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Tactical Urbanism Webinar

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Trailnet and the Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association will be hosting a webinar on tactical urbanism on Thursday, March 2nd at 10am. The webinar will provide information about cross-sector collaboration and how it can have an impact on the built environment. Trailnet will also be sharing their success from the Plan4Health project. Learn more at Planners4Health. Register here.

The speed cushion: one of many great traffic calming tools

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The Plan4Health project has proven to be an asset in creating important conversations around traffic calming. It has also helped the Healthy Eating Active Living Partnership strengthen relationships with other stakeholders in the St. Louis region.

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Among other opportunities, the Plan4Health project lead to a renewed connection between Trailnet and local bicycle advocate Martin Pion. Martin has been working hard to create dialogue around effective measures for traffic calming. He was very generous in allowing Trailnet to use his temporary speed cushion at one of our four traffic calming demonstrations.

Speed cushions are similar to speed humps, but they have a smaller surface area and can be offset with wheel cutouts, allowing larger vehicles (like emergency vehicles) to pass through without reducing their speed.

Trailnet thanks Martin for the donation of his speed cushion and for sharing his resources with us. To learn more about Martin’s work please read this article he posted on traffic calming.

Traffic calming: a lighter, quicker, cheaper way to policy change

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St. Louis’ most recent effort toward creating safer streets consisted of brightly painted tires, colorful cones, plants, and signs. The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Partnership in the City of St. Louis is using pop-up traffic-calming demonstrations to raise awareness on how to create safer streets. The materials from the demonstrations will be used to develop a traffic-calming lending library.

Please watch this exciting recap that highlights the positive effect the Plan4Health grant has brought to the community.

This new opportunity for the City comes from a Plan4Health grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in partnership with the American Planning Association (APA) and American Public Health Association (APHA). The objective of the grant is to bring together those who work within planning and public health to improve their communities and make them become more loveable.

The City of St. Louis is like many other cities—built for cars to have the largest advantage in transportation. In the U.S., 12 percent of fatal traffic crashes involve people walking, In St. Louis, however, that figure is 36 percent. In the first six months of 2015, 15 pedestrians were killed in the City of St. Louis, many in hit-and-run incidents. These sobering statistics earned St. Louis a designation as a Focus City by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, joining 21 other U.S. cities in which pedestrian deaths are higher than the national average.

Data has shown that wider roads lead to a faster rate of travel for people driving. The graphic below illustrates how higher rates of speed lead to higher rates of traffic fatalities.

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Many streets in the City of St. Louis were built to accommodate streetcars and high levels of traffic, so some residential streets are as wide as 65 feet. The traffic calming pop-ups have been a great way for the City and residents to start exploring what to do with the extra space.

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Trailnet, a local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organization and partner within the HEAL Partnership, has been working to address this problem by implementing several pop-up traffic-calming demonstrations throughout the City of St. Louis. The purpose of the events has been to educate community members, elected officials, and city staff on how we can work together to create safer streets. The pop-up traffic-calming demonstrations are less-than-ten-hour events meant to measure the impact street designs have on people driving as well as listen to the community’s suggestions for safer streets.

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The Plan4Health grant also offers a unique opportunity for the HEAL Partnership to develop a traffic-calming lending library so community members who are interested in demonstrating their own pop-up traffic-calming events have the resources and tools to use for free. The lending library will come with a toolkit that will list all available materials with instructions anyone can use on how to create their own pop-up traffic-calming demonstrations.

These lighter, quicker, cheaper tactics have already shown to be a catalyst for change within the City of St. Louis. The demonstrations have aided in creating new traffic-calming policies and the City of St. Louis has begun to use the traffic-calming lending library for community outreach.

These demonstrations are helping the City of St. Louis to create equitable places people love by bringing together planning and public health.

To learn more about the St. Louis Plan4Health project, click here.

2015 Walk and Bike Count Data

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The data from our 2015 walk and bike counts is in. Thanks to the 76 volunteers who donated  152 hours of their time to count cyclists and pedestrians throughout the St. Louis Metro region in September. Collecting such extensive data can be a real challenge, and it would not have been possible without them. You’ve helped make Trailnet a resource for advising the city and other organizations on transportation-related decisions. We have summited the data to the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, which compiles data for use by planners, governments, and bicycle and pedestrian professionals. We also submit the data to local planning agencies and nonprofits to inform plans for better biking and walking.

2015 Bike Counts Infographic (2)

 

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

Biking and Walking Makes Cents – February 24, 2015

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kickstand-3647smallTrailnet introduced their new business membership program at an event on Tuesday, February 24 at the Venture Cafe on the Cortex campus. This invitation-only event served as a great opportunity to share Trailnet’s 2015 plans, to launch Trailnet’s Business Membership Program, and to meet Trailnet’s new executive director, Ralph Pfremmer.

kickstand-3664smallThe attendees were board members, community partners, donors, and prospective business members who spent most of the evening networking and enjoying food and drinks. The room was abuzz with the latest in transportation news and Trailnet’s vision to make walking and biking a way of life in St. Louis.

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As part of the event, Ralph Pfremmer and Jennifer Allen, Director of Strategic Initiatives, presented research on the economic impact protected bikeways and improved walking infrastructure can have on a community. They connected this data to the introduction of Trailnet’s Business Membership Program and how, in becoming a member, businesses can invest in Trailnet’s vision for better walking and biking infrastructure that supports a prosperous, healthy region.

kickstand-3763smallExecutive Director Ralph Pfremmer summed up the evening this way: “In a perfect world, collaboration is abundant, everyone is included, and transparency is the standard. The Trailnet business member understands that together we can foster a quality of life that supports a prosperous, healthy region.”

 

Special thanks to our charter business members:

Pedestal Foods, Britt Hunt, CEO

XLR8, Rick Duree, CEO

Duree Center for Entrepreneurship, Rick Duree, Founder

Retro Image Apparel, Michele and Jim Sherman, owners

Confluence Business Advisors, Ron Tanner and Dave Fingerhut, partners

 

Collaborate with us

kickstand-3643smallAs we work to make walking and biking a way of life in our region, it is critical that we have the resources and support to bring about innovative and positive change in our community. Your business membership provides for us the support we need to be visionary and collaborative leaders for progress. Click here for business membership levels and benefits. For more information contact Kay Barnes, Director of Development – kbarnes@trailnet.org, 314.436.1324 x 104

Thanks to everyone who made the event a success:

Kaori Yazawa and the Venture Cafe team, Dennis Lower and the Cortex Innovation Community, and Pedestal Foods.

Visit our Facebook page to view more photos from the event.

Special thanks to our photographer, Kelly Sleeper.

Stay tuned for our next Business Membership Event – coming this Summer!

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

Bicycle and Pedestrian Counts

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**UPDATED EVENT DETAILS**

Originally, our Bicycle and Pedestrian Counts were scheduled on September 9 and 10. Due to inclement weather, we are postponing the Counts a week. Volunteers who signed up for the 9th and 10th: please confirm if you are able to volunteer on the 16th and 17th at the same location and time. For those who were able to count during the stormy weather on September 9, thank you for contributing your time and data. We will seek out other volunteers to gather additional data for your location next Tuesday. For information on Bicycle and Pedestrian counts and signing up to volunteer, see below.

Trailnet, supported by The Great Rivers Greenway District, is participating in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project for the third year in a row.

As we continue to collect count data each consecutive year, we will be able to show changes in bicycling and pedestrian activity. Documenting these changes is essential to shaping infrastructure projects that will make our region more livable for all.

We need YOU to count cyclists and pedestrians at various locations around our region. We need volunteers who can commit to counting from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at one location on September 16 or 17. Bicycle and pedestrian counts are great opportunity to meet your neighbors while helping the region support active transportation projects.

Click here to sign up for a shift.

 

Bicycle and Pedestrian Counts

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**UPDATED EVENT DETAILS**

Originally, our Bicycle and Pedestrian Counts were scheduled on September 9 and 10. Due to inclement weather, we are postponing the Counts a week. Volunteers who signed up for the 9th and 10th: please confirm if you are able to volunteer on the 16th and 17th at the same location and time. For those who were able to count during the stormy weather on September 9, thank you for contributing your time and data. We will seek out other volunteers to gather additional data for your location next Tuesday. For information on Bicycle and Pedestrian counts and signing up to volunteer, see below.

Trailnet, supported by The Great Rivers Greenway District, is participating in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project for the third year in a row.

As we continue to collect count data each consecutive year, we will be able to show changes in bicycling and pedestrian activity. Documenting these changes is essential to shaping infrastructure projects that will make our region more livable for all.

We need YOU to count cyclists and pedestrians at various locations around our region. We need volunteers who can commit to counting from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at one location on September 16 or 17. Bicycle and pedestrian counts are great opportunity to meet your neighbors while helping the region support active transportation projects.

Click here to sign up for a shift.