Posts Tagged “Kirkwood”

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.

Kiddos on the go, celebrating Keysor Elementary’s Bike Week

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The sun was shining and spirits were high as parents got to see their kids ride their bikes safely and confidently. The Bike Walk Kirkwood Neighborhood Tour, made possible by Great Rivers Greenway, was an opportunity for the students of Keysor Elementary to show off their new skills, having just finished their annual Bike Week festivities.

Keysor4Trailnet has participated in Bike Week for three years, helping to teach bike safety to students from kindergarten through fifth grade. Our own Ginny McDonald and Rachel Sleeman spent the week with the kids, covering everything from helmet fit, to measuring tire pressure, to rules of the road. Ron Effland, from Missouri’s Dept. of Transportation, brought his “Walk and Roll” trailer filled with extra bikes, helmets, tools, and traffic signs. Kirkwood Police Bicycle Officers Ann, T.J., and Joe also worked with the kids, helping them to master bike handling skills. The entire week’s events were coordinated by Robin Ehrlich, Keysor’s Physical Education teacher, assisted by fellow teacher Drew Widamen.

Keysor3   Keysor2   Keysor6

Keysor5The kids’ enthusiasm about Bike Week was shown by their smiles, laughter, and comments overheard during the week. One second grader declared one day midweek “the BEST day of my life!” Another student, hearing the whistle that ended his bike riding, wished that he “could do this all day.” Kids were obviously proud of their accomplishments, one overheard saying that she had “just passed an adult” on her bike. They were also encouraging to those who, for the first time that week, rode without training wheels. Thanks to the efforts of Ron and the bike officers, over a dozen kids shed their training wheels during Bike Week. This milestone was greeted with high fives and cheers from their classmates.

Keysor1It was apparent during the Bike Walk Kirkwood Neighborhood Tour that the kids took away a lot from the Bike Week curriculum; they handled the ride like pros, and made their parents proud. Many thanks to Keysor Elementary for inviting Trailnet to participate in Bike Week and for helping to make bicycling such a visible part of the Kirkwood community.

We also discussed Trailnet’s Bike Walk Master Plan for Kirkwood, currently in the works. The plan was available for parents to peruse, as well as a sign-up sheet to join the mailing list for updates. If you are a Kirkwood resident and are interested in learning more about the Plan, contact Marielle Brown at marielle@trailnet.org

Bike Walk Kirkwood Neighborhood Tour was funded, in part, by The Great Rivers Greenway District, sponsored by Enterprise Holdings Foundation, and in partnership with Keysor Elementary.

Kirkwood Planning Advisory Committee Meeting 3 Summary

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The third Kirkwood Planning Advisory Committee meeting was held on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at Kirkwood City Hall. The summary of the meeting and the agenda can be downloaded below:

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Summary

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Marielle Brown at marielle@trailnet.org or 314.436.1324 x115.