Letter: City infrastructure plans must look beyond just pavement
Originally published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Recently, Aldermanic President Megan Green, on St. Louis Public Radio’s Politically Speaking, spoke on the need to address traffic safety during the upcoming aldermanic session. Trailnet, the regional nonprofit dedicated to safe streets for all, has several recommendations for Aldermen to consider.
First, the use of American Rescue Plan Act funds in Ordinance 71650 must include community engagement and safety for pedestrians and cyclists. The city cannot pave and stripe its way to safety for all; protective infrastructure changes must be made.
The aforementioned can be done by enacting new Complete Streets legislation. The City’s current Complete Streets guidelines were recently scored 30 out of 100 by Smart Growth America. A more rigorous complete streets policy, strictly adhered to by city officials, would increase safety for people walking, biking and driving.
Trailnet supports Board Bill#105 on automated enforcement and Board Bill#106 concerning surveillance and the establishment of a Neighborhood Traffic Safety Fund. We are, however, concerned with Board Bill #185 regarding surveillance. We recommend the establishment of a committee, made up of an equal number of residents and city officials, to create policies and monitor the implementation of all the bills.
Finally, keeping the public more informed on infrastructure changes and traffic safety is essential for a safer environment. Providing accessible updates on City infrastructure spending—perhaps on the City website—would promote transparency and allow the public to better understand how projects are progressing.
Trailnet stands ready to assist.
Cindy Mense, Trailnet CEO