Wednesday, February 7, 2007

St. Louis County: "Bikes not an option for commute"

While I bellyache about weeds in the road, cyclists in St. Louis, Missouri have real issues to contend with.

Interstate 64 / Highway 40 through St. Louis will be rebuilt over the next three years. In the meantime, the commuters who currently use the Interstate to travel 140,000 times a day will be diverted to surface streets in St. Louis -- right onto boulevards that are currently popular with transportational cyclists who also commute to work.

Instead of using any kind of Transportation Demand Management to try to mitigate the congestion that will result, the St. Louis County Department of Highways and Traffic plans to restripe the main bike boulevards, completely eliminating the wide outside lanes that currently exist. According to county highway director Garry Earls, "the 10-speed simply isn't an option for traveling to work or getting children to school."

According to Jack Painter of St. Louis, "A pedestrian bridge in my neighborhood will be torn down and not replaced. Will we have to drive 1.8 miles to go to stores and restaurants that are less than 150 meters away? The New I-64 is a sad but accurate indication of perverse and misguided design plans that will insure more traffic, pollution and accidents for decades. The federal government's financial subsidization of these plans, without proper oversight, guarantees a lower quality of life for everyone and not just cyclists."

Read more at the Missouri Bicycle Federation.

Discussion at the St. Louis Bicycle Federation
includes email exchanges from county planners.


  1. Hey, you legal eagles out there, throw us a bone on how to stop this kind of crap in the courts. Obviously, they have NO intentions of listening to us.

  2. I think Mr. Earls might be misinformed. Sure ten speeds are a little dated, but they still work just fine. Personally, I alternate commuting on an 18 speed and a 1 speed, but I don't see why I couldn't get around on a bike with exactly 10 gears.

    Wait, am I missing the point again :)

  3. "Hello, This is Emily Litella. I'm not home right now, but I will call you back as soon as possible. Just leave your name, number and what time you called after you hear the sound of the Jeep."

  4. paul tay - don't give up yet! They may listen. In Atlanta we've been fighting road construction that would take out a bike lane. After tons of letters to the mayor and demonstration bike rides they stopped construction today:

    Try it, it might work. Write tons of letters. Get the local residents involved. Ride the streets involved: show them what it'll be like to share these roads with lots of bikes during rush hour.

  5. The link doesn't indicate stopping construction... are they behind on updates?

    Time for the monkeywrench gang?

  6. bradley, can you arrange for some of your more outspokin' cyclists to visit StL for awhile? We need more critical mass as our letters get the typical canned response and perhaps a few thousand riders would help. Don't worry, we don't have any roads here named Peachtree!