Local residents still have a chance to weigh in on a possible bike share plan for St. Louis.
Great Rivers Greenway District has been working with the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Metro Transit and other groups since last spring to study the feasibility of such a cycle sharing system here.
With the clear, warm weather of summer, more St. Louisans of all ages are taking to the streets and the sidewalks on foot and by bike. The city has plans in the works to make walking, biking and running easier, from Complete Streets to separated bike lanes.
“I think overall we have great facilities in St. Louis and there has been a lot of improvement in the five years that I’ve lived here,” said Aaron Hipp, assistant professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis. His research evaluates how built communities affect the activity and health of those who use them.
As St. Louisans participated in National Bike to Work Day recently, a local group reflected on its efforts to make the region more bike-friendly.
Great Rivers Greenway has released a report, grading St. Louis’ progress on a region-wide bike plan. The Gateway Bike Plan would build bike routes connecting parks, universities and major public areas throughout St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County. Other initiatives under the plan would implement policies and training programs to support bikers.
St. Louis could be the next U.S. city to host an urban bike-sharing program. Great Rivers Greenway is conducting a feasibility study to determine how successful such a program would be in the area.
“We want to look at the destinations where our residents are traveling to on a daily basis, whether that’s [to] work or shopping areas, or dining areas,” said Assistant Project Manager Elizabeth Simons.
Ed Lammering wore his top hat to a groundbreaking last month beside the Gateway Arch, but left his horse, Lukes, at the St. Louis Carriage Company’s stable on the other side of Busch Stadium. He held a sign which read, “Where do we stand? – carriage drivers.”
The carriage company is among several businesses that have concerns about the impact of the $360 million CityArchRiver 2015 project. Work will include expanding the Arch grounds over Interstate 70, carving out a new central entrance for the underground museum and numerous other major improvements.
An effort to improve safety and access between the Gateway Arch and the riverfront has begun. City leaders and developers kicked off construction Thursday afternoon on the second phase of redeveloping the Arch grounds.
The $33-million project, centered along Leonor K. Sullivan Bvld., will elevate the corridor by nearly three feet to reduce flooding as well as add bike paths, walkways, better lighting and landscaping.
On April 2nd voters in St. Louis City and St. Louis County will go to the polls, to among other things, vote on whether to pass Proposition P – a 3/16th of one-cent sales tax increase which would benefit the Gateway Arch grounds, regional trails and greenways through Great Rivers Greenway, and city and county parks.
Host Don Marsh talked with people on both sides of the issue. Peter Sortino is the chairman of the pro Proposition P campaign and Jennifer Bird, a Republican Committeewoman in St. Louis County, is opposed to the measure.
Next Tuesday, you’ll have a chance to decide on Proposition P: a 3/16th of a cent sales tax increase which amounts to about two cents on a $10 purchase. The measure is often referred to as “the Arch Tax,” but the nickname doesn’t tell the whole story.
“Between 1995 and 2005, the Arch had about 3.3 million visitors a year," Ryan McClure with the CityArchRiver project told me as he walked me through the Arch grounds."Right now they’re averaging about 2.3.”