Riverfront trails in KC and St. Louis

A KCStar editorial supports the idea of making riverfront trails:
Joggers, bicyclists and walkers moved along the trails, and sightseers gazed at the river from a bridge.

Could this be Kansas City?

No, it was Spokane, Wash., where I attended a conference last week.

Paved trails with special bicycle lanes lined both sides of the Spokane River. I stepped from my hotel door onto a sidewalk linked to the trail. Then I walked beside the river and crossed a footbridge to reach the conference center.

The trails wove past businesses and through parks. One minute you knew you were in town. The next, the view of the river made it appear more rustic. To the south, it was a quick walk to a downtown enjoying resurgence as a classy shopping and dining area.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is singing the same tune:
For decades, the St. Louis region turned its back on the mighty rivers that were both the reason it was born and the features that still best define it. That's beginning to change.

Sure, we've got the Gateway Arch and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park. But for the most part, our riverfronts have been walled off by levees or blighted by decaying industrial areas where people shouldn't, couldn't or wouldn't go.

But last week, ground was broken for a four-mile biking and walking trail along the River Des Peres in St. Louis. When finished, it will link with a growing network of trails, parks and green spaces in Missouri and Illinois. ...

The taxpayer-supported Great Rivers Greenway District, which is building the River Des Peres trail, has ambitious plans to create a "river ring" around St. Louis. It could one day include trails along the Meramec and Missouri rivers, as well as Gravois and Dardenne creeks. ...

Trails and parks are an important civic asset. Here in the lower Mississippi River Valley, we're a part of what doctors have dubbed "coronary valley" because of the high rates of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. The new and existing trails will expand opportunities for sedentary suburbanites and city dwellers to get outside for exercise.

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