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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Notes on Madison County trails

Here's a couple of notes of interest about the Madison County Transit network of bicycle trails:

Schoolhouse Trail closure: Fortunately, I found out about this one before I took off riding on the MCT Schoolhouse Trail on Friday afternoon. A segment of the MCT Schoolhouse Trail was closed at Lakeview Acres Road in Maryville on Friday, and it will be closed for subsequent days in coming days. The road is being reconstructed at the trail intersection.

You may be able to walk your bike around the construction, but you might want to consider alternative routes. The suggestions I'm making is based on riding up trail from Collinsville to Edwardsville. Obviously, you would do these in reverse if you're heading south from Edwardsville.

If you're comfortable riding with traffic, you can turn left off the trail at Main Street in Maryville, turn right on Illinois Route 159, turn right on Vadalabene Drive, turn right on Illinois Route 162, turn left on Old Troy Road, then rejoin the trail at the parking lot just north of the intersection.

Otherwise, you can turn right off the trail at Main Street, turn right on Lakeview Acres Road (that portion of the road is not being worked on), turn left on the Interstate 55-70 frontage road and turn left onto a spur trail just east of Wilson Heights Road. The spur trail ties into the Schoolhouse Trail and you can head north toward Edwardsville.

MCT is asking cyclists to use caution on the Schoolhouse Trail through August because stabilization work will be taking place at the trail's intersection with Lakeview Acres Road.

Dedication set for new section of trail: MCT will be dedicating the Worden-Staunton leg of the Quercus Grove Trail at 10 a.m. July 10 near the Staunton water tower at Sixth Street. The dedication had been scheduled for November, but it was postponed because of bad weather. The dedication takes place a day before the Tour de Donut, which also begins and ends in Staunton.

The Worden-Staunton section of the trail has been open for months and has been getting quite a bit of use. In the near future, MCT will be building the Hamel-Worden section of the trail, meaning you will be able to use bike trails or designed on-road bike routes to ride all the way from downtown St. Louis to Staunton.

If you're inclined to ride from Edwardsville to Staunton before the completion of the trail, you can take the Quercus Grove Trail from Edwardsville to Jerusalem Road, take Jerusalem Road to Illinois Route 157, cross Route 157 to rejoin the Quercus Grove Trail, turn left on Staunton Road (crossing Route 157 again), veer right at the Worden Road intersection, turn right on Brakhane Road, turn left on Main Street in Worden, turn right on Kell Street, then turn left onto the trail near the eastern edge of Worden and take the trail into Staunton.


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Roger 2 comments links to this post 2:21 AM

Hats off and congratulations to your leadership in building, expanding and connecting the MCT network.

Many riders I know from the St Louis area head frequently to travel to Madison County to enjoy the segregated paths. As usual the many hours spent there means there are multiple stops at local businesses. Last weekend over 30 of us rode together from counties west of St Louis, even as far west as St Charles, and witnessed the growing number of cyclists, all ages, using the routes for recreation and commuting.

In the St Louis area, our trails are disconnected and in remote locations, and thus local businesses lose out on all the revenues that are spent in IL instead. We have Trailnet and GRG at the helm and the differences with IL are dramatic. The riders from the StL area are now planning many more rides in IL instead of in MO.

Thanks for the updates!
I was able to walk around the construction at Schoolhouse Trail and Lakeview Acres on Saturday, but I'm not sure if you could do that on a weekday with construction. So thanks for posting the "detour". I'm going to ride the Worden-Staunton section shortly, and I'm anxious to see if I can get through on the new trail into Hamel. It looks finished, but maybe they're still doing some fine tuning.
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