Missouri State Parks and Ameren sign historic railbanking agreement for Rock Island Trail Corridor; now must raise $9.8 million before beginning trail development

Today officials from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Ameren signed an "interim trail use agreement" that allows the 144 miles of the Rock Island railroad corridor between Windsor and Beaufort to move towards development as Rock Island Trail State Park in the near future. 

The agreement today railbanks the 144-mile section of the corridor and puts it on track for trail development within two years--if all goes well.

This is the most significant single step we have seen in moving towards Rock Island Trail State Park. Though there is still significant work to be done, the signing today shows a very significant commitment on the part of both State Parks and Ameren Missouri to move forward with the transfer of the corridor and the creation of the Rock Island Trail State Park.

Rock Island Trail supporters react

"Missouri is incredibly lucky; corridors of this type are few and far between. That's why we've been working so hard alongside our partners in the state to protect this corridor and its potential to become a world-class trail," said Eric Oberg, director of trail development for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's (RTC's) Midwest Regional Office.

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Department of Natural Resources will announce decision on Rock Island Line Corridor Interim Trail Agreement Dec. 17 at 2pm in Eldon

Missouri State Parks will announce their decision whether to sign an Interim Trail Use Agreement on the 144 miles of the Rock Island Trail between Windsor and Beaufort, Missouri, Tuesday, December 17th, at 2pm in Eldon. 

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Complete Streets in the Tower Grove Neighborhood: How new pedestrian connections to a park and through a neighborhood improve quality of life for individuals and a whole community

Complete Streets make communities work for everyone--those who walk, those who bicycle, those who drive or use public transportation, people of all ages, and people at all levels of ability and disability.

Recently, the Tower Grove area has implemented a comprehensive plan to improve walking and bicycling connections in the area, and particularly to create better pedestrian connections Tower Grove Park from every direction.

Dana Gray of Tower Grove Neighborhoods in St Louis sent this story about how that Complete Streets work has made a real difference in the lives of Tower Grove neighbors and the community:

On a beautiful fall day, I encountered Justin Vitale on Kingshighway at Magnolia, at the Tower Grove Park Pedestrian Access project, a newly installed crosswalk leading to Tower Grove Park. We struck up a conversation as we waited for the signal to change. I asked what his thoughts were on the area’s connectivity and ease of access, given he was in a wheelchair. 

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