Bicycling | St. Louis Public Radio

Bicycling

Trailnet officials suggest quick action is needed on the proposed network. They say St. Louis could lose economic opportunities and potential new residents to cities that already have such a trail system.
Trailnet

An eight-mile urban trail in Indianapolis is serving as a model for a similar proposal in St. Louis. Trailnet has announced plans to put together a 12-mile network of walking and cycling trails to connect the city’s cultural and entertainment districts. Organization officials say it could be key in convincing more millennials to put down roots here.

Forest Park Forever president and executive director Lesley Hoffarth said public input will help guide future changes and upgrades at the city's most well-known green space.
Flickr |ChrisYunker

A new MetroLink station and improved bike lanes are among nine possible long-range strategies being considered to transform how people get around St. Louis’ Forest Park.

St. Louis officials and Forest Park Forever, a nonprofit group, reviewed the results of public input over the course of nine months, including 1,300 responses to an online survey and comments from open house meetings. They publicly presented the refined list of suggested improvements during an open house Thursday.

Missouri Department of Transportation

A bicycle and pedestrian trail crossing the Missouri River on the I-64 Daniel Boone Bridge opened Thursday. The path connects the Monarch Levee Trail in St. Louis County to the Katy Trail in St. Charles County.

Executive Director of the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation Brent Hugh says the path will bring more trail users into riverside communities.

Bike riders on the bike lane on Union Blvd in St. louis.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio file photo

The sales tax district charged with building and maintaining trails in St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County is seeking public input on a new regional plan.

Great Rivers Greenway is collecting survey responses online and at two open houses to find out how people are using the trails now and how they’d like to use them in the future.

Penrose Park Velodrome

If you drive from the airport toward downtown on I-70, you’ve probably missed a little-known bicyclists’ haven which sits just beyond your field of vision off of the highway at its intersection at Kingshighway Blvd: The Penrose Park Velodrome. It is one of 27 of its kind in the entire United States.

Elizabeth Beard Davis announces a $25,000 reward for anyone who has information about the death of her brother Rick, near the intersection where he was hit while riding his bike on June 20, 2014.
Sarah Kellogg/St. Louis Public Radio intern

The family of a cyclist who was killed while biking on city streets nearly a year ago is now offering a $25,000 reward to find the person who struck him.

Rick Beard was an Army veteran and a safety-conscious cyclist who would stop to chastise other bikers who were not following the rules, said his younger sister, Elizabeth Beard Davis. He had just turned 54 on June 20, 2014 when he was hit by a car at the corner of Sarah St. and Cook Ave., just west of Grand Center.

A section of the Katy Trail in St. Charles, MO.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

The longest Rails-to-Trails project in the country, and Missouri's "skinniest state park" turns 25 years old this year. After weathering floods, storms and even a tornado, the 240-mile long Katy Trail attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. 

(Flicker, Jim Fenton)

CTY is a technology company that formed in St. Louis just last year.

But the startup nabbed a $35,000 Prototype Fund grant from the Knight Foundation and will test its first product in a project with the city.

The product, called Numina, collects real-time data using optical sensors. This summer those sensors will count pedestrians and bicyclists and send that information to the St. Louis Department of Health.

CEO Tara Pham said the city’s willingness to work with a startup and use new technology is important.

Bike riders on the bike lane on Union Blvd in St. louis.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio file photo

St. Louis now has 135 miles of on-street bike routes. Cyclists and public officials celebrated the completion of the latest phase of street markings and upgrades Saturday at the Cabanne Branch of the St. Louis Public Library on Union Blvd.

Over the past seven months, Great Rivers Greenway and the City of St. Louis added 40 new miles of bike routes and upgraded an additional 60 miles of routes in the city. It’s the third phase of a partnership that began in 2004.

Gateway Cup

Cyclists from across the country gather in St. Louis this weekend for the 29th annual Gateway Cup cycling races. The popular, four-day event takes place in four St. Louis neighborhoods – Lafayette Square, Benton Park, The Hill and St. Louis Hills – and attracts anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 fans per day.

The Gateway Cup has long been an attraction for top-level cyclists. But this year the race gained additional prestige because it has been added to the U.S.A. Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC), the premier series of 20 professional criterium races.

(via Flickr/Herkie)

A historic building along the Mississippi riverfront will likely mean more amenities next year for cyclists and pedestrians along the Riverfront Trail north of downtown.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Fall is upon us, with winter quick on its heels. As temperatures drop and the days get shorter, many of us will bundle up and hustle out to our cars after work, eager to get home to our families, go holiday shopping, or attend parties. We have all begun to face shorter days, overcast skies, wind and precipitation as we travel to our destinations. Weather-related incidents make up 24 percent of all crashes and 17 percent of crash fatalities; so a greater awareness of people on bike and foot is essential to ensure everyone’s comfort and safety through the winter season.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Bike St. Louis, the system of on-street bicycle routes throughout the St. Louis area, is about to receive a major face-lift.

Phase III of Bike St. Louis would upgrade 60 miles and expand the bike routes by 40 miles in the city.

Bumpy velodrome causes bad vibrations

Oct 30, 2013
The velodrome has earned a bumpy face nickname.
Paul Sableman | Flickr

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Neatly stashed away off the interchange between I-70 and Kingshighway is a piece of St. Louis many have forgotten or never known about.

The Penrose Park Velodrome, unique to Missouri and one of only 27 nationwide, is an oval cycling arena featuring banked corners and some frightfully fast action.

Commentary on biking: Toward equality for all commutes

Sep 24, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: I’m a busy working woman with kids. Driving everywhere is so expensive, but biking, walking, and taking transit seems really difficult. Am I missing something?

For the past 50 years, transportation engineering centered around the basic idea of moving cars as quickly as possible at peak traffic times. Prioritizing rush hour means prioritizing breadwinners, while access to other daily, local activities fall by the wayside.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: From installing home energy monitoring systems to raising one's own poultry, a wide-array of do-it-yourself methods for sustainability took center stage at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood Tuesday night.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Ask a Biker: We have all these bike lanes, so why do I rarely see people using them?

The benefits of cycling for transportation are relatively obvious. Most people support improved air quality, increased levels of physical activity, reduced carbon emissions, saving money, and just plain having fun on a bike.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Community visionaries and organizers from across the region held a conference in St. Louis on Friday.   The “Livable St. Louis” conference aims to transform the region through a range of quality of life improvements.

The conference was organized by Trailnet and focused on improving declining neighborhoods through projects such as affordable housing, safe streets, vibrant public spaces and green infrastructure.

Regina Martinez works with a group called the Rebuild Foundation that tries to transform old structures into new community assets.

(via Flickr/photohome_uk)

Updated at 9:30 am Saturday to correct a misspelling.

Legislation that gives some extra protections to cyclists, pedestrians, and passengers in cars in St. Louis City is on its way to the desk of Mayor Francis Slay.

(via Flickr/photohome_uk)

Efforts to put together a first-ever Illinois statewide bikeway plan are underway.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking bids from companies to design the plan. The Pantagraph in Bloomington, Ill. reports the plan could mean upgraded bicycling paths across the state. IDOT officials say the plan is a major step for sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation options for Illinoisans.

Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Some of the top athletes in their sport were in St. Louis last weekend.

They weren’t wearing the birds and bats of the Cardinals, and they didn’t draw the crowds of a weekend series at Busch Stadium. But the contest known as the Tour de Grove is slowly but surely becoming a big draw in the world of professional cycling.

The atmosphere on a warm spring Saturday afternoon in the Grove has the feel of a gigantic street party. People line Manchester Avenue sipping beer, snacking on the wares of street vendors, and listening to music.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis has joined cities like Minneapolis and Seattle in requiring developers and rehabbers to install bike racks in certain projects.

Mayor Francis Slay signed the bike parking ordinance at City Hall on Wednesday. It requires developers and rehabbers of most projects over $1 million to install at least one bike rack that can hold at least two bikes.  The offsite parking requirement is reduced by one space for every bike rack that's installed.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

With average gas prices reaching their highest level in 2011, more and more people began looking for an alternate way to get around.

In St. Louis, many of those commuters turned to vehicles of the two-wheeled variety.

Anne Mack, the executive director of Trailnet, told St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann as part of our series “A Good Year” that cyclists had a “fabulous” 2011.

Second annual Tour de Grove bike race kicks off

May 13, 2011
(via Flickr/photohome_uk)

The second annual Tour de Grove bike race got under way this afternoon.

Some 15 professional teams from around the country will be competing for a total purse of around $35,000.

Mike Weiss is the owner of the Big Shark Bicycle Company and is one of the event organizers.

Unlike the Tour of Missouri, Weiss says the Tour de Grove features an urban loop track, with more chances to watch the race unfold.

(via Flickr/photohome_uk)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Luke Runyon used in this report.

The Illinois Department of Transportation doesn't keep statistics on accidents unless a moving car is involved.  That's why Ed Barsotti with the League of Illinois Bicyclists says "dooring" was invisible in state record books.

Bike commuters have a new home in downtown St. Louis

Apr 20, 2011
Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

The City of St. Louis has taken steps to become friendlier for bike commuters.

The new downtown St. Louis Bike Station opens on Thursday.  The project was funded through a $180,000 grant from the Department of Energy.

The project is currently administered through the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis but will eventually be handed off to Trailnet.

Maggie Campbell is the President of the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis.  She says the site will offer a full range of services for bike commuters.

Bikers and hikers in St. Louis got two pieces of good news today.

Great Rivers Greenway, which is trying to develop 600 miles of trails throughout the region, announced it had, as expected, purchased about 12 acres at the foot of the Chain of Rocks bridge.

Commentary: Nearly naked in the St. Louis night

Aug 6, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 6, 2008 - While I may tell some people that Jen and I intended all along to go on the naked bike ride on the first Friday in August, we actually sorta fell into it, joining nearly 300 people (some fully nude) cycling through St. Louis' Tower Grove Park, their little mounted safety lights blinking steadily in the pitch-black night.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 16, 2008 - The human tendency to revel in the salacious details of someone else's scandal is nothing new, but the advent of the internet and the 24/7 cable news cycle has turned a guilty pleasure into a national obsession.

The latest victim of eternal vigilance is Jesse Jackson who was recently overheard recommending a rather painful surgery for Barack Obama. His intended stage whisper was caught by a microphone that he thought was turned off and broadcast around the globe. Gotcha!