I missed this important story by reporter Margaret Gillerman when it first appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
I only learned of this effort to persuade St. Louis County Council to enact a Complete Streets ordinance, led by Trailnet and spanning several months, from the following Sunday’s newspaper, published on 2013-11-24. A long story appeared in the Community section titled: “St. Louis County is poised to approve measure for bike- and pedestrian-friendly roads.”
At the following week’s St. Louis County Council meeting on Tuesday, 2013-11-26, a final vote on this bill was unexpectedly postponed. Reporter Steve Giegerich wrote an intriguing story about it: “St. Louis County Council puts Complete Streets legislation on hold”. The story notes last-minute budgetary concerns raised by St. Louis County Highways & Traffic Department.
County Council urged to approve more bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly policies
November 19, 2013 8:46 pm • By Margaret Gillerman email@example.com 314-340-81260
CLAYTON • Advocates for more bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly St. Louis County roads turned out at a County Council meeting Tuesday night to urge the council pass a comprehensive Complete Streets ordinance.
St. Louis city, Kansas City and Missouri’s other larger cities already have adopted “Complete Streets” policies. According to the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, a “Complete Street” is one “designed with all users in mind–motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, the elderly, and the disabled.
“Making streets usable for everyone promotes sustainable transportation, active lifestyles, and safer access to jobs and school,” the organization says on its website.
The Complete Streets bill advanced at Tuesday’s council meeting with stronger language than a previous version, and it will be up for final passage next week.
In St. Louis County, Trailnet is among the leaders of the movement for passage of the Complete Streets ordinance.
Rhonda Smythe, with Trailnet, said that the bill, which Trailnet helped write, calls for bike and pedestrian lanes, better lighting on roads, crosswalks, trimmed bushes and other measures to encourage safer transportation of all kinds. Significantly, it would call for better “connectivity” of trails around the county and more collaboration and cooperation among different agencies and governments..
At the council meeting Tuesday, resident Barbara Stewart told the council that voters had approved money for Great Rivers Greenway to build connected trails around the region and that county roads should be part of the system.
Phil Valko, director of Sustainability at Washington University, said the students and faculty would benefit from the new policies. A Clayton resident also spoke in favor.
Chaplain Willie J. Jordan, executive director of the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council, said that Complete Streets was also important for pedestrians and people with disabilities. He cited some streets in North St. Louis County where it could improve safety.
County Councilman Pat Dolan of Richmond Heights, who is one of the sponsors and worked on the bill, said it had broad support from municipalities and mayors and residents from every part of St. Louis County.
“The people of St. Louis County have shown us in surveys by the Planning Department that this is what they want,” Dolan said. He said that Complete Streets could improve local economies and transportation.
Initially, the county administration was reluctant but now is cooperating on the bill, he said.