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Michael Schwartz, Trailnet Champion

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Born and raised in St. Louis, Michael Schwartz can’t remember a time when he wasn’t riding a bike. Better known as Mike, he grew up in Chesterfield riding around his neighborhood with friends. He didn’t know that this leisure activity from his childhood would turn into an activity that would follow him into adulthood and become his main source of exercise and enjoyment. As a young adult, Mike says he always had a bike, but it was never anything that he spent a great deal of time with until he was living in Washington D.C. There, he was introduced to the Rails-to-Trails biking system, which was one of the first and more well known Rails-to-Trails systems in the country. Having access to this system sparked Mike’s interest with using biking as a way to get from A to B without relying on a vehicle.

When Mike moved back to St. Louis, he was looking to fulfill the missing void of the D.C. bike community. After doing research and asking around, he found out about Trailnet. Once he was introduced to the Bicycle Fun Club rides as well as Trailnet’s advocacy work for better the biking and walking infrastructure within our city, he realized he had found the St. Louis biking community he was longing for since his move. He finds it amazing that in St. Louis, you have multiple parks and neighborhoods to ride in, but you can drive just twenty minutes out and find rural areas to ride in as well.

Even though Mike finds this diverse aspect of St. Louis biking satisfying, he still thinks there’s room for improvement. He feels that our region is not designed well for commuting, which is why he’s so excited about Trailnet’s master plan to develop protected bikeways and walkways within our city. Mike started as a rider, but once he discovered Trailnet’s core mission to develop this master plan, he joined the development committee of Trailnet. Now, Mike serves on the Board of Directors helping Trailnet work towards its master plan to make St. Louis an even more equitable and vibrant city.

Mike works as an attorney at Bryan Cave which is a global law firm that got it’s start here in St. Louis. His practice is in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and commercial transactions. He assists a range of clients including major corporations, family owned businesses and start-up enterprises in industries that include manufacturing, financial services, retail, healthcare and biotechnology. For the last eight years, Mike finds fulfillment in doing a job that helps businesses strategize their goals and hopefully change their business for the better based on what they want to accomplish.

When Mike isn’t working 9 to 5 to help corporate businesses with mergers and acquisitions, he spends time doing pro bono work for new nonprofits in our area that he’s passionate about and finds beneficial for our region. He helps these new organizations gather the pieces of what they want to provide our community by writing up business strategies and helping these education and art based nonprofits find their voice within the St. Louis region.

Now living in University City with his wife and 18-month-old daughter, Ingrid, Mike doesn’t get to spend much time riding 100-milers over the weekend like he once did, but he doesn’t regret a single moment spent with his family. Mike stays involved with the bike community by being one of the leaders within his firm, Bryan Cave, to organize a bike group for riders that want to bike to and from work. This past Bike to Work Day, Mike led his group to the Missouri History Museum to enjoy baked breakfast goods and coffee with other passionate and excited members of the bicycling community.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner

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About the Organization

Trailnet is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with a 29-year history of Promoting Active Living as a way of life that encourages people to integrate physical activity into their daily routines. Trailnet leads in fostering healthy and active communities through innovative programs, planning, and policy that promote walking and bicycling throughout the St. Louis bi-state region.

As part of its work, Trailnet has helped thirty communities throughout the St. Louis region create the framework for developing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure through bicycle and pedestrian master plans. With a focus on transportation infrastructure improvements and encouragement programs that promote walking and biking, these plans produce action-oriented goals and objectives to help reach a community’s unique desired vision.

General Summary

The Planner leads the development and creation of plans, and for assigned plans will serve as the primary contact for projects involving contracted partners, municipalities, governmental agencies, mayors, city administrators, public works and parks directors. They will manage all planning tasks including developing documents and creating maps. The Planner realizes Trailnet’s mission in planning environmental changes to promote lovable urban places.

The Planner reports to the Special Project Director, and works in collaboration with Trailnet’s Director of Programs to deliver services that integrate public health, urban planning and advocacy.

Responsibilities

  • Work with federal, state, and local governmental agencies to manage, develop, and negotiate bicycle and pedestrian planning projects
  • Project management including cost estimating, budgets, reports, data collection, and contracts
  • Lead and assist with field reconnaissance and analysis of data
  • Support and assist in designing community forums to elicit critical information for bicycle and pedestrian planning projects, identify issues of importance, develop solutions, and prioritize needs
  • Maintain healthy relationships with community leaders, metropolitan planning organizations, elected officials, and state and federal level administrators to inform and transform communities through healthy design that accommodates all modes of active and motorized travel
  • Develop and maintain familiarity with current and future activities of key agencies and programs (Local, State and Federal Transportation entities, Safe Routes to School, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Recreational Trails, Street departments, MEPRD, GRG, BSL, etc.)
  • Initiate and follow through on data collection such as requesting and collecting existing data from municipalities on streets, trails, parks, public facilities, and neighborhoods, etc.
  • Assist in planning placemaking projects, including conception, execution, and follow-up
  • Provide technical assistance to Advocacy and other departments as appropriate with regard to the built environment and new vision
  • Assist in developing recommendations, communications, and collateral concerning bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and related safety claims
  • With the Director of Special Projects, develop internal standards for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and assure standards are incorporated into all of our efforts

Required

Masters degree preferred in urban planning or a closely related field with two years relevant experience; or a Bachelors degree plus 2-5 years relevant experience. Experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), local governments, bicycle and pedestrian planning, grant writing, and project administration is a must. Must be highly computer literate (MS Word, Excel, Power Point, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign) and at ease with public meetings, presentations, and marketing the program.

Qualifications

  • Knowledge of Complete Streets, street design standards, and bicycle facility types as tools for creating livable communities that promote active living
  • Familiarity with NACTO, AASHTO and MUTCD guidelines
  • Ability to manage multiple projects with multiple partners and differing deadlines
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Ability to think strategically, including systems-level thinking, ability to optimize systems and resources, and ability to think ahead to next steps
  • Ability to work independently and manage self and partners toward goals, while being a genuine “team player”
  • Ability and interest in presenting case studies and success stories to local, regional, and national level conferences
  • Ability to connect bicycle and pedestrian planning to larger public health issues, identifying opportunities for complementary programs and policy
  • Ability to work in a fast-moving environment; ability to work with fast-paced colleagues
  • Demonstrated ability and/or knowledge of cycling
  • AICP certification preferred

Compensation and additional information

Salary commensurate with experience. Competitive benefits package and flexible work schedule available. Informal, casual work environment above the Downtown Bicycle Station and close to MetroLink.

To apply

Complete this 1 hour survey of skills and send resume to HR@trailnet.org. Email preferred. Resumes accepted until the job is filled. The survey can also be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Trailnet-BPP.

Trailnet, Inc.
411 N. 10th St.
St. Louis, MO 63101

Slow Your Street Guide wins TRB Award

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Trailnet has received an award from the Transportation Research Board for Slow Your Street: A How-To Guide for Pop-up Traffic Calming. Grace Kyung, Trailnet’s Special Projects Director, developed the guide to make it easier for everyone to create their own pop-up traffic calming demonstrations. Trailnet has installed these temporary demonstrations in several St. Louis neighborhoods to show how streets can be designed for those who walk and bike. Several other cities, including Tulsa and Indianapolis, are currently using the Guide to plan traffic calming demonstrations. View the Guide online. Read more about Trailnet’s pop-up traffic calming projects.

 

 

Pace Car Program Launched in Dutchtown

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Thanks to generous funding from the Dana Brown Charitable Trust, there are now Pace Cars cruising the neighborhood around Froebel Literacy Academy in Dutchtown. Pace Cars serve as models of safe driving behavior and increase driver awareness of pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles.

Students in Froebel’s Leadership Development Program composed a Pace Car Pledge that includes items such as:

  • I pledge to stop for people who are crossing the street.
  • I pledge to not use my phone to talk or text while driving.
  • I pledge to wear my seatbelt and to make sure that all of my passengers are buckled before driving.

Students also worked to recruit Froebel staff, family, and community members to sign the pledge. Pace Car volunteers receive a magnetic “Neighborhood Pace Car” logo to display on their car.

The program was officially launched on December 8 with a visit from Officer Patrick Clancy of the Metropolitan St. Louis Police Department. Officer Clancy answered questions posed by Froebel students and staff, and suggested ways in which the Police Dept. can help to reinforce the Pace Car Program.

Over twenty drivers have volunteered to sign the Pace Car Pledge and our goal is to increase that number to forty in the next few weeks. Because many Froebel students walk to and from school everyday, our hope is that Pace Cars will help to improve safety for the children and for the community as a whole. If you are a resident of Dutchtown, or frequently drive in the neighborhood, sign the pledge! Contact Ginny McDonald at ginny@trailnet.org for information.

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Trailnet Works with MODOT and other Organizations to Address Distracted Driving

Trailnet Works with MODOT and other Organizations to Address Distracted Driving 

According to AT&T, 7 in 10 drivers engage in the risky behavior of cell phone use while driving. The National Safety Council reports that driver cell phone use leads to 1.6 million crashes in the US each year. Missouri crash data indicates phone use by drivers contributed to 2,237 crashes in in 2015, which produced 11 fatalities, 79 serious injuries, and 940 minor injuries.

A cell phone conversation distracts the human brain enough to increase crash risk by a factor of four.

Trailnet has actively lobbied on this issue in Jefferson City for several years because people who walk and bike are especially vulnerable to being hurt or killed by cell phone-distracted drivers. We’ve urged Missouri state legislators to at least ban texting for all drivers, since Missouri is one of only four states without a texting ban on drivers over 21. Such efforts to date have been unsuccessful.

In the last quarter of 2016 MODOT organized a distracted driving workgroup that included Trailnet, cell phone service providers, state highway patrol officers, AAA, health care providers, insurance industry and trucking representatives. All had previously testified in favor of distracted driving legislation.

The workgroup agreed that addressing texting only was not a complete distracted driving measure. The safest approach – banning the use of cell phones while driving (period) – would be a non-starter in Jefferson City, and with many in the public. The next best approach, it was agreed, would be one that fourteen states have adopted: require drivers to use a “hands-free” device to use their cell phones while driving. MODOT led the drafting and revision process over several months of meetings, and

Representative Nate Walker (R-Kirksville) has now pre-filed the workgroup’s final draft as House Bill 312 for consideration in the 2017 legislative session. You can read it here

Give it a read and tell us what you think! Contact: janet@trailnet.org

Bike Count Infographic

Our data is reported to the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project that sets guidelines for performing bicycle and pedestrian counts and surveys. This allows for a uniform method of accounting for walkers and cyclists across the country.

A lack of documentation of cyclists and pedestrians makes it difficult to measure the positive benefits of investments in these modes of transportation. By collecting data annually, Trailnet can help drive local bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure funding, programming, and educational efforts

Our Bicycle and Pedestrian Counts are sponsored in part by Great Rivers Greenways


2017 Wish List

To help reduce program expenses, Trailnet needs the donation of supplies, services and equipment that are regularly used over the course of the year and during our special events.

With your donation of any item on this list, you actively become a part of our mission to lead in fostering healthy, active, and vibrant communities where walking, bicycling and public transit are a way of life.

Should you have any of these items that are new (or almost new) and would like to donate them to our organization, please contact Carol Schmidt at carol@trailnet.org.

All contributions are tax deductible.



 

Louisiana Avenue Calm Streets Demonstration

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Louisiana Avenue is a busy residential street that runs along several south city parks and connects to a variety of local businesses and neighborhood schools. It is also a pilot site for the City of St. Louis’ Calm Streets Concept, an initiative funded by the Environmental Protection Agency to create a network of Calm Streets in the city. Calm Streets are residential streets where the use of traffic calming features, such as curb extensions and speed humps, are used to reduce vehicle speeds and make the street safer for people walking, biking and driving.

calmstreetscrosswalkroundaboutThe block of Louisiana between Osage and Gasconade Streets was the site of a Calm Streets pop-up demonstration on Thursday, November 17. Staff members from the St. Louis City Street Department and Trailnet staff and volunteers installed temporary crosswalks, a roundabout, and other items designed to slow traffic speeds. The traffic calming features remained in place throughout the day while driving behaviors were observed and feedback was collected from community members.

calmstreetscommunityMany respondents were enthusiastic about the traffic calming measures and how they would contribute to safety for everyone using the street. One resident acknowledged that we “definitely need something to slow traffic.”  Two community members were supportive because “there are lots of kids on this street.” One resident stated that “if you have to put a speed hump every six feet, I’m all for it!”

We look forward to continuing our work with the community, with elected officials and with other project partners to realize the vision of a network of calmer safer residential streets. To read more about Trailnet’s Calm Streets Project, click here.

 

 

 

Swim Bike Run Supports Trailnet

Buy a Helmet and Support Trailnet!
Swim Bike Run supports Trailnet and our vision for St. Louis. Mention Trailnet when purchasing a MIPS enabled Scott helmet, and they will donate $10 from each sale to us. These aren’t just any helmet! MIPS is the very latest in safety technology and they come in a variety of cool styles, designs and colors. Check them out.
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