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Trailnet’s Weekly Roundup

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Every Friday, Trailnet is now going to provide a round-up of relevant news in multimodal transportation. For our kick-off recap, the following are our top picks, since January 1st.

CityLab posed the question: Can dockless bikeshare pump up cycling diversity? “One common explanation is that dockless bikes reach more people because they are dispersed more widely instead of being tethered to docking stations that tend to be concentrated in whiter, higher-density, better-off neighborhoods.” Click here for the full article.

As temperatures cool down, CityLab provided information for biking in the winter. Click here to read their tips!

Business Insider named St. Louis one of the top cities for millennials earlier this year, and Mayor Krewson announced that public safety (inclusive of transportation) is a top priority for 2018. Click here to read more, via St. Louis Business Journal.

Great Rivers Greenway invited the community to meet the top designers for the Chouteau Greenway. The region needs better connectivity and in our opinion, this Greenway from the Gateway Arch to Forest Park shows great possibilities! Click here to learn more about the project.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that bikeshare companies, eye St. Louis as an expansion site. Deanna Venker, the city’s traffic commissioner, says five or so companies that operate systems in other parts of the country have approached city officials about expanding here. “It’s something people want,” said Alderman Scott Ogilvie, a longtime bicycling enthusiast. “It’s something people expect.” Click here for the full story.

Mass Transit released, “Infrastructure funding critical to the success of the St. Louis economy and manufacturing industry.” Click here for the full article.

Trailnet believes that a more equitable St. Louis can be accomplished through regional unity, collaboration, public safety and enhanced multimodal transportation. Stay tuned each week, for our round-up of top news and exciting St. Louis insights!

 

 

Take the February Challenge!

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SYCGrayRedKeep those wheels rolling through the cold! Bike, walk, or take transit to work and log your miles on shiftyourcommute.com. The program will keep track of your car-free trips, calories burned, and carbon emissions saved. Commuters who log the most car-free miles during the month of February will be entered to win some rad Trailnet gear. 

This year also brings the Winter Limbo competition. Those who log biking commutes on the coldest day(s) of the winter will be entered to win a long sleeve jersey from Retro Image Apparel.

Tell your friends and colleagues and help us build a community around active lifestyles!

February’s Shift Your Commute Challenge is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

Advocacy Alert: Help ensure funding for safe walking and biking for our youth

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IMG_1987smallHelp make sure that Congress doesn’t cut the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding in the next transportation bill. TAP helps local communities build sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, trails and more. TAP funding supports Safe Routes to School initiatives throughout St. Louis City and County.

IMG_2078smallWithout TAP, hundreds of millions of dollars used to improve streets for walking and biking would evaporate. Some of these funds have been used to support youth programs like Trailnet’s “Steps in the Right Direction” at Froebel Literacy Academy to help make walking and biking a way of life in St. Louis.

IMG_1977smallPlease follow the link below to ask Senators Roy Blunt and Senator Claire McCaskill to support bill S. 705, the Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act. Thank you for supporting legislation that will keep our youth walking and biking safely.

https://www.votervoice.net/Shares/Be2UOAVgACIsJAh1gpM7FAA

Trailnet’s St. Charles County Epic Mountain Bike Event – January 17, 2015

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TRN Epic 2015 Schwigen-5031While the conditions for single track riding in Lost Valley and Klondike Park were too spongy, the Hamburg and Katy Trails utilizing the Great Rivers Greenway connector were almost ideal. For mid-January, the weather seemed more like spring. The day started out in the low 40s with bright sunshine. Our partner, Missouri Department of Conservation, hosted the start/finish at the Weldon Spring Conservation Area maintenance facility near Highway 94.

TRN Epic 2015 Schwigen-5077At 9:00 a.m., 60 cyclists were ready to roll and begin their 14-mile loop. With temperatures unseasonably warm, the frozen ground thawed and was slightly soggy. Though soggy, the two trails served as great routes for a pleasant ride. Cyclists returned smiling and slightly speckled with white limestone mud. After resting briefly and getting some nourishment, cyclists who made the loop in less than 2 hours jumped back on for another go-around.

TRN Epic 2015 Schwigen-4996While the cyclists were out, Trailnet’s new Executive Director, Ralph Pfremmer, prepared chili for the after-party. Ralph was also the day’s announcer, calling out some of the faster or muddier cyclists. By noon most of the cyclists had returned from one, two, or three laps of the course and were ready for chili with all the fixings.

TRN Epic 2015 Schwigen-5004They were also treated to cold beer from O’Fallon Brewery. St. Charles County Parks, another Epic partner, prepared handmade plaques from sections of local cedar trees for all cyclists– a cool reward for finishing a fun ride! By 2:00 p.m., temperatures were in the low 60s and cyclists ended the day with their fill of food and drink at the after-party.

TRN Epic 2015 Schwigen-5039Trailnet’s St. Charles County Epic Mountain Bike Event was funded, in part, by Great Rivers Greenway District, in partnership with Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri State Parks, and St. Charles County Parks, and sponsored by Alpine Shop and The Bike Surgeon.

City Complete Streets bill passes unanimously!

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Trailnet’s Manager of Policy and Advocacy, Rhonda Smythe with Alderman Scott Ogilvie, and Trailnet’s Executive Director, Ralph Pfremmer

An update to St. Louis City’s Complete Streets policy passed on January 30, 2015 with unanimous support from the Board of Aldermen. Every aspect of our lives are impacted by the way our streets are designed and built.  The comprehensive and collaborative approach laid out in this bill will have significant impacts on the quality of life for St. Louisans.

Major updates include:

  1. A new framework for collaboration between City departments will be developed. The Departments of Health, Parks and Recreation, and Office of the Disabled will now have a formal seat at the table for the planning and implementation of future transportation projects. This means that air quality, public health, public safety, ADA improvements, and safe connections to major destinations will have a higher priority than in years past.
  2. Street design standards will be updated to reflect the most current best practices, guidelines, and recommendations issued by the USDOT. This means no more bike lanes in gutters and appropriate pedestrian signals!
  3. A targeted, data-driven approach to high crash intersections and corridors with prioritized improvements. Trailnet recently partnered with OpenDataSTL and Walker Hamilton to create an interactive map of bicycle and pedestrian crashes at http://bike-ped.confluencecity.com/. Tools like this enable data-driven decision making.
  4. Performance measures and benchmarks will be identified and assessed annually.

Alderman Ogilvie sponsored this important piece of legislation and continues to be a strong advocate for pedestrians, bicyclists, and people with disabilities. Many partners joined Trailnet in advocating for the Complete Streets update, including Paraquad, American Heart Association, AARP, YMCA, and numerous neighborhood advocates. Our deep and sincere thanks for the valuable work they do to support a more livable St. Louis!

 For more information on Complete Streets, click here.

 

New Directors of Transportation in City and County

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St. Louis news of late has been filled with death, tragedy and crime. We know that’s not the entire story. There is a lot of positive activity happening below the surface of the news cycle. St. Louis has become an entrepreneurial hub. Our region has talented, creative, and energetic people working every day to create a vibrant, active region. Organizations and agencies are collaborating at an increasing rate. Together, we are focusing our collective activities towards the same targeted outcomes – economic inclusion, talent attraction, and increasing transportation options.

We are in a moment of great opportunity with significant changes in City and County staff. County Executive Stenger is working to fill high-level positions in his administration, and the selections he makes will shape the future of the region. Mayor Slay announced this week a new Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Director of Operations. We applaud his decision to promote the next generation to positions of power. They know better than many which assets will bring new residents and businesses to our region.

Both City and County are working to fill vacant Director of Transportation positions. The importance of placing the right people into these positions cannot be overstated, as they will determine how streets are designed throughout the region and who can safely use them. The Directors of Transportation can choose to continue on the current path of car-centric road design or choose to diversify transportation options. They can help make St. Louis a more livable region with a North-South Metrolink line, protected bike lanes the whole family can ride, and pedestrian crossings that accommodate all people regardless of age or ability.

We are counting on our leaders to choose wisely, selecting staff who are innovative, with a collaborative and transparent nature, and are willing to work hand-in-hand with private and public businesses for the betterment of the region. We need a 21st century vision and plan for the St. Louis we want to become, and stand ready to support our leaders and put in the work to take the region to the next level.

As we plan for our future, we should always focus our energies towards principles that ensure community advancement.  We must collaborate, be inclusive, and promote transparency to meet our region’s highest potential. Together, our region can lead in fostering a healthy, active community where walking, biking, and public transit are a part of our daily lives.

–Ralph Pfremmer, Trailnet Executive Director

2015 Bike Expo Vendors

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Trailnet’s Bike Expo includes a variety of vendors to peruse for the latest bike programs, events, groups, gear, and trinkets. Check out the list below! Vendor booths are still available, register today.

Alpha Brewing Company

Alpine Shop

American Diabetes Association

Belleville YMCA

Bicycle Illinois

Big BAM LLC

Big Poppi Bikes

Big Shark Bicycle Co.

Bike Recyclery

Bike Surgeon

Bluebird Cycles

Breese Bikes

Busted Chain

Chainspirations

Clean Bike Co.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Dogfish Apparel

FeCycles

Ferguson Bicycle Shop

Fist Care

FlatLander’s Mirrors

Gateway Off-Road Cyclists

Girl Trek

Great Rivers Greenway

Green BEAN Delivery

HealthSource Chiropractic Progressive Rehab & Wellness

Heritage Bicycles

Hodson’s Bay

International Christian Cycling Club

Isagenix

Jamis Bicycles

KATY Bike Rental

Klunk! Bicycles

LaBerta and Sons Cycles

League of Illinois Bicyclists

Lupus Foundation of America, Heartland Chapter

LuxLow

Manchester United Methodist Church – Bicycle Rehab Program

Maplewood Bicycle

Metro East Park and Recreations District

Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation

National MS Society

NRS

Old Bike Parts Online

Oz Cycles

Padre’s Cycle Inn

Pedego Electric Bikes of Edwardsville

PT’s Bicycle Shop/Squeaky Wheels Bicycle Shop

R and M Cyclery

Randy’s Recycled Cycles

Real Time Pain Relief

Recycled Cycles

Retro Image Apparel Two

Revolution Cycles

Ridge Prairie Trailhead Initiative/Tour de Stooges

Rob’s Portraits 

Shifan Race Wear Inc

Shiloh Chiropractic

Spa Sport

STL Biking

St. Louis Bicycle Works 

Team Backstoppers

Terrain Magazine

The Bike Factory

The Cyclery and Fitness Center

Trailblazer Bikes

Trek Bicycle Store of St. Louis – Ballwin

Underwood Chiropractic, LLC

Urban Tri Gear

Velo Traditions

Wilderness Voyageurs

St. Charles Wine Country Bicycle Ride – October 19, 2014

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photo (27)reducedThe day started out chilly with temperatures in the upper 30s for our final road ride of the season. The cold air reacted with the warmer river water to create some foggy conditions near the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The fog moved in after registration opened at 7:30 and lingered for another hour, seemingly clearing from the top down. The effect created some beautiful and eerie scenery.

photo 3reducedIt was a slow start Sunday morning with most cyclists opting to start after the sun was brightly shining overhead. The routes were hilly but short compared to other rides this season. The long route traversed many rolling hills, with riders visiting historic Augusta twice in their 31-mile journey. As the temperatures climbed to the 60s, the bright sun and colorful autumn leaves created a perfect fall ride.

photo 1reducedRiders enjoyed sampling wines from Sugar Creek, Noboleis and The Yellow Farmhouse along with the host winery, Chandler Hill. By 11:00 a.m. Chandler Hill Winery was hopping with crowds of people spending a fantastic fall day at the vineyards. All 80 riders had a great time.

photo 2reducedTrailnet’s St. Charles Wine Country Bicycle Ride was funded, in part, by The Great Rivers Greenway District and Partners for Progress. The shop sponsor for this ride was Southside Cyclery.

Kirkwood Plan Review and Pop-up Plaza – October 25, 2014

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An unseasonably warm day welcomed Kirkwood residents young and old to the Farmers’ Market in Downtown Kirkwood. The blue skies and pleasant fall breeze made for prime pumpkin patch and harvest market perusing and a perfect day for a Pop-up Plaza on Argonne Drive.

Early Saturday morning Trailnet staff and volunteers, including City Councilwoman Nancy Luetzow and her husband Mark, constructed makeshift infrastructure for the Pop-up Plaza. Using chalk paint, they stenciled traffic-calming apples on the streets in the area surrounding the plaza. Reflective duct tape and chalk paint were used to design crosswalks on Argonne. Kirkwood resident Mary Hanson later expressed her appreciation: “I love this crosswalk. It makes cars KirkwoodPlanReview160webreally kind of stop and think that there are pedestrians here and it gives you a safe place to cross.” Hay bales on either side of the plaza acted as bulb-outs – narrowing the traffic, slowing speeds, and protecting the pedestrian space.

KirkwoodPlanReview124webThe Pop-up Plaza served as an inviting atmosphere for residents to learn about and provide feedback on Kirkwood’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. Planning Manager Marielle Brown and Trailnet staff were on site for questions and to further explain the elements of a bikeable, walkable community. Enthusiastic volunteers in reflective vests welcomed residents and joined them in examining large maps of Kirkwood to identify walking and biking routes and areas of concern. Resident Jennifer Pangborn Dolde explained her concerns: “I think the two big things to improve biking and walking in KirkwoodKirkwoodPlanReview45web is connectivity and the speeds of vehicles.” Planning Advisory Committee members David Eagleton and Robert Trottman volunteered at the event, sharing their involvement and discussing the Master Plan with attendees. Residents also participated in the Plan Review by selecting infrastructure options they prefer for Kirkwood.

KirkwoodPlanReview144 webTrailnet has enjoyed working with Kirkwood since January of 2014, leading a series of meetings with the Planning Advisory Committee to develop Kirkwood’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. The lively gathering and chatter among residents at the event revealed the community’s enthusiasm and desire to improve walkability and bikeability in the Kirkwood area. Nathan Leming, a volunteer at the event, recognized the impact stating “The downtown area is the center of the community. If you make the community more bikeable and walkable, you’ll see more people down here. There wouldn’t be as much traffic.”

KKirkwoodPlanReview152 copyirkwood residents are not only enthusiastic but great supporters of their community. Kirkwood resident, Jennifer Pangborn Dolde, expressed “We love the feel of community you get, just being around it, it’s the aura, it’s the people . . . We have this great downtown that draws people from all over the city.” Showing his support, Mayor of Kirkwood Arthur J. McDonnell visited with event attendees discussing the Master Plan and asking little ones about their Halloween festivities. Event volunteer and Planning Advisory Committee member, James Myers, shared “I’ve lived in Kirkwood for 12 years. It feels like a real town, it’s really close-knit.”

The input and presence of the community made Kirkwood’s Plan Review and Pop-up Plaza a success. Proactive residents showed interest in making our vision a reality in Kirkwood with valuable feedback and a desire to get involved. We hope to finalize the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan in December 2014. For additional information and updates on the Master Plan: https://trailnet.org/work/transportation-planning/communities/kirkwood/

Special thanks to the City of Kirkwood, Kirkwood Farmers’ Market, and the Kirkwood Police Department for making this event possible.

Trailnet’s Journey Across Missouri – September 30 to October 5, 2014

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TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_Select_Full-1596WEBA real adventure! Trailnet’s Journey Across Missouri began on Monday, September 30 with a train ride from St. Louis to Kansas City. Spirits were high and the trip to Kansas City passed by quickly with a car of lively riders making acquaintances and sharing their excitement. Upon arriving in Kansas City, riders immediately got on their bikes for a short four-mile ride to the Kansas state line to mark the start of their Journey Across Missouri. Afterwards, riders cruised on a scenic ride along the Missouri River to the Monday night campsite.

TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_Select_Full-1538WEBThe kickoff party Monday night was organized by BikeWalkKC and held at Harry’s Country Club. Delicious food and drinks were consumed as riders learned about BikeWalkKC and Kansas City.

The first day of riding was beautiful, but challenging. Riders made their way to Higginsville, a 67-mile trek with 3,000 feet in elevation change. Along the way, riders visited the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence and several Civil War sites before TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_Select_Full-2124WEBracking their bikes for the day. For dinner, the Higginsville Rotary Club provided a grand feast of rib-eye steak sandwiches with all the fixins’ and live entertainment. Riders set up camp in Fairground Park. 

Wednesday morning started off with advancing thunderstorms. A few riders left before the rain and some waited and watched, however most everyone experienced a soggy ride. Seeking shelter from the rain, riders were treated to lunch at Arrow Rock in the historic J. Huston Tavern. Arriving in Booneville, riders looked forward to a savory dinner at Maggie’s Bar and Grill. A smoked pork barbecue buffet was served in a private upstairs TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_Select_Full-2090WEBdining room. The campsite that night was at Fredrick Kemper Park where the Boonslick Heartland YMCA provided hot showers. Unfortunately, the forecast predicted strong thunderstorms for Wednesday night. The YMCA graciously offered their gym for a night of unconventional camping. Many cyclists took advantage of this offer to stay dry.

Rain was an integral part of the ride on Thursday. Riders battled bouts of heavy rain on the scenic and hilly ride to Jefferson City. Campsite plans were altered due to the severe thunderstorms. Thankfully, the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation extended their multi-purpose room in the Ice Arena for riders’ use to stay dry that night. Dinner was held at Bones Restaurant and Lounge in downtown Jefferson City. It was a scrumptious meal with chicken and beef options. After dinner, riders were spooked at the famous “haunted” tour of the old Missouri State Penitentiary.

TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_Select_Full-1979WEBBy Friday morning, a cool front had moved in and the skies were clear. Riders started with a hot breakfast at the Downtown Diner then took off for a quick ride to the historic German-settled town of Hermann. With a strong tailwind, some riders made the 50-mile ride in under three hours, arriving before noon. Dinner that night was at Stone Hill Winery. Before dinner, riders enjoyed a tour of the historic winery with some of the largest underground cellars in the nation. The fun continued after dinner with riders attending the first night of the Hermann Oktoberfest, an event that lasts all month. Settling down for the night, the campsite in Hermann was in City Park.

TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_Select_Full-2256WEBSaturday morning began with sunny skies and very cool temperatures due to a strong northwest wind. It was another hilly ride en route to Defiance. In Defiance, riders checked out the old railroad depot town of Mokane on the Katy Trail. They also enjoyed visiting the historic Daniel Boone Home and Heritage Center. Riders camped out at Katy Bike Rental, conveniently located on the Katy Trail. Live entertainment, great food, and good times were had at the Defiance Roadhouse Saturday night. Back at the campsite, a big bonfire created a warm and reminiscent night with riders sharing their favorite moments of the 6-day adventure.

TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_-1880WEBOn the final day of the ride, the wind shifted from the south bringing warmer temperatures. Many riders opted to take the Katy Trail to Page Avenue Bridge, crossing the Missouri river and avoiding the rolling hills. Arriving in St. Louis, riders rode throught quiet neighborhood side streets and admired many St. Louis sites. Trailnet hosted a rest stop at the Missouri History Museum. The ride finished at Laclede’s Landing on the Mississippi River.

An after-party at the Admiral Portico welcomed riders. To celebrate the completion of their 340-mile Journey Across Missouri, riders made their way to the river for the ceremonial dip. Friends and family joined riders for the festive after-party with music by Tim Ryan Quartet, food from Sundeckers, and beer from Morgan Street Brewery.

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Thank you to our Journey Across Missouri partners: Apache Village, BikeWalkKC, Hermann, Higginsville, St. Charles Economic Development Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, Hogan, Katy Bike Rental and Morgan Street Brewery.

Special thanks to photographer Mark Schwigen.