Try the Mississippi Greenway
Celebrate the Mississippi Greenway Ride on October 14! Join us at the historic Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing for a memorable bike adventure. After the ride, immerse yourself in the rich history of Reverend John Berry Meachum and Mary Meachum at the 21st Annual Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Celebration. Experience their courageous fight for freedom and their impactful contributions to education and emancipation. Connect with the spirit of resilience and honor their enduring legacy.
2023 Walk/Bike Counts
CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS!
We need volunteers who can commit to counting bicyclists and pedestrians at designated locations from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 19th and/or Sept. 20th.
98 total time slots need to be filled at 49 locations across St. Louis! Chances are, one of these locations is near your work, home or school. Check the map below, and sign up to help us out!
Map of Locations: bit.ly/counts-map-23
Signup Here: bit.ly/counts-signup-23
This initiative provides meaningful data to show changes in bicycling and pedestrian activity. Documenting these changes is essential to shaping infrastructure projects that make the St. Louis region more livable for all.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
2023 Park(ing) Day
Park(ing) Day is a global, public, participatory project where people across the world temporarily repurpose curbside parking spaces and convert them into public parks and social spaces to advocate for safer, greener, and more equitable streets for people.
To celebrate Park(ing) Day 2023 in St. Louis, Trailnet will be hosting a pop-up parklet + bike lane demonstration along Compton Ave from Shenandoah to Longfellow.
Come visit Trailnet’s Park(ing) Day pop-up + bike lane demonstration at 2292 Compton Ave. on Friday, September 15!
Try the St. Vincent Greenway
Come celebrate the St. Vincent Greenway connection between St. Vincent County Park and the Rock Road Metro Station!
Enjoy free dessert and transportation safety activities (like how to load and unload your bike on a bus bike rack) from 6-7:30 pm! At 6:30 pm, join a guided greenway walk or bike ride. The greenway walk will be 2 miles total from the Rock Road Metro Station to St. Vincent County Park and back. The greenway bike ride will be 5 miles total from the Rock Road Metro Station to the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL) campus and back.
Try the Busch Greenway
Try the Busch Greenway: Family-friendly, slow, and social, all ages and abilities are welcome on this ride. Our “Try the Greenways” series of rides are intended to introduce local Great Rivers Greenways trails to folks who don’t know about or use them.
This greenway combines beautiful settings like hardwood forests and a creek with a bustling research park full of businesses and natural conservation areas. It connects the Missouri State Parks’ Katy Trail to the University of Missouri’s Research Park to the Weldon Spring and Busch Conservation areas, going by Francis Howell High School and Highway 94 in the process. Walkers, runners, and bikers alike enjoy getting some fresh air on this scenic, sunny route!
We’re meeting up at the parking lot of Francis Howell High School to kick off an epic cycling expedition along the Busch Greenway. We’ll be cruising on a round trip of less than 10 miles (around 8+ miles) packed with excitement. To find our meeting spot, just plug in these coordinates: 38.701197, -90.719871. See you there, ready to rock those pedals!
FREE. No registration is required.
Email Trailnet Bicycle Educator Sarah at email@example.com with questions.
Ron Effland, Trailnet Champion
Ron Effland has worked for the Missouri Department of Transportation for over 25 years. In that time, his job roles have evolved and he has helped to spur an important evolution in the way the department thinks about transportation.
Trained as a civil engineer, Ron initially ran a district engineering department. After passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, his focus shifted to designing intersections that would allow for safe crossing by individuals with disabilities. For the last five years, Ron has served as the state’s “Non-Motorized Transportation Engineer,” or as Ron refers to himself, the “state bike-ped coordinator.” These state positions, created by the Federal Department of Transportation, are intended to serve as internal advocates for the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists.
Ron’s job involves writing statewide policies and procedures related to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, but more importantly, efforts to change the culture of transportation from one that has traditionally been exclusively about cars. Ron acknowledges that state transportation departments are not always enthusiastic about including bicyclists and pedestrians as a part of their responsibility.
“Somewhere along the way, transportation departments forgot to include people,” Ron said. “Our job is to give people options for how to get from place to place. If we are working on improvements to a downtown intersection, we have to realize that people might be in a car, but they could also be on foot, on a bike, in a wheelchair, or using public transit. We have to think about how the bus stop interacts with the crosswalk that interacts with the traffic signals. The challenge is to keep our eye on the big picture.”
One of the challenges Ron has faced is that transportation engineers often have a difficult time seeing important clues in that big picture.
“If you have a lot of traffic backups and delays and crashes, engineers understand that,” Ron said. “If you have a road with no sidewalk and there is a worn path in the grass next to the road, that means that there are pedestrians who have no safe place to walk and we should put a sidewalk there.”
Although Ron spends much of his time in offices in Springfield and Jefferson City, he also does a lot of outreach, some of his most creative and enjoyable work. To help his engineers understand the challenges of navigating with a disability, Ron procured a collection of wheelchairs and white canes.
“I take engineers out in the field and have them cross streets in a wheelchair or use a cane to feel their way along,” Ron said. “It really changes their perspective on what it is like to try and get around while dealing with a disability.”
To further his efforts on behalf of bicyclists, Ron applied for a grant several years ago to create his “Walk ‘n Roll” trailer. The twenty-four-foot trailer is filled with bikes of various sizes, parts, tools, helmets, cones and yield and stop signs. He uses the trailer in much the same way that he uses the wheelchairs.
“I put traffic engineers on bikes and show them what it’s like to negotiate roads and intersections on a bicycle,” Ron Said.
Ron recalls his personal experiences with bicycles while growing up: “I’ve been riding a bike forever. In the small town where I grew up that is how kids got around.” To share that experience with other children, Ron frequently takes his trailer on the road to provide biking opportunities and bike education for kids around the state.
For the last few years, Trailnet has worked with a number of St. Louis County elementary schools to put on Bike Weeks. These events provide opportunities for children to learn about bike handling skills, rules of the road, and proper fitting of bike helmets. Ron has been a valuable partner, contributing helmets, loaner bikes, and his skills as an educator.
“There is just nothing like seeing a kid’s face light up when you put them on a bicycle…and the great pride that they feel if they can get rid of their training wheels,” Ron said.
In October, Trailnet sponsored the first ever Bike Week at Froebel Literacy Academy in Dutchtown. With Ron’s help and his fleet of bicycles, over two hundred students received bike helmets and got a chance to practice biking through an obstacle course or to do some free riding around the playground.
Froebel’s Family and Community Specialist Von Smith said, “It was a great experience for our students to be able to ride ‘with the wind’ and receive a cool helmet for participating!” Many of the students asked if Trailnet would be coming back again the following week.
One of the highlights of Ron’s work with MoDOT is the completion of U.S. Bike Route 76 – The TransAmerica Bike Route through Missouri, the first U.S. Bike Route that was signed west of the Mississippi.
“At each turn there are three signs – a warning sign, a sign at the turn, and a confirmation after the turn,” Ron explained. “Every 10 miles you’ll also see a sign along the route. So as you go across the state, you don’t even need a map, although Bike Route 76 is printed on the back of our MoDOT maps now.”
We at Trailnet are grateful to have a strong voice at the state level looking out for the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists. For his part, Ron realizes the important role that groups like Trailnet play: “I’ve developed partnerships with all of the local advocacy organizations. My hope is that we can all work together to decide on what goals are most important and join forces to accomplish those goals.” Ron welcomes your input. If you have ideas, questions, suggestions or concerns that you would like to share, e-mail Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org
Walk Bike Ambassador Profile: Chris Freeland
Chris Freeland power cleans his bicycle after completing Trailnet’s Ride the Rivers Century, making everyone else feel extra weak. Way to go, Chris!
Trailnet’s 12 Walk Bike Ambassadors are located throughout the St. Louis region. They help address walking and biking issues in their communities and assist Trailnet in advocacy campaigns and events. We’re excited to tell you about their recent successes!
Chris Freeland has deep roots in the Tower Grove East (TGE) neighborhood of St. Louis. He’s lived there for 16 years, is a past president of the TGE neighborhood association, and has built many productive relationships with elected officials and other TGE neighborhood residents. Tower Grove East is an area where many residents walk, bike and use transit. A passion for bike safety was one of the factors that motivated Chris to apply to Trailnet’s Walk Bike Ambassador program. Chris has increased many TGE residents’ bike safety awareness and bike route IQ by organizing group rides from the neighborhood to the Riverfront Trail and back. He also reached a personal milestone this year by completing his first 100-mile century ride in Trailnet’s Ride the Rivers event. Next year Chris will be designing a community bike ride route for Trailnet to tour libraries of St. Louis, which is a natural for someone who works as a librarian at Washington University! Chris will also work with Trailnet on TGE community outreach when the City completes a design proposal for traffic calming improvements on Louisiana Ave. In his spare time Chris and his husband, also named Chris, are often busy with their soap making business. Their product can be found at a number of local stores in the Tower Grove area, and at various community events.