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100 Miles of New & Upgraded Bike Routes in St. Louis City

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bicycleBike St. Louis Phase III implementation begins this week! Phase III includes 40 miles of new bike routes and upgrades to 60 miles of existing bike routes in St. Louis City. This project started with the Gateway Bike Plan in 2009, an intensive 16-month process to plan future bike routes throughout the three county metropolitan region in Missouri.

Trailnet was 1 of 15 stakeholder groups that participated on the Phase III Advisory Committee hosted by Great Rivers Greenway District.  We surveyed our members in Fall 2013 to define problem areas and priority locations for bicycling, and received almost 900 responses. We then rode the problem areas with advocates and elected officials to seek out creative solutions, and used this feedback to advocate for high quality infrastructure.

Types of bike routes

Our goal is Streets for Everyone – safe and continuous routes that connect residents to jobs, schools, parks and other major destinations, regardless of age or ability. Trailnet advocated for high-quality, family-friendly routes throughout the planning process. Click here for a map and listing of new and upgraded routes.

Funding

Phase III is a $1.4 million project, primarily funded with federal transportation dollars. A local match was provided by Great Rivers Greenway District and St. Louis City with existing sales tax revenue. Any municipality is able to apply for federal funds for projects like Phase III. East West Gateway is currently taking comments for the 2015 funding cycle.

Stay tuned for more details! We’ll be following the street crews and posting pictures of the new routes on social media and look forward to hearing your feedback. Please post your pics to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram  – let’s celebrate this investment in bicycling!

2014 I Love STL: Bicrobrews Microbrewery Bicycle Tour

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photo (3)Saturday morning, August 16, started off with a steady drizzle of rain and temperatures in the mid 70s. Checking radar, it appeared the skies would clear for our 11 a.m. start but the rain kept coming. Despite the weather, cyclists arrived ready to check out some awesome St. Louis breweries.

Ann Mack’s “Growler” group was the first to start. Behind them was George Nelson’s “blue circles” and then Hawkie Moore’s “let’s party.” As groups departed, more cyclists arrived excited for the tour.

The next groups to depart were Dave Beattie’s “Oranges” and Ian Hackett’s “purple shooters.” Groups were initially divided with 20 riders in each but approaching the end of registration, groups included close to 40 cyclists. Barrett Schmidt’s “blue balls,” Brian Hanke’s “black beards” and Steve’s “Crazy Train” began the ride at around 11:30 a.m.

photo 12Even with the rainy start, 250 cyclists participated in the I Love STL: Bicrobrews Microbrewery Bicycle Tour. Luckily, the rain cleared by the second stop and cyclists enjoyed pleasant weather for the remainder of the day. With eight breweries (4 Hands Brewing Co.Alpha Brewing CompanyThe Civil Life Brewing CompanyMorgan Street BrewerySchlafly BeerSix Row Brewing CompanySquare One Brewery and Distillery, and Urban Chestnut Brewing Company) there were a lot of stops to make and beer to sample. All cyclists had a fantastic time and some die-hard groups did not finish until after 7:00 p.m. This bike tour was sponsored by Mike’s Bikes.

Our first Bakeries on the Rise bicycle tour–a sweet success

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On June 21, Trailnet hosted our first ever bicycle-powered bakery tour, “Bakeries on the Rise.” The day was slightly overcast, offering a reprieve from the hot summer sun, with a slight breeze all morning. Conditions were prime for a ride– and 94 people (!) of all ages came out for this 8-mile South City ride.

We began our quest for pastries at Whisk: A Sustainable Bake Shop. Owner and baker extraordinaire Kaylen Wissinger offered up some cookie samples, as well as a little history on her Cherokee Street storefront. We then made our way through Dutchtown, across Grand, and into the South Town neighborhood to visit the Companion Earlybird Outlet. Only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, this hidden gem is a great place for anyone on a budget who wants top-notch breads and pastries. From here we crested a great BIG hill (whew!) into the Tower Grove South neighborhood and then turned into Tower Grove East, where we visited the brand new Grove East Provisions and Red Fox Baking and Catering. Proprietor Barry Kinder told us all about the process behind building a wood-fired brick oven, and how Red Fox and Grove East Provisions came to enter a neighborhood cornershop partnership. Our final stop took us back to Cherokee Street, where we paid a visit to Black Bear Bakery, which is operated as a cooperative establishment.

Many riders said that we visited places they had either never heard of, or had been meaning to try for some time. We saw bike baskets and panniers filled with loaves of bread, bagels, and sweets to take home, and heard plenty of riders saying they will be back to visit these local businesses again soon!

Thank you to Great Rivers Greenway District and Enterprise Holdings Foundation who provided funding for this ride, and to everyone who came out, supported local business, and  learned some new bicycling routes through the city. Special thanks also to the participating bakeries who welcomed our riders with great service and plenty of delicious treats to choose from. Life is sweet when you’re two-wheeled in St. Louis!