St Louis expands Complete Streets Policy & accepts Sec Foxx's Mayor's Challenge!

Big news out of St. Louis.  Alderman Scott Ogilvie has been working with Trailnet and the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen to pass an updated and greatly improved Complete Streets policy for the city.  The new, much strengthened Complete Streets Policy passed the Board with a unanimous vote on January 30th.

Yesterday, Mayor Slay signed the new Complete Streets bill and also announced the St. Louis is the third Missouri city to officially accept US Department of Transportation Secretary Foxx's Mayor's Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets.

St. Louis Mayor Slay signs the updated Complete Streets bill sponsored by Alderm
St. Louis Mayor Slay signs the updated Complete Streets bill sponsored by Alderman Scott Ogilvy

Kansas City and Columbia previously announced they will participate in the Mayor's Challenge. 

Has your Mayor accepted the Mayor's Challenge?

Complete Streets in Missouri

The updated St. Louis Complete Streets policy is a major advance and one of the strongest and most comprehensive in the state.  The strong support for the policy shown by the unanimous vote by the Board of Aldermen in support and by the mayor's signature and acceptance of the Mayor's Challenge, shows that there is real political support for Complete Streets principles in the city.  That political support, along with the measures specified in the policy itself, will help carry Complete Streets planning and design to new levels in the city.

Complete Streets are streets and roads designed to meet the needs of all road users:  people who walk, people who bicycle, people who use transit, people at all different levels of ability and disability, and people of all ages, from young to old--as well as people who drive, own homes, operate businesses, and do everything else in Missouri communities

Today, more than 2.6 million Missourians live in a municipality with a Complete Streets policy.  In addition, more than 3.2 million Missourians (plus 1.5 million citizens of adjoining states) live in a Metropolitan Planning Organization area that has adopted a Complete Streets policy.  The Missouri General Assembly officially endorsed Complete Streets in 2011, encouragin cities, counties, regional transportation planning organizations, and MoDOT to adopt a Complete Streets approach.

All that means that Missouri is gaining momentum for Complete Streets--and all the more so because no fewer than 22 of the state's 25 Complete Streets policies have been adopted since 2008.  Changes to our roads and streets take place over a time frame of decades--meaning that we are just at the beginning of the changes our communities will see as Complete Streets policies are implemented over the coming years and decades.

A example of a Complete Street in an urban area
A example of a Complete Street in an urban area

The effective advocacy by Trailnet to works towards St. Louis City Complete Streets policy in 2010, followed by the St. Louis County CS policy in 2014 (one of the most important advocacy advances in Missouri over the past decade, and an amazing turnaround for the County), and now the work to pass a greatly improved St. Louis City CS policy this year, are another important factor in the growth of Complete Streets in Missouri.  We now have several effective advocacy organizations and groups across Missouri working on issues like this--and it makes a huge difference. 

Has your community adopted a Complete Streets policy?

Many more details about St. Louis's new Complete Streets policy and the Mayor's Challenge are below in the Mayor's press release:

Mayor Slay signs new, improved Complete Streets Policy for St. Louis

Mayor Francis Slay today signed into law a revision of the City's Complete Streets policy to improve planning, design, and maintenance of transportation, road, sidewalk, and trail networks.  The updated policy builds on a 2010 ordinance, which adopted Complete Streets principles within the City.

The new policy incorporates more City agencies to provide input across specialties into how to design, build, and maintain streets so that they are safer for any user with any ability.

"This policy moves us beyond the minimum requirements to a more proactive approach to making our streets safer and more convenient for pedestrians, cyclists, mass transit users, and motorists," Mayor Slay said.  "I thank Alderman Scott Ogilvie for introducing these changes and to the aldermen who supported the bill.  They understand that there are many ways other than a car to travel in our City.  The City's top engineers will consider everyone -- not just those behind the wheel -- when it comes to designing and maintaining our streets."

"This policy moves us in the direction of a better balance between all transportation choices," Alderman Ogilvie said.  "Residents consistently express support for projects that make walking safer and more appealing."

The City's multi-department approach will help ensure that safe access and connections exist between neighborhoods and destinations.  It also will help inform decision making across the City by educating more residents and leaders of the best options available.  Complete Streets will be achieved through single or multiple elements incorporated into a particular project, and improvements will occur incrementally over time.


Members of the Department of Streets, Planning and Urban Design, Board of Public Service, Health Department, Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, and the Office on the Disabled will form a Complete Streets Steering Committee to oversee the implementation of the policy.  The plan includes identifying areas that are most deficient or dangerous for users based on injury and fatality data and the review of the latest City Pedestrian Safety Action Plan and Strategic Highway Safety Plan.  This more targeted, data-driven approach will lead to more focused investment and improvements where they are needed most.

A 2014 policy shift in St. Louis County dovetails with the City's Complete Streets principles, which will help create more opportunities for collaboration and learning between the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County public works agencies.


Mayor Slay Accepts USDOT Secretary Foxx's Mayor's Challenge

The City has also signed on to the United States Department of Transportation Mayor's Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets.  Mayor Slay is taking U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx's challenge to take action to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and all abilities.  The City's Complete Streets approach is number one on the Mayor's Challenge Activities.  Other plans as part of the year-long challenge include:

  • Identifying and addressing barriers to make streets safe and convenient for all road users, including people of all ages and abilities and those using assistive devices;
  • Gathering and tracking biking and walking data;
  • Using designs that are appropriate to the context of the street and its uses;
  • Taking advantage of opportunities to create and complete ped-bike networks through maintenance;
  • Improving walking and biking safety laws and regulations; and
  • Educating and enforce proper road use behavior by all.

The Administration will update and inform both Secretary Foxx's office and the public as new pieces of the Challenge are implemented.


Working for a world-class bicycle and pedestrian transportation system and helping create a unified statewide movement in support of bicycling, walking, and trails are two of the major goals in MoBikeFed's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri.  An important part of our role is to help publicize statewide and nationwide the major achievements and accomplishments of organizations like Trailnet and elected officials like Mayor Slay and Alderman Ogilvy when they make a major advance for bicycling and walking in Missouri, as St. Louis did yesterday.

Your membership and generous support help power MoBikeFed's advocacy work and help turn our Vision to reality across Missouri!

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