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Monday, May 05, 2008

Bike St. Louis expands

Just in time for National Bike to Work Week, May 12-16, the Great Rivers Greenway District is announcing the opening of 57 miles of additional on-street Bike St. Louis routes through St. Louis County and St. Louis City.

With the expansion, the Bike St. Louis system will today 77 miles of dedicated bike lanes and shared traffic lanes.

The dedication of the expansion will take place Thursday at three locations:
  • 10 a.m. in Maplewood, Mo., in front of Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Avenue
  • 11 a.m. in Clayton, Mo., at the MetroLink station at Central and Shaw Park Drive
  • 12:30 p.m. in St. Louis at the intersection of St. Louis Avenue and Blair Avenue
    (a half-block block west of Crown Candy Kitchen)
Here's a brief excerpt from the press release (Word document) Bike St. Louis has published about the expansion:
The new routes are the first major expansion of the Bike St. Louis network since 2005, when the first 20 miles of continuous on-street bicycle routes were dedicated and connected downtown St. Louis to surrounding neighborhoods. Nearly 50 miles of the expanded Bike St. Louis routes are located in the City of St. Louis, providing connections from downtown to neighborhoods, business districts, educational, cultural and recreation amenities in North and South St. Louis. The new routes also provide on-street connections to the North Riverfront Trail and the McKinley Bridge Bikeway along the Mississippi River in North St. Louis, as well as the River des Peres Greenway and Christy Greenway in South St. Louis.

“In just a few short years, I have seen an important change in residents’ attitudes about bicycle trails and lanes,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay. “What was suspicion and resistance five years ago is now enthusiastic support. A nearby trail is viewed – and, more importantly for our physical fitness, used – as an important amenity for city neighborhoods."
All Bike St. Louis routes feature highly visible customized designation signs, standard federal bicycle route signs and on-street pavement markings. In addition, Bike St. Louis maps are available online at www.bikestlouis.org and at many convenient area locations throughout the region. The maps provide information to assist riders plan their routes and feature safety tips and other pertinent resource information.

And if that wasn't enough, the Great Rivers Greenway District will hold the grand opening of the McKinley Bridge Bikeway and Trestle on June 7. After a major renovation, the bridge reopened to vehicle traffic late last year, and now the McKinley Bridge will link the Bike St. Louis system to the Madison County Transit Confluence Trail in Illinois.

Once the bridge is open, St. Louis cyclists will have four safe ways to cross the Mississippi River between the two states. The existing crossings are the Eads Bridge, Old Chain of Rocks Bridge and the Clark Bridge, which connects St. Charles County, Mo., and Alton, Ill.

Not surprisingly, I applaud the efforts to make the St. Louis area more bicycle friendly, and I hope the trend continues.

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Roger 2 comments links to this post 12:10 AM

The only sign that matters is being named BFC by LAB. All other signs are a waste of time, money, create inefficient routes and keep our streets from being Complete.
I'll take whatever routes and signs we can get. SOmething is better then nothing.

Let's not forget the Eads bridge. It also has a bikeable lane.

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