Great Rivers Greenway Completes Gateway Bike Plan


Plan partners propose more than 1,000 miles of bike lanes linking St. Louis City and County and St. Charles County, paving the way for creation of one of the larger bicycle networks in the U.S.

Working to help the St. Louis region become a premiere community that encourages healthy living and active lifestyles, Great Rivers Greenway and a host of regional partners recently completed the Gateway Bike Plan.  The product of months of work, the Bike Plan will provide direction for the region to develop a safe, convenient connected on-road bicycle system of routes with links between communities, greenways, transit and trails, creating one of the larger bicycle networks in the United States.

Over the next 20 years, the Gateway Bike Plan partners envision 1,011 miles of bike lanes, shared use lanes and other bicycle facilities throughout St. Louis City, County and urbanized areas of St. Charles County. The network aims to improve the use and safety of bicycles by commuters, students and recreational riders and contribute to the region’s economic and environmental health, making St. Louis a better place to live.

Great Rivers Greenway led the collaborative effort to prepare the Gateway Bike Plan for on-road and multi-use trails, working in partnership with local officials from more than 100 municipalities and representatives from the Missouri Department of Transportation,

St. Louis City, St. Louis and St. Charles counties, Metro, East-West Gateway Council of Governments and Trailnet. The finished plan reflects the input of citizens and technical advisors, who worked together through the public engagement phase of the project to develop the vision of the plan and define the core goals to be achieved through its implementation. These goals include:
• providing a prioritized system of contiguous bicycle routes that are connected to other on- and off-road facilities;
• improving safety of all modes of transportation through careful design and educational and enforcement programs;
• expanding the public’s view of bicycles as a viable form of transportation, and
• increasing the commitment of public officials to support or initiate public policy for bicycling at the state, local and regional levels of government.

Another key component of the plan is the development of performance measures so that public agencies and interested citizens can assess how implementation of the plan is generating increases in ridership and resulting in reductions in crashes involving bicycles.

“Connecting communities, promoting good health and providing transportation alternatives are just the beginning of creating a vibrant region. The Gateway Bike Plan helps to foster the development of safer cycling routes,” notes Susan Trautman, executive director of Great Rivers Greenway. “With input from citizens, community leaders and transportation experts, the Gateway Bike Plan has been favorably accepted and is ready for action.”

Already, individual communities are adopting and endorsing the plan and collaborating with Great Rivers Greenway’s project team members to ensure that, as they proceed with current road improvement projects, they are identifying bicycling facilities that can be worked on simultaneously. Examples can be found in the City of St. Louis, along Clayton Road in Frontenac, and in Brentwood.  To further facilitate the plan’s implementation across the region, city councils, regional planning commissions and others involved in planning road projects are encouraged to take the following actions:
• Adopt Complete Streets ordinances at local, regional and state levels;
• Design and install bicycle facilities as part of a transportation project;
• Integrate the Plan into appropriate state, county and local planning documents;
• Encourage local municipalities and counties to dedicate existing staff to coordinate bicycle facility planning and implementation;
• Work across jurisdictional boundaries on the planning, design and funding of bicycle infrastructure projects, and
• Create public and private partnerships to develop bike facilities such as on-road facilities, bicycle parking or other support facilities.

Any community wishing to learn more can coordinate a presentation by representatives of Great Rivers Greenway by contacting them at 314-436-7009, or by emailing info@grgstl.org. To review the completed plan or learn more online, visit www.stlbikeplan.com or www.grgstl.org.