Thursday night Anne and I attended a planning meeting to help plan biking and walking in the central corridor of St. Louis County. Trailnet‘s Community Planning services in conjunction with consultants for the cities of Brentwood, Clayton, Maplewood and Richmond Heights are trying to develop a coordinated four city master plan for biking and walking. Communities that are bikable and walkable are not only fun for recreation they have many positive effects. After a brief lecture, we were enjoined to gather around a map and show where we would like to see connections and improvements for safe and enjoyable biking and walking.
The map had marked out a pretty complete network for biking. Some of it was existing, some was in work, but most of it was in planning. The network has a four level hierarchy for bike-ways: 1) Accommodation or just Share the Road signs; 2) Bike Route like most of BIKE Saint Louis; 3) Bike Lane like what Wydown has; and 4) Bike Path like what we have in Forest Park.
Most of the bike network was accommodation, then bike route and so forth. That is an effect of cost. Above accommodation, each succeeding level costs more. I would like to see a bike route from Deer Creek Park to Wydown, along Laclede Station, Wise, Boland and Crestwood and not just an accommodation.
A point was made about Wydown being upgraded to a bike path. I was not certain whether or not that meant no parking in the existing lane. I learned that a new trail along Deer Creek is complete and that phase two is underway, with a planned eventual linkup with the River Des Pere Trail system. Whoo Hoo! I also learned that Brentwood’s bike paths are much more extensive then I thought.
My last concern was that there seemed be little effort to affect or connect to plans outside the four city jurisdiction. MODOT is looking at upgrading Hanley/Laclede Station, possibly into a 141. Contacting neighboring cities, showing them our plans, listening to theirs seems like good urban planning to me.