations, Trailnet staff also created a traffic calming guide that mentions characteristics, implementation costs, and 3-D renderings of numerous traffic calming solutions that have been used across the City of St. Louis. While the guide was created to help JVL residents visualize and understand the different types of traffic calming used throughout the City, the guide will also be available to residents and organizations in other St. Louis City neighborhoods who are interested in traffic calming solutions in their neighborhood.

Ville/Greater Ville Neighborhood

In the Ville/Greater Ville neighborhood, Trailnet is working with 4theVille to help develop the engagement around a neighborhood plan for walking, biking, and transit improvements. In addition to the strategy to get residents involved in the future neighborhood plan, including a phone survey of people’s current challenges with getting to their everyday destinations.

Trailnet is also providing the neighborhood with existing conditions maps and analysis. Trailnet is looking at several factors that impact walking and biking safety, these include: speed limit, street width, average annual daily traffic, bicycle and pedestrian crashes (and their characteristics), crime that would impact how safe someone feels walking, MetroBus service and associated stops, and vacancy. Trailnet is mapping these factors to help analyze if there are any trends that impact walking and biking safety in the neighborhood that could be addressed by infrastructure or policy recommendations.

City of Clayton

The City of Clayton has committed their DHSS funding to improving pedestrian signage around Shaw Park in Downtown Clayton. The addition of the pedestrian signage will enhance pedestrian crossing safety in and out of Shaw Park.

Trailnet has also been working with the City of Clayton to improve their Complete Street Ordinance. Adopted in 2012, the Complete Streets Ordinance encourages walking, biking, and other non-motorized forms of transit, in addition to typical motorized transit for all users regardless of age or ability.

The Ordinance sets out an ultimate goal to create streets that balance the needs of all users in order to achieve maximum functionality and use.

Now Trailnet and the City of Clayton are looking to improve several facets of the Complete Streets Ordinance including standards on equity, design standards, performance measures, project exceptions, and project selection criteria.

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.

Join our team: Development Director

The Development Director conceives and implements a comprehensive fundraising strategy.

The Development Director supervises the Membership Coordinator and manages consultant relationships. This position also oversees corporate, foundations, major gifts, annual giving, special events, and all associated activities. Supervised by the Chief Executive Officer, the Development Director works closely with Trailnet’s Board of Directors.

This position will also collaborate with the Policy Director, Rides Manager, and Communications Specialist to develop overall communications and development strategies and key messages for external communications.

A successful candidate will be self-motivated, team-centric, strategic, charismatic, detail-oriented, and highly organized; and will possess the ability to solicit financial gifts of all levels. Excellent communication, interpersonal, analytical, and research skills are essential. Familiarity with the St. Louis civic community is a plus.

Responsibilities:

Design, implement, and evaluate Trailnet’s development strategy: Work with the CEO and team to identify funds needed, preferred funding targets, and strategic alignment of each ask.

Rides and special events: Collaborates closely with the Rides Manager to create and develop overall rides fundraising strategy. Collaborates with other team members to create and produce special events, as appropriate.

Fundraising: Perform ongoing research, cultivation, and solicitation as well as recognition of individual, corporate and foundation donors. Establish and fulfill annual fundraising goals and budgets for all contributed income categories.

Oversee ongoing development efforts: Develop and implement comprehensive fundraising strategies that include membership campaigns, business memberships, nonprofit partnerships, reciprocal agreements, in-kind donations, special events, and cause marketing, ensure fulfillment of all promised recognition and benefits to donors.

Lead stewardship efforts: Grow and maintain a loyal donor base and provide necessary oversight: ensuring individual, corporate and foundation database records are current. Initiate stewardship actions to maintain key long-term relationships.

Grant Writing: Lead annual grant writing program, including the use of colleagues and contract writing resources to supplement capacity.

Collaborate: Oversight and interaction with program staff in the creation and solicitation of earned-revenue sponsorships and individual giving.

Coordinate marketing and communications: Leverage messaging to support every aspect of the fundraising plan. Including, public relations and community relations activities, which includes email fundraising campaigns, direct mail, grants, special events, social media, speaking engagements, donor and volunteer recognition, etc.

Board interaction: Support the CEO in the cultivating, selecting and managing of board-level volunteer resources. Serve as internal fundraising counsel to the Board. Support the Board Development Committee and the Board Nominating Committee.

Qualifications:

Fundraising: Proven success in fundraising for an established nonprofit. Experience producing events and success in stewarding relationships.

Project Leadership: Experience in planning, leading, and managing fundraising initiatives including coordinating with peers to achieve desired outcomes, and tracking and reporting on progress to CEO and Board of Directors

Entrepreneurial Spirit: Takes initiative, creatively explores fresh ideas, and actively seeks strategic opportunities to deepen current donor relationships and to forge new ones.

Communications: Skilled in creating powerful, compelling written and oral communications for fundraising. Ability to convey complex ideas through brief, simple materials. Experience and credibility when presenting materials to external audiences.

Influencing: Gets others to accept ideas by using convincing arguments, creates a win-win situation and responds appropriately to key stakeholders. Highly positive approach and enthusiastic style capable of motivating others

Collaboration: Effective at working with others to reach common goals and objectives

Work Conditions:
Office Environment with work from home as the standard during the COVID-19 pandemic (frequent video calls via Zoom and Google are required)

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

Fundraising and outreach events at variety of indoor and outdoor locations

Proficiency in G-Suite, Microsoft Office, and a fundraising CRM is assumed (Trailnet uses DonorPerfect).

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

Requirements:
• Bachelor’s degree with 3-5 years of direct fundraising experience, or equivalent experience demonstrated in the key job responsibilities,
• Significant successful experience in gift solicitation,
• Excellent written communication skills.

Salary & Benefits:
Full-time, Exempt

Salary range: $57,000 – $65,000

Eligible for full-time benefits including Medical and Dental Insurance

Qualified candidates should send a resume and cover letter to hr@trailnet.org

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, 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.

About the Organization
Trailnet is a not for profit 501 (c) 3 organization with a 31-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 all people 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.

Pedego E-bikes, Trailnet’s Gala, and Why You Should Buy a Raffle Ticket

Electric assist bicycles, E-Bikes, have steadily grown in popularity over the past decade and have been discussed more frequently since pandemic stay-at-home order was issued. E-bikes are equipped with a built-in electric motor that provides pedaling assistance, making it easier to cover greater distances and allowing a larger population of consumers to enjoy cycling. 

Cathy O’neil, age, won her E-bike in a raffle at Trailnet’s gala, last year. O’neil says she has always enjoyed riding bicycles. Growing up in Michigan, O’neil rode her bike as a child and enjoyed many biking trips to places including Wisconsin, Cape Cod, Denmark, France’s Loire Valley, and South Dakota’s Black Hills. O’neil shares, 

“The last time I was biking in Wisconsin, the rolling hills seemed more difficult, and I figured that maybe age was telling me to slow down. Now with the E-bike, I can continue to travel and bike. When we no longer need to stay at home, I plan to put my e-bike on the car and enjoy more group bike trips across the country.”

“Pedego has been ever so supportive, and I am thrilled with the bike”

Rob Cantwell, 50, attorney in St. Louis, was gifted his first E-bike from a friend E-bike enthusiast. He now owns 2 E-bikes, the Giant Explore E+ 3 mountain bike and the Specialized Turbo S road bike. Rob easily rides his E-bike 5.8 miles to work and back everyday and often takes his nearly 4-year-old daughter on bike rides using his bike trailer attachment. His Specialized Turbo S E-bike reaches maximum speeds of 28 mph making long bike rides with his daughter a breeze.

In the St. Louis area, Bill and Carla Sauerwein own Pedego ST. Louis and are the experts on all things E-bike. When asked about how their sales were impacted during stay-at-home orders, Bill states that sales have increased but that could be due to several factors, 

As with all things in life, it is never just one thing. Covid has definitely contributed to an increase in sales as people work from home and search for ways to remain fit. But we expected some increase in sales due to seeds we planted last year by doing events and exposing hundreds of people to our technology. Likewise, people are not traveling this summer, so they search for activities to do around home outside.  This helped sales also. And covid has also renewed people’s love of cycling. It has been, throughout this pandemic, the activity of choice for fitness enthusiasts, parents home with their children, the work from home crowd, and retired or homebound active people who want to increase or simply maintain their quality of life.  Our sales of bikes have just about tripled from last year and we are sold out of popular accessories like panniers and bike carriers.  “

E-bikes and related outdoor activities have grown tremendously in popularity since the pandemic started in early spring and stay-at-home orders were issued. The use of the pedal assist allows those who enjoy biking to go farther, longer and make more memories. O’neil shares,

Traditional bikes and E-bikes have many similarities, including multiple gears. Additionally, E-bikes have multiple levels of electrical assistance, generally four or five, so the rider may choose how assistance the bike provides. The ability to ride longer and farther with the assist is a popular selling point for first time buyers.

Right now, most of my riding is trails. I love Creve Coeur Lake Park, and now I can zoom up those overpasses with the e-bike. Madison County has miles of trails, and I bike longer because I know that if I tire, I can use the power assist to get back to my car. Recently two deer crossed the trail, not far in front of me. One was a young buck with velvet antlers, and as I watched, other bikers stopped behind me, to enjoy the moment. It’s one of many good memories that I’m gathering from this new bike.”

George Napier, 30, employee of Clayton Parks and Recreation and avid environmentalist, enjoys riding his e-bike off road on family vacations.

For a long time, I thought that E-bikes were a “cheat”- that they made riding a bike too easy but that was before I tried it. The pedal assist can be a game-changer when you are biking off-road trails with strenuous climbs.”

When asked about his experience with folks believing E-bikes to be “cheating”, Bill had this to say,

The “cheating” line of thinking about E-bikes is now considered old school and narrow minded.  I am quite sure you had a cup of coffee before beginning your work today – is that considered cheating because you were able to clear the cobwebs from your head?  Is a rode cyclist cheating when he buys a carbon frame, or puts $1,000 worth of better components on his bike?  Every person young or old, fir or not fit, has right to ride a bike. My wife and I are on our bikes all day and evening and use our cars infrequently.  We run short errands on our bikes, commute to work, grocery shop, run to Target and Walgreen’s and the market in Kirkwood.  Most cyclists ride their bike for an hour or two then put the bike away and get in their cars to live the rest of the lives. So, who is cheating?  We have customers who have sold their car to buy an E-bike.  Our technology also allows people who love cycling but have given up on riding (perhaps because they have a health condition) to ride again and live happy pleasurable, lives outside in the fresh air.  Our customers remark often that their Pedego was “life-changing” and they have regained their health.  With E-bike technology, you can remain mobile and independent.”

Pedego makes a complete line of 18 electric bikes so that you can easily find a perfect fit for your individual needs and personal style. E-bikes do tend to be heavier than regular bikes, due to the battery which adds much of the additional weight. An average non-electric road bike weighs 20-25 pounds, but most E-bikes weigh 45 to 75. E-bike also have wider tires. The tire on a traditional road bike tends to be less than 1 inch wide, but tires on an E-bike generally run 1½ to 2½ inches for road bikes, 3-4 inches for mountain bikes.

Pedego is committed to quality and offers 5-year warranty on all bikes. O’neil has owned her E-bike for a year and says, 

I’m enjoying my new E-bike, though there is a learning curve. This bike is two to three times heavier than my hybrid, and cornering is much different. The Pedego store people have been really generous with their time and tips, to get me up and riding comfortably.”

At Bill and Carla’s store, you can find all 18 Pedego electric bikes and accessories. Bill says,

We sell only one brand, Pedego – the #1 brand in America. Prices range from about $2,000 to about $4,500.  Most of our customers purchase because the bike is high quality, offered at a great price, and designed and built in America – but also because our bikes come with a 5 year industry leading warranty (far above any competitors’ warranty) and because our dealership is part of the community. They know we are 110% committed to service and making their biking experience a great one. Online bike manufacturers cannot make this guaranty.”

Some of the typical questions asked at St. Louis Pedego….

Probably the most-asked question is:  “How far will the battery take me on a charge?”  When I tell them our 48V 15A battery will take them up to 60 miles on a single charge, they are quite excited!  The second most-asked question is:  “Will the bike allow me to get exercise?”  the answer is always, Yes!  You can get as much exercise as you want with our pedal-assist software.  Likewise, our technology allows you to ride farther and more often than you would on a traditional bike.  Many of our customers were avid cyclists who stopped riding because of the hills near their home.  With our technology, there is no more “hill anxiety” and the fear of returning from a long ride only to climb the hill to your home has disappeared.

The gaining popularity of E-bikes could bring about significant health improvements to bike enthusiasts and to those who were previously sedentary. Researchers in a 2016 University of Colorado study observed improvements in aerobic capacity and blood sugar regulation of those who had a generally sedentary lifestyle. Those who are considering using E-bikes for commuting can breathe easy knowing that riding an E-bike may be faster than traditional urban public transportation and would allow you to arrive less sweaty than riding a traditional bicycle to work. Reducing your carbon footprint has never been easier since E-bike batteries can fit in your bag and do not require a special charging station.

E-bikes are here to stay and there are several reasons why. Meaningful exercise can be achieved for many, including those with physical limitations and older age. Trailnet will be raffling another Pedego E-bike at the 2020 Trailnet gala.

Trailnet Champion: Clint Mohs

We met up with Clint Mohs, a repeat participant in our 2020 scavenger hunts and community rides to ask him a few questions and see just what makes him such a radi-cool supporter of biking in STL.

How long have you been riding a bike in STL? I grew up here, moved around a bunch, and did a ton of riding all over where I was living, then moved back here when my daughter was born. So, I’ve been riding pretty consistently for the last four years around the city.

What got you into biking? Exercising and exploring. In highschool I played sports, but in college I stopped. I also didn’t have a car, so I got a bike to get around town and tapped back into that childhood sense of exploring and self-reliance, and all that stuff.

What kind of riding do you do? I use it mainly for exercise. With my family, we’ll ride to the park, the zoo, the store.  I got a new job recently and my plan was to start commuting this summer now that I was close enough to do so, but then the CoronaVirus happened as my daughter was getting ready to be out of school.  Priorities shifted to taking care of my daughter, working from home, etc.

How’d you get into doing Trailnet scavenger hunts? I found out after signing up for the Trailnet Classics. As these were getting cancelled, I went back on the website and found out about the scavenger hunts as an alternative and thought, “these seem pretty cool.” They’re up my alley with the whole exploring thing, learning new things, learning new routes. I started off with the Bike Month Challenge and had a blast – so much fun.

How has COVID changed the way you bike? I’m riding a lot more because I don’t have the rush to get everyone out of the house; I don’t have the long commute. Been waking up early and riding a lot in the mornings. Also doing so many of the scavenger hunts and learning new routes, or, piecing together new things – keeping it fresh. I knew point A and point B existed, but didn’t have a way to connect them or didn’t think about connecting them until recently.

Why are you such a radi-cool supporter of biking and Trailnet? First off, radi-cool is way cooler than I am – just getting that out there. One of the things that I struggled with coming back to STL was having lived and travelled around other more bike friendly places. I witnessed more openness to having bikes on the roads, which wasn’t my previous experience. Coming back to STL, it seems like a natural thing for me to want to support – people being on bikes in the city.  There isn’t the same population density as most other big cities, we have a ton of sprawl, but if you live within the city you can get anywhere you need on a bike pretty easily. So, for me it’s super easy to want to get behind something like this, and it also makes me happy to see people on trails and on the roads.

Three big reasons you love biking?

Exploring.

Being outside. Riding the same routes over and over, you get a sense of place in seeing it change from day to day, week to week, month to month.

Just feels good. I don’t know… I just like it. It’s fun.

Missouri 2020 Primary Voter Guide

Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020

St. Louis County Executive & Missouri Senate District 5

Transportation policy and funding impact numerous aspects of life in the St. Louis Region. This voter guide is Trailnet’s effort to educate voters on candidate’s positions on transportation issues in two races St. Louis County Executive and Missouri Senate District 5.

Confirm your polling location, wear a mask, and follow public health rules while going to vote.

Trailnet is a 501(c)(3) charity and does not participate or intervene in any political campaign on the behalf of any candidate for public office, but is permitted to engage in voter education and get-out-the-vote efforts.

 

 

 

News Release: Juneteenth community tour highlights music, history

Juneteenth community tour highlights music, history

ST. LOUIS – Trailnet and 4theVille are hosting a community bike ride and walking tour to celebrate Juneteenth and African American Music Appreciation Month. From June 20 through June 30, the self-guided tour takes participants through Downtown, Midtown and The Ville to explore historically significant sites.

The 2020 Juneteenth Celebration Community Ride, marks the third year of this partnership between Trailnet, 4theVille, and Missouri Historical Society. This year’s event focuses on the past and present of St. Louis’ rich history of African American musicians shaping our national sound. The self-guided tour also features recordings of local musicians paying tribute to the city’s continuing music traditions.

“4theVille is committed to the celebration of local black history through multi-disciplinary arts and tourism. We look forward to our annual Juneteenth partnership with Trailnet and Missouri Historical Society when we explore different elements of the continued black liberation struggle. This year, we are especially proud to support local African American musicians with our story about the St. Louis origins of black music,” Aaron Williams with 4theVille said.

“Trailnet’s community rides are designed to elevate the voices of our community partners and help tell the stories they want to share. We’re grateful to help 4theVille and Missouri Historical Society share these stories of Black creators and their legacy,” Cindy Mense, Trailnet’s CEO said.

Tour Platform

Originally created as a group bike ride, the event was changed to a self-guided tour to allow for social distancing. The event uses a GPS-based scavenger hunt smart-phone app to direct participants to each site, where they’ll be able to listen to original performances by local musicians, learn about Black creators’ history in our region all while biking or walking.

Participants can begin the tour at any of the stops and can complete the tour in any order, with suggested routes taking people on slower, low traffic streets.The app also allows participants to complete the tour at their own pace and over the course of several days.

Partner musicians and organizations

Local musicians were commissioned to record performances for the tour. These musicians include: Scooter Brown, Tre G, Tish Haynes Keys, DJ Nico Marie, Royce Martin, and Wil Robinson.

The 2020 Juneteenth Celebration Community Ride is sponsored by The Missouri Humanities Council. It was made possible through partnership with 4theVille, Missouri Historical Society, GirlTrek, Northside Community Housing, Black Girls Do Bike, and St. Louis Public Radio.

Details

DATE: Saturday, June 20 – Tuesday, June 30

TIME: The tour and app is available throughout the dates

LOCATION: St. Louis City: including Downtown, Midtown, and The Ville

COST: $10, free for Trailnet members

DISTANCE: Approximately 12-14 miles total by bike, with an individual’s flexibility to do less

EVENT PAGE URL: https://trailnet.org/calendar/2020-juneteenth-celebration/

Trailnet is the St. Louis Region’s nonprofit walking, biking and public transit advocacy organization. For more than thirty years, Trailnet has been working 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.

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