(via Flickr/KOMUnews)

In Missouri, 27 percent of  carbon emissions are caused by the transportation sector, according to a national report. 

Local environmental advocates are using the findings by the nonprofit think tank, Frontier Group, to argue that providing more carbon-neutral transportation options could improve public health and safety. The report includes multiple policy recommendations to reduce transportation's impact on the environment, including incentives for consumers to purchase electric cars and creating more paths for pedestrians and bikers. 

vintage bicycles
Via Wikimedia Commons | Public Domain

If numbers tell the story, bicycle ridership in St. Louis has boomed. A 2014 study from the League of American Bicyclists shows the number of bicycle commuters increased 269.9 percent between 2000 and 2014.

That staggering number isn’t the only sign that St. Louis is making a push to be a bicycle-friendly city. As the area celebrates national Bike to Work Day on Friday, it's time to take a look at improvements that have been made and needs still to be addressed.

Davion Thompson, 14, clocks the speed of cars passing the intersection of Gasconade Street and Compton Avenue Saturday, Oct 10, 2015 during Trailnet's traffic calming demo.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Brightly-colored tires simulating flower beds popped-up along a two-block stretch of Gasconade Street Saturday in the Dutchtown neighborhood of south St. Louis.

Bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group Trailnet set the tires up to block the corners of intersections leading up to Marquette Park, shortening the distance people crossing the road were exposed to traffic. Other tires formed a zig-zag route for drivers to navigate.

Katelyn Mae Petrin / St. Louis Public Radio

Bicycles streamed through the streets Friday as people observed National Bike to Work Day. It's something St. Louis bicycle advocacy groups would like people to do more than just once a year. So, they are working to make the local bike commutes safer and easier.

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.

Flickr/Jeremy Noble

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.

Morton Bearman
Provided by the Family

Morton R. Bearman, who helped elect two generations of Symingtons to Congress and who became one of the St. Louis area’s first environmental attorneys, died Friday. He was 92.

Mr. Bearman was a staunch Democrat who was active in politics throughout his life. He served as campaign chair for both the late Stuart Symington, the former four-term U.S. senator from Missouri, and Symington’s son, James, who was elected four times to the U.S. House of Representatives.

(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.

The vision of the river ring
Great Rivers Greenway

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Simply put, the Great Rivers Greenway District, referred to as the district or Great Rivers Greenway, is a publicly funded entity that oversees the planning and execution of a network of trails throughout the St. Louis region.

Then again, it often seems that nothing is simple about explaining the district. Here is basic information about the funding, governance, projects and partnerships of Great Rivers Greenway.

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 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.

The above map shows the general location of the build in the Environmental Impact Study. St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley emphasized that there is no particular route. There is no design route. It’s just corridor.
Brent Jones | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The so-called South County Connector is years – if not decades – away from being built. It doesn't have funding and is for all intents and purposes simply an idea -- not a done deal.

But that isn’t stopping a broad coalition from speaking out – loudly – against the proposal, which aims to ease longstanding connectivity problems between northern and southern St. Louis County.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Advocates for bicyclists and pedestrians say they want to make 2013 the year Missouri passes a law banning texting while driving for everyone behind the wheel.

But those advocates, along with mass transit, city police and Missouri Department of Transportation officials also pushed all users of the road to take personal responsibility as they kicked off the second annual Safe Roads for All campaign on Monday.

(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.

(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.

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.