Residents invited to help shape Phase III of Bike St. Louis project at Open House October 3 at Forest Park Visitors Center
By: Danni Eickenhorst

Great Rivers Greenway and the City of St. Louis are working to improve the Bike St. Louis network in the City of St. Louis with a plan to expand and upgrade a total of 100 miles of on-street bicycle routes. The District, in partnership with the City of St. Louis, will host an open house on Thursday, October 3, to provide an opportunity for the public to view initial designs and provide comments on the plan. This is the third phase of the Bike St. Louis project, which was established in 2004 to promote cycling as a viable transportation option, and to create bicycle connections from downtown St. Louis to destinations throughout the region. To date, the project has developed 84 miles of on-street bicycle routes in St. Louis City, Clayton, Maplewood and Kirkwood.

The proposed Phase III expansion will improve access for residents and visitors to regional destinations by adding an additional 40 miles of on-street bike routes in the City of St. Louis, and upgrading 60 miles of the existing network. Proposed upgrades include increased signage throughout the city, and six bicycle-parking corrals to be placed throughout the City.

The open house will be an opportunity for interested residents to view plan concepts, and provide feedback on the proposed improvements. The on-street modifications being considered would calm traffic, and accommodate safe travel by both cyclists and motorists, while linking residents to destinations throughout the city by trail and transit. Improvements that will be considered at the event include shared lane markings, bicycle lanes, buffered bike lanes, and bike boulevards.

The event will be open to the public and held on October 3 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Forest Park Visitors Center, located at 5595 Grand Drive on the north side of Forest Park. There is no formal presentation so attendees can stop by anytime between 4:30 and 7:00pm.  

“It is a priority for my administration and the City of St. Louis to make the City more bike-friendly,” said Mayor Slay. “The City’s Sustainability plan calls for a reduction in traffic congestion and improvement in air quality. When these 100 miles are completed, our residents and visitors will find it easier to commute by bike – which will reduce traffic, and thus improve air quality. These routes will also provide better access and connectivity to green space, trails, and parks—enhancing the quality of life for all residents.”

“We are excited to see the increasing numbers of residents and visitors who are using the Bike St. Louis network for their daily commutes, running errands or simply enjoying the wonderful parks and neighborhoods throughout the city.  We are eager to expand the network to provide greater connectivity to destinations that will encourage even more residents interested in cycling to experience Bike St. Louis,” said Todd Antoine, director of planning for the Great Rivers Greenway District.  “Bicycling has become a major component of the City’s transportation infrastructure and we are excited to be working with the City and all of our partners to make St. Louis a better place to live.“

The expansion will be funded by contributions from Great Rivers Greenway and the City of St. Louis, and a $1.1 million Federal Transportation grant administered by East-West Gateway Council of Governments and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). 

Feedback and public comments received at the open house event will be reviewed by the project’s designers and considered in the final design of Bike St. Louis Phase III. Final plans will be approved by the City of St. Louis and reviewed to ensure they are within the guidelines of Federal standards for bicycle facilities. Preliminary design plans are anticipated to be submitted to MoDOT later this year, and to have final approval in spring of 2014, with construction under way in mid-to-late 2014.