In early 2015 Kingshighway will close for a year and a half, and resulting traffic threatens to disrupt cycling on Tower Grove Avenue, a key bicycle corridor. Previously,
- We described concerns for cyclists during the Kingshighway closure.
- We heard back from the City about this issue, and followed up with a few questions.
Happily, we received another response. On behalf of Great Rivers Greenway and the City of St. Louis, Emma Klues writes,
I apologize if my first response was unclear, because both partners are very dedicated to cyclists having safe and easy options. As soon as I know the final, precise plans for the configurations and detours, I will get that information out immediately (very soon). Here are the facts:
• The road diet and buffered bike lane on TGA will happen as soon as possible. It is scheduled for Spring 2015, and may very well stay on schedule.
• When the Kingshighway bridge comes down in early 2015, preceding the above scheduled work, whatever may happen to Tower Grove Avenue to help adjust for increased car traffic, there will be options on this street for bicycles.
• Alderman Conway is working on to make sure the few residents that have parking ONLY on that street are taken care of in case of adjustments in parking spots – per the Shaw Neighborhood Improvement Association meeting last night, Tower Grove Baptist Church has offered a few spots for those residents, so progress is being made to ensure all uses of TGA are being considered.
• The current bike lane from Shaw to Vandeventer will not be adjusted whatsoever. That is not part of this project or the bridge closure project.
In terms of alternative routes for bicycles, should people choose to not cycle on Tower Grove Avenue, there are many, and opening up Thurman is just adding one more option. You are precisely right that Thurman is not a long-term solution as a key bike route. It’s not intended to be. It’s simply one more option during the first part of construction. Coming from the north, cyclists can take Alfred, Klemm, Thurman or 39th to Magnolia and then get back onto Tower Grove to go through the park southbound, or coming from the south, we can take Alfred, Thurman, Lawrence, or 39th to Shaw to get back to Tower Grove Avenue northbound.
As an aside, I called Tower Grove Park this past spring personally to inquire about the connectivity for Thurman through the park (to your point about the curbs) and they informed me that it is on the list of repairs within the next year. I cannot wait!
Anyone is welcome to call or email me with any questions: 314-932-4919 or eklues at grgstl dot org. Thank you, Matt, for your advocacy and for helping to spread the word in times of transition. Again, I will provide updates as soon as possible.
Here then is a summary of what we know about the construction project:
- In early 2015 Kingshighway will close. At that time, Tower Grove Avenue between Magnolia and Shaw will be “adjusted for increased car traffic.” However, there will be “options on the street for bicycles.”
- Traffic studies will then take place.
- The road diet and buffered bike lanes which are part of Phase III, originally scheduled for Spring 2015, will be installed eventually, but it is not clear when.
A number of other details are still unspecified, including the presence of on-street parking, bike infrastructure, and the lane layout between Magnolia to Shaw – all these will play a critical role in cyclist safety during the construction. The commitment to maintain the existing bike lanes between Shaw and Vandeventer is significant and much appreciated.
Thank you, Emma, for your willingness to engage in a conversation about this issue as well as for your efforts to improve connectivity through Tower Grove Park. We appreciate the City’s commitment to share additional information “very soon,” and will post it here as we learn it.