The Bike St. Louis project is an outgrowth of a partnership between the City of St. Louis and the Great Rivers Greenway District. The idea came from then Alderman Lewis Reed and Congressman Russ Carnahan, long-time friends and cyclists who felt it was time to create a way to connect the parks in the City for cyclists and to provide safe commuter route options.
After months of planning with Alderpersons, constituents, City Agencies, and local bike organizations, the first 20 miles of continuous on-street bicycle routes were unveiled in the Spring of 2005. Signage on the routes is both MUTCD standard signage as well as custom designed signage by Kiku Obata that marks the route and provides point of interest directions and distances. A printed map was also developed and distributed which included bike safety information. In addition an educational program was created and presented to over 30 classes of middle school students.
Milestones for a Bike-Friendly Region
- Spring 2005: The first 20 miles of continuous on-street bicycle routes were unveiled to the public. Signage on the routes and printed maps were developed and distributed. Additionally, an educational program was created and presented to over 30 classes of middle school students.
- May 2008: The District celebrates the first major expansion to the Bike St. Louis network since 2005. Phase II adds nearly 50 miles of Bike St. Louis routes in the City of St. Louis, providing expanded connections from downtown to neighborhoods, business districts, educational, cultural and recreation amenities in North and South St. Louis. The new routes also provide on-street connections to the North Riverfront Trail and the McKinley Bridge Bikeway along the Mississippi River in North St. Louis, as well as the River des Peres Greenway and Christy Greenway in South St. Louis. Phase II extends the routes into the Cities of Clayton and Maplewood and offers users solid connections to Metrolink and Metro Bus stations.
In addition, a public awareness campaign was introduced made up of three posters with themes; safety awareness, encouraging people to consider the health and environmental benefits of cycling. The awareness campaign themes and designs were created through an inclusive process with local bicycling groups, citizens and the Kiku Obata design team.
- June 7, 2008: Great Rivers Greenway District celebrated the completion of the McKinley Bridge Bikeway and the Branch Street Trestle project, expanding the options for cyclists and pedestrians to use the Bike St. Louis routes.
- April 2013: An updated version of the Bike St. Louis map is made available to the public. More than 50,000 distributed through events, bike shops and various regional partners. The newest version highlights bike racks, schools and connections to greenways throughout St. Louis City and St. Louis County.
- Summer 2013: The District announces that it will fund a feasibility study to explore bike share in St. Louis. The study will be under way in late 2013/spring of 2014.
- September 23, 2013: The District announces an upcoming open house event, to be held in partnership with the City of St. Louis to propose 100 miles of upgraded and expanded bike routes in the City of St. Louis. Click here for more information.
- November 20, 2013: For the second year, Great Rivers Greenway partnered with MoDOT, East-West Gateway Council of Governments and Trailnet to host a workshop targeted to planners, engineers and decision-makers for the implementation of the Gateway Bike Plan. Over ninety people attended the November 20 workshop at the Regional Arts Commission to discuss "Moving to the Next Level" as a bike-friendly region. Representatives from Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Memphis - three cities that have been nationally recognized for their achievements in creating bicycle friendly communities - shared their insights and recommendations with those in attendance at the workshop.
- December 10, 2013: Great Rivers Greenway's Board of Directors approved a cooperation agreement with the City of St. Louis earlier this month to move Phase III of Bike St. Louis forward. The project will upgrade approximately 56 miles of existing bicycle routes and expand the network with an additional 52 miles of on-street bike routes. Construction is slated to begin for mid-to-late 2014.