Missouri's Report Card and Bike to Work Week hit front page of St. Louis Post-Dispatch


TrailNet's Ann Mack and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay with the St. Louis Bike Month Proclamation

Photo courtesy Trailnet - more Bike to Work Day photos here

During National Bike Week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had front-page stories about Bike to Work Week and MoBikeFed's Report Card on Walking and Bicycling in Missouri.

Bike Week:
To celebrate, The Great Rivers Greenway District, the YMCA of Greater St. Louis and Trailnet will host 20 area refueling stations where bike commuters can grab breakfast and, in some instances, even a shower in a YMCA locker room.

Trailnet has operated the refueling stations for six years, spokeswoman Kathi Weilbacher said.
Missouri's Report Card on Walking and Bicycling:
Missouri lags behind the rest of the nation when it comes to cycling and walking as a means of commuting.

The Missouri Bicycle Federation has released its first annual "Bicycling and Walking in Missouri — A Report Card" just in time for National Bike to Work Week. It gave Missouri a "D". . . .

The Missouri Bicycling Federation's 23-page report card looks at 40 criteria such as the number of injuries incurred by cyclists and pedestrians; number of cities with cycling plans; and bicycle/pedestrian traffic enforcement.

It also looked at how many Missouri cities have been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as bicycle-friendly communities. That would be none.

Illinois — the Metro East area anyway — doesn't fare much better. Of the 84 communities recognized nationwide by the league, only two in Illinois — Chicago and Schaumburg, a suburb — have qualified for the distinction. Communities must apply and meet certain criteria. Hugh says the biggest indicator of how poorly we're doing is that Missouri residents walk or ride bicycles for only about 5 percent of the trips they make to work, school, restaurants, stores and so on. That's about half the national average of 9.5 percent. . . .

Ultimately, he said, the group would like to see enough Missouri communities have plans in place that foster walking and cycling for at least half of the state's 5.8 million residents. Currently, plans cover only about 7 percent of the population.

"The interesting thing is we know that just as many Missourians own bicycles as other parts of the country," Hugh said. "So we have people interested in bicycling, but they do it a lot less often."
The St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation got some great coverage of Bike to Work week on the Channel 11 news:

Harold Karabell of St. Louis is no ordinary bicyclist: he's been riding to and from work for decades, and all-day in between. "It is possible, within limits, to re-arrange one's life to be reasonably car-free, using a combination of biking, public transit, buses and Metrolink, as well as walking," he says.

Karabell lives in the Central West End, but says his biking lifestyle knows no geographic or athletic boundaries. "It's great for one's body, it's great for one's soul too," Karabell says. "You really just enjoy life more, even when you're commuting to work. Even if it's a job you don't like that much, if you get there by bicycle rather than by car, you're perspective is a lot different and a lot better."

"Bike to Work Week" is a community effort to promote the sport as a viable transportation alternative, rather than just a recreational or fringe activity. Patty Vinyard, executive director of the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation says: "It's not that difficult, most people who are in generally good health can easily pedal five miles in maybe half an hour."
In another very important development in St. Louis during National Bike Month, the Bicycle Friendly St. Louis Partnership, which recently submitted a Bicycle Friendly Community application for St. Louis, held "Bicycle Appreciation Day" at St. Louis City Hall, giving awards to St. Louis Aldermen who had supported the recent Bike St. Louis expansion, which tripled the number of marked bicycle routes in St. Louis.

The Bicycle Friendly St. Louis Partnership is a collaboration of bicycling groups in the St. Louis region, including Bike St. Louis, East-West Gateway Council of Governments, Gateway Council - Hostelling International, Great Rivers Greenway District, Metropolis, Missouri Bicycle Federation, Missouri Bicycle Racing Association, City of St. Louis, St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation, and Trailnet.