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!
Trailnet volunteers rock, and may have counted you in September
Did you happen to walk or bike past a suspicious person with a clipboard in early September? Were they looking at you and fastidiously scribbling mysterious information? Not to worry! That was likely one of our remarkable volunteers recording data on bicycle and pedestrian activity.
On September 13 and 14, Trailnet coordinated 122 volunteers to perform counts at 71 different locations across the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County. This year saw a 44 percent increase in volunteer participation, accounting for 244 hours of volunteer service.
A lack of documentation of cyclists and pedestrians makes it difficult to measure the positive benefits of investments in these modes of transportation. The NBPD sets detailed standards and guidelines and provides tools for performing bicycle and pedestrian counts and surveys. This allows for a uniform method of accounting for walkers and cyclists across the country.
Locations for the counts are determined by a collaboration between Trailnet, Great Rivers Greenways (GRG), and the Gateway Bike Plan Working Group. The primary purpose is to find out how many people are walking or biking for transportation, although all pedestrians and cyclists are counted. All counts are performed on streets, even if there is an adjacent trail.
Trailnet compiles the data and shares it with GRG as well as regional governments, planning agencies, and key partners in the Gateway Bike Plan Working Group. The information is used to inform projects and educational efforts. It helps our advocacy in the region by providing data to lobby for better conditions and makes the case for advancing funding in infrastructure by local and national government agencies. We would like to thank all of those who volunteered for their time. Stay tuned for the results!
Counters needed to help St. Louis become an even better place to walk and ride!
We need YOU to help us count people walking and biking at locations throughout St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County. Volunteers commit to using a pen and paper (we’ll email you a standard counting form) to count at one street location from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13, Wednesday, September 14, or both days. Only one person is needed per count location, but feel free to bring a friend, family member, neighbor, or pet for counting company. In case of rain, counts will be done the following week on September 20 and 21.
As we continue to collect bicycle and pedestrian data each year, we are able to show changes in how people walk and bike around the St. Louis region. Last year, volunteers counted more than 9,000 people walking and biking at 60 locations!
Volunteers are especially needed to count in St. Charles County, North St. Louis County, Mid St. Louis County, South St. Louis County and North St. Louis City. Counts in all areas of the St. Louis region help to paint a more complete picture of where people are using walking and biking routes and where better planning for new routes and encouragement and education programs are needed. Click here to see a map of all count locations.
Will you consider counting in an area you have never been before? Bring a lawn chair and get comfortable as you help make St. Louis an even better place to walk and bicycle!
Once you have completed the count, scan or take a picture of the form with your phone and email your completed counting form to firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop the paper copy in the mail to Trailnet Attn: Taylor 411 North 10th Street., Suite 202 St. Louis, MO 63101.
All volunteers who submit a completed counting form are eligible to win an Apple iPad!
Optional volunteer training will be held on September 7, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Trailnet’s office (411 North 10th Street., Suite 202 St. Louis, MO 63101). To sign up as a counting volunteer, click here.
Since her first Trailnet ride ten years ago, Susan Rollins has participated in many Trailnet rides, has been a volunteer, and now serves as a member of Trailnet’s Board.
So what is so great about being on a bike? Susan’s reply: “Cycling keeps me sane; being outside with the fresh air on my face combined with the challenge of the ride calms my soul and gives me a peace that I can’t find anywhere else.” She plans to spend lots of time on her bike this year, including her first multi-day trip, starting in Savannah, Georgia and pedaling around the coastal islands, New York’s Five Boro Bike Tour, and Bike the Drive in Chicago. She also hopes to ride the length of the Katy Trail, and to begin commuting to work by bike at least a couple of days a week.
In her role as Executive Director of the St. Louis County Housing Authority, Susan sees the possibilities that bicycles have for easing the transportation challenges faced by many low-income residents. “Our clients do not have the dollars needed to purchase or maintain a car. So even if you have a job but lack transportation, how do you survive?” Rollins is convinced that creating communities where walking and biking are safe alternatives would provide access not only to jobs and school, but also to better food options and other vital facilities. “Ideally I would like all of our public housing children to own a bike and learn how to ride. I see them visiting libraries, recreational centers, and neighborhood pools. I see them visiting each other and feeling like a part of a community. I see myself riding with our children and showing them how access to transportation can take you to places you never thought existed.”
As a Trailnet Board member, Susan Rollins is dedicated to seeing that vision come true. She feels that realizing Trailnet’s goal of connecting our region through a network of protected bikeways and neighborhood greenways can make St. Louis one of the best places to live in the country. “It is only Trailnet that can put St. Louis on the map as a community that embraces walking and cycling. If we want to look like Indianapolis, Trailnet has the expertise to make that happen. If we want to look like Portland, Trailnet can make it happen. We just have to work hard to raise the funds to make this bold vision a reality.”
Keep 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!
Last week Trailnet, along with other organized bike, pedestrian, and trail advocates, urged members of the Missouri House Conservation Committee to vote “NO” on HB 2047, which would allow motorized traffic (ATVs and golf carts) on the Katy Trail. The committee will most likely vote on the bill this week.
We sent our comments to the committee Wednesday, February 10, outlining the reasons behind our opposition. To see our full comments, click here.
At this time we only want to make you aware of the bill’s existence. No action on your part is requested since the bill may die in committee. The bill will likely lose traction because of its recently estimated fiscal impact to implement: it would cost the state over $40 million to accommodate ATVs and golf carts. This news may change the minds of the bill’s supporters.
Still, if the bill moves forward in the legislative process, we’ll send an advocacy alert to mobilize public opposition to the bill.
Shortly after our opposition email was sent to the house committee, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a story about the bill, and much more opposition to the bill was generated. We hope this dialogue continues. The Katy Trail is meant to cater to those who wish to enjoy active lifestyles in a natural setting without the dangers of motor vehicle traffic. We’re ready to work to keep it that way for the many benefits it provides to people and our economy. Stay tuned to our social media sites for updates.
Advocacy Alert: Help ensure funding for safe walking and biking for our youth
Help 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.
Without 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.
Please 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.