Trailnet acquires St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation

Trailnet and the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation have been in talks this fall to discuss a merger or acquisition between the two organizations. A recent Trailnet newsletter made the news official:

St Louis Regional Bicycle Federation logo
St Louis Regional Bicycle Federation logo
Trailnet is becoming an even stronger voice for bicycle advocacy with the acquisition of the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation.

Trailnet will continue select St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation (St. Louis Bike Fed) initiatives including installation of bike racks in St. Louis City and County, the bike valet parking program at select community events and the Midwest Bicycle Expo and Swap Meet held annually each January.

“Trailnet’s mission of promoting active living through programming, policy and planning has always been closely aligned with St. Louis Bike Fed’s work to make the region more bike-friendly,” said Ann Mack, Trailnet executive director.  “By acquiring their services and strengthening our capacity for advocacy, we will be able to make even greater strides toward livability in the St. Louis region.”

Trailnet logo
Trailnet logo
The merger was approved by the St. Louis Bike Fed membership via unanimous vote at the St. Louis Bike Fed general membership meeting, Sunday, November 14. The arrangement will be legally formalized by the end of 2010. In addition to the continuation of St. Louis Bike Fed initiatives, Trailnet will grant a one-year membership to the 170 current St. Louis Bike Fed members, bringing the total Trailnet membership to more than 2000.

In October, the St Louis Regional Bicycle Federation released long-time Executive Director Patty Vinyard, who summarized the regional federation's work over the past several years:

It has been a pleasure and a joy to work with so many fascinating, kind, and generous people over the years.  From the person who wants to safely park their bike with our valet bike parking service, our members, our many dozens of volunteers, to my peers in bike advocacy organizations, and to senators and congressmen in Washington DC--I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every contact I have made. The leaders of other bike advocacy organizations, all working for an ever more bicycle friendly America, have been especially generous in sharing both their experience and their friendship, and I am forever grateful to have met and worked with each of you.

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Patty Vinyard presents the MoBikeFed's Friend of Missouri Bicycling Award to David Fisher, former executive director of Great Rivers Greenway at his retirement party.


 
In the nearly 5 years that I have worked with the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation, we have increased our membership base and contacts list, our presence in the region, and our influence with decision-makers on behalf of people who ride bikes for any reason whatsoever. In that time, working together with our partners and an active board of directors, we have helped to write several documents including Trailnet's "Active Living Toolkit," FOCUS St. Louis' "Roadmap to Sustainability: A Toolkit for Local Governments," the Alliance for Biking and Walking's "Benchmarking Survey of the United States' Top 50 Cities," MoDOT's Top 50 Priority Projects f
or Bicycling and Walking, and the City of St. Louis' winning application for Bicycle Friendly Community status with the League of American Bicyclists. Working together, we also researched and wrote a set of guidelines for cities who want to develop Ciclovia type events, a guide and overview of valet bicycle parking, and a best practices guide to design, purchase, and install short-term bike parking racks. We have offered classes, seminars, and presentations to dozens of groups and individuals around the region, all focused on creating a better bicycling environment.
 
Working with a broad range of partners, we have diligently brought the topic of bicycling to the planning tables of government and industry at the local, state, and national levels. Our partners in these efforts have included: Trailnet, Sierra Club, Missouri Votes Conservation, PedNet, Scenic Missouri, Gateway Council of Hosteling International, Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation, Active Transportation Alliance, Live Well Ferguson, Great Rivers Greenway, League of Illinois Bicyclists, League of American Bicyclists, Adventure Cycling Association, Urban Mobility Caucus, FOCUS St. Louis, U.S. Green Building Council, St. Louis Earth Day, Prairie Ridge Trail Initiative, St. Louis Bicycle Works, Gateway Off Road Cyclists, Southwest Garden Neighborhood Association, Urban Eats, Helmets First, Metro Transit, South Grand CID, Jefferson County Health Dept., St. Louis Cardinals, Jewish Environmental Initiative, Dogfish Racing, Madison County Transit, Alliance for Biking and Walking, Metro East Cycling Club, East West Gateway Council of Governments, the City of St. Louis, Missouri Bicycle Racing Association, Big Shark Racing, New Baden Police Department, Belleville Department of Parks and Recreation, Team Revolution, and countless bike shops across the region. I fear I may have left someone out of this list, and if so, I apologize and I thank you for your partnership. Time and again, when the needs of bicyclists and the benefits of bicycling might have been forgotten, we were there at the table speaking on behalf of people who ride bikes to those who make policy, planning, and funding decisions that affect everyone's quality of life.
 
Personally, in every situation where I was called upon to advocate for bicycling, I kept in mind the image of a smart, quick 12-year-old girl who takes a piano lesson two miles from her house. It was my fervent desire to see that she could independently don a backpack carrying her music books, hop on her bike, and take herself to that lesson using her own intelligence and strength, and utilizing our well-designed, well-executed transportation network. The alternative scenario--one that I was continually working to push away from--is one where she, in spite of her burgeoning independence, is trundled into her mother's SUV to be ferried to her lesson like a preschooler. If there is any reason why such a young woman cannot move around in the world without Mom or Dad, it is because each of us as citizens has allowed our corner of the world to be dominated by the automobile. This domination, for many reasons, is coming to an end soon. It has been my honor to be a part of the trend toward achieving a more sane and inviting built world. I continue to hold a vision of a transportation network that invites everyone regardless of age, income, traveling mode, and ability, to freely travel wherever their hearts lead them.