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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So, how did St. Louis become bicycle friendly?

You may be wondering how St. Louis earned its designation as a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community? Of course, there's the barebones explanation LAB provided: the city's education and enforcement efforts.

There's, of course, more to the story. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Thursday at City Hall to tout the city's honor. On a flier inviting people to the news conference, here's how city officials described how it earned the designation:
"The Leagued recognized the City of St. Louis as a standout community for its initiative and progress to become more bicycle-friendly. The BFC's reviewer were impressed with the city's accomplishments. These included creating more than 70 miles of on-streets designated bicycle lanes throughout the city and expanding connections to Illinois by developing a 3,000-foot long cantilevered bicycle land separated from vehicular traffic with the McKinley Bridge Bikeway and Trestle."
There's more to the story than that. I obtained a copy of a printed version of the city's application -- the official application was filed online with LAB -- and here's some highlights:

  • While the city doesn't have a written policy on accommodating bicycle on city streets, the city incorporates "Complete Streets" principles into public road projects.
  • The city has 89 miles of designated bike routes.
  • The city has worked with Great River Greenway to develop Bike St. Louis, which consists of 77 of the city's 89 miles of bike routes.
  • Trailnet, Green Rivers and the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation have issued public service announcements educating motorists to share the road with cyclists.
  • Advocacy groups and bike shops offer educational opportunities for adults.
  • Some schools participate in a bicycle safety program.
  •  The city supported Trailnet with its Bike to Work Day festivities in an effort to promote commuting by bicycle.
  • The city's role as a host city in the Tour of Missouri.
  • Activities at the Penrose Park Veldrome.
  • The city give training to its bicycle officers.
  • The city has a liason for planned cycling events.
Evaluation and Planning:
  • The city had no bicycle/motor vehicle fatalities from 2004 to 2008, and it averaged about 130 cyclists/motor vehicle crashes a year during that same span.
  • The city soon will be in the process of drafting a comprehensive bicycle plan.
  • The city is developing several greenways as part of a bike trail network.
The Bicycle Federation, along with Trailnet, Great Rivers Greenway, Bike St. Louis and the Grace Hill Settlement House, assisted the city with its application.

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Roger 1 comments links to this post 10:44 PM

Here's what the St. Louis mayor said about it:

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