University City adopts Bike Walk Master Plan

Local advocate and MoBikeFed member Sarah Hanly wrote recently to let us know that, after some years of work and delay, University City finally passed its Bike Walk Master Plan last week.  

Local advocates are now planning to encourage the city to adopt a Complete Streets policy. 

The goals of the plan are to:

  • Create an "equity of mobility" within University City by providing universally-accessible transportation alternatives;
  • Support and increase ongoing investment in and revitalization of University City;
  • Encourage walking and cycling as legitimate modes of transportation and promote public health and healthy and active lifestyles.

The plan is comprehensive, discussing programs to encourage biking and walking in the city as well as detailed analysis of costs, funding opportunities, and detailed maps, design guidelines, and planned facilities for nearly every street in the city. 

The plan calls for 3 miles of shared lane markings, 7.5 miles of shared lines signs, 5.6 miles of sharrows, 6.8 miles of bike lanes, and 7 miles of bike/walk streets (bicycle boulevards), as well as curb and sidewalk improvements to 80% of city streets and street tree improvements to 60% of city streets.

In addition, the plan calls for the adoption of a Complete Streets policy as well as a Universal Accessibility policy to improve mobility for people with disabilities.

How the plan was passed

Like many bicycle and pedestrian plans, University City's plan had a long path from vision to reality.  A Mayor's Task Force on University City's Bike and Walkability was established in October 2010.  The City received grant funds through Trailnet, which has an active and very successful program to help cities and counties develop bicycle, pedestrian, and trails plans.

The plan hit a few bumps in the road--the city council heard the plan in May, 2013, but sent it back for changes. The city council finally passed the resolution last week.

Hanly said, "Even though this was a long and difficult process working on U City's Bike Walk Master Plan from inception to adoption was a great opportunity to partner with our city staff, Trailnet, city commissions, city council, and our consultant to establish relationships and a framework for future bike and walk advocacy."

Congratulations to University City for joining the ranks of Missouri cities with a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian master plan, and to the city council, mayor's task force, Trailnet, consultants, and local advocates who made it happen.

What's next for University City?  How about the citywide Complete Streets policy and applying for Bicycle Friendly Community status?

More info:

Encouraging the creation of a world-class bicycle and pedestrian system is one of the four major goals of MoBikeFed's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri. Encouraging cities, counties, metropolitan and regional planning organizations, MoDOT to adopt and implement bicycle, pedestrian, and trails master plans is an important part of that Vision. Your membership and support helps turn MoBikeFed's Vision into reality around Missouri.