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Calhoun County, IL Passes New Bicycle Ordinance

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Trailnet Calhoun County Classic on July 31, 2021
Cyclists on a scenic Illinois road during Trailnet’s 2021 Calhoun County Classic

The Calhoun County, Illinois Board of Commissioners passed a new Bicycle Ordinance in April 2022.

Trailnet has been mapping beautiful bike routes through Calhoun County for 16 years. Calhoun is the third-least-populous county in the state of Illinois—a peninsula nestled between the Mississippi and Illinois rivers just North of St. Charles County, where scenic country roads wind through local peach orchards, past small towns, and along the river. In other words, Calhoun County is a cyclist’s dream.

Unfortunately, our most recent ride through the area—the 2021 Ride The Rivers Century last October—brought to light some of the county’s long-time struggles accomodating large events. When nearly 500 people on bicycles (equal to over 1/10 of the county’s population) rode off of a small ferry and onto county roads, some residents were overwhelmed.

When Trailnet caught wind of county residents’ grievances, we immediately reached out to representatives from the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners to open a dialog and try to make things right. 

Trailnet Rides Director Matt Hartman attended an initial council meeting on February 25, 2022. Since then, Trailnet staff have remained engaged in conversations with Calhoun County to make sure that cyclists and residents can operate safely and in a manner that is mutually beneficial for years to come. 

“Prior to our meetings, Calhoun County didn’t have any established event permitting or application processes. The County Board knew this was something they were lacking so we [Trailnet and Mike Weiss from Big Shark] offered to help define and establish some guidelines to assist them in creating one of their own,” said Hartman 

When we plan our rides, we work with cities and municipalities across the region to make sure we acquire necessary permits, collaborate with police and fire districts on our routes, create full safety plans, and track riders from start to finish via our TraQ Central app. Rides through Calhoun County should be no different. But with a small Sheriff’s department and a fully volunteer-based emergency medical staff, they do not have the capacity to provide the resources some other counties can. 

Additionally, in order to ride through this picturesque area, we have to send our riders down narrow roads with no markings, and as local constituents pointed out, we are often riding during their harvest—the busiest time of year in farming communities. Together we discussed how to keep our riders safe in these unique conditions.


Calhoun County Board of Commissioners and Trailnet Staff
Trailnet Rides Director Matt Hartman and Communications Coordinator Justin Seaton at the May 2022 Calhoun County Board of Commissioners meeting.

“The point of this ordinance is not to try to push riders away,” said Keisha Morris from the State’s Attorney’s Office. “It is intended to foster these relationships, improve communication, and make sure the community is well-prepared when large rides come through.”

Below you’ll find the most recent copy of the Bicycle Ordinance of Calhoun County, Illinois. Though we contributed our expertise to the drafting process, this final ordinance was written and ultimately passed by the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners in partnership with the State’s Attorney’s office.

“The new ordinance and permit process fulfill the requests of Calhoun County community leaders and allow more seamless communication between themselves and outside event organizers,” said Hartman.

With this partnership and these guidelines now in place, we look forward to more scenic rides through this gem of the St. Louis region!



For information or questions regarding the Calhoun County Bicycle Ordinance, contact Keisha Morris at the IL State’s Attorney’s office. keisha.morris@calhouncountyil.net or 618-576-9013


Safety is the priority for alternative transit in St. Louis

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Trailnet, Missouri Department of Transportation, and Bi-State Development Agency advocate “Safe Roads for All” during National Bike to Work Day

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Trailnet celebrated the St. Louis region’s 10th annual Bike to Work Day Friday, May 15. Sponsored by Great Rivers Greenway, Missouri American Water, and Saint Louis Bread Co., the event drew more than 560 cyclists dedicated to making biking a way of life in St. Louis. Sponsors, volunteers, and Trailnet staff hosted refueling stations throughout the area, offering coffee and bagels to all bike commuters. Bike to Work Day helps to build a sense of community, promotes environmentally-friendly modes of travel, and inspires people to maintain healthy, active lifestyles.

The Missouri History Museum hosted a refueling station during Bike to Work Day and was also the site of the Safe Roads for All Press Conference. Speakers highlighted the progress made in alternative transit over the past year and discussed their vision for a healthy, safe, and vibrant future in the St. Louis region. The conference was presented by Trailnet, The City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Bi-State Development Agency/Metro, and Great Rivers Greenway.

Maggie Crane, communications director for BTWDKaldi'sGinny150002the Office of Mayor Francis Slay, drew applause from the audience when she announced St. Louis will include its first bike and pedestrian coordinator position in the city’s 2015-2016 budget. This is one step required to boost the region’s overall bike friendliness ranking, as evaluated by the League of American Bicyclists.

Ralph Pfremmer, Trailnet’s executive director, stressed the importance of installing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure to improve the health of local communities as well as the environment. “For the future, it’s critical that the expansion of well-designed bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure continue,” Pfremmer said. “By increasing safe and pleasant opportunities for walking and biking, we will build the confidence of our users and improve public health and the environment. These assets of our community will most certainly attract and retain talented young people and entrepreneurs, adding to the vitality and economic prosperity of our region.

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In addition to the Missouri History Museum, Trailnet-hosted refueling stations at: Big Shark in the Loop, Missouri Botanical Garden, The Downtown Bicycle Station, Urban Shark, Kaldi’s on DeMun, and Mississippi Mud Coffee Roasters.

Area businesses and organizations also committed to sponsoring “DIY” refueling stations. Participants included the DeSales Community Housing Corp., Ferguson Bicycle Shop, Lyon Park, Microgrid Energy, Nebula Coworking, Pedal the Cause, St. Louis Development Corporation and City of St. Louis Health Department, St. Louis Earth Day, St. Louis University’s Simon Recreation Center, the St. Louis Zoo, The downtown O’Fallon office of Scott Air Force Base, and W.W. Grainger. A map of all of the station locations is available at trailnet.org.

Bike to Work Day was organized in partnership with The City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, the Missouri Department of Transportation, and Urban Shark Bicycle Company.