Petition Update

Our petition requesting bike lanes on Tower Grove Avenue has received over 640+ signatures and local TV coverage.  More than 230 people shared their thoughts on why a safe Tower Grove Avenue is important to them, and the comments make for compelling reading (see below).

Update: Alderman Conway opposes City proposal for Tower Grove Avenue.

We shared the petition signatures and comments, together with the conclusions from a recent SafeTGA meeting, with Alderman Conway, who represents many of the petition signers.  Here’s what we learned.

Alderman Conway does not support installing buffered bike lanes before Kingshighway closes, but he will oppose the City proposal to paint a “bikeable shoulder”, which at the meeting was widely regarded as unsafe. Instead, he supports making no changes to the roadway striping on Tower Grove Avenue during the Kingshighway closure (“Alternative 1” in the meeting report).  Like in the City proposal, “no parking” restrictions will be imposed on Tower Grove Avenue during rush hours (7-9am northbound, 4-6pm southbound). Importantly, “bikeable shoulder” lanes in the City proposal will not be painted.  Also, signage indicating bicycle detours will be installed.

We appreciate Alderman Conway’s position, which addresses a significant concern we had with the City proposal.  Nevertheless, both Alderman Conway’s and the City proposals will put two lanes of traffic during rush hour on Tower Grove Avenue, and encourage driving in the right lane whenever parked cars permit.  As we explained elsewhere, this will create real hazards for riders, and will effectively dissuade people from riding what today is the busiest cycling route in St. Louis.  Rather than using the closure of Kingshighway as an opportunity to promote alternative transit, the City is poised to take steps which will discourage alternative transportation.

Who Signed the Petition?

As of early December 640 people signed the petition asking for buffered bike lanes on Tower Grove Avenue before Kingshighway closes, and 230 of them left comments.  Here is where they live and what they have to say.

Petition

Petition signatures per zip code as of 12/2/14.

Of the 640 signatures, half of the signatures came from zip codes 63110, 63116, and 63118 (Shaw and Forest Park SE, Tower Grove South, and Tower Grove East, respectively – see here for a detailed map of zip code areas.)  These are the three zip codes closest to Tower Grove Avenue.  Clearly, it is the St. Louis locals who care about safe cycling and good infrastructure.

Why do they care?  Here is a short selection of the 200+ comments shared by petition signers:

Cycling use along Tower Grove Avenue is at an all time high. These individuals who are engaging in alternative transportation methods are a hallmark of a progressive and livable city. This form of transportation deserves special consideration due to the unsafe proposal currently offered by the city engineers. –Lowell

Our office is on Tower Grove Ave. Cycle and vehicle changes proposed by the City will destroy walkability, impact on-street parking and create safety concerns. –Jim

I am proud of Saint Louis, and want it to shine. As a frequent and conscientious bike commuter, I believe that creating an infrastructure to support alternative modes of transportation is essential to building a progressive, appealing city. Please don’t take our wonderful city many steps backward by allowing increased car traffic in our of our most beautiful, bikable neighborhoods! –Betha

I’m signing because my sons bike to school using Tower Grove & I need to know that we are making their route as safe as possible. –Elizabeth

I drive that route to work every morning and most afternoons, as I am not an on-road cyclist BUT everyday I observe at least 10-12 folks, during my mere 15 minutes on Tower Grove to Manchester, who are using that as a safe bike route to work and/or school at City Garden. At night, not only do I see many bike commuters, but also folks using Tower Grove as a connector to City Greens on Manchester, the Botanical Garden & Tower Grove Park, and to Olio/Elia, a restaurant. –Kathleen

I bike with my children every school day. Tower Grove Avenue is an important route for transportational and recreational bicyclists of all ages. It is not and should not be a throughfare for auto traffic when there are so many other alternatives. –David

Many children and adults use TGA to bike to work, school, restaurants, and recreation.  This will hurt our neighborhoods appeal to attract young professionals and their families. –Nancy

I work at a business on Tower Grove avenue and regularly bike along the street as part of my commute. Currently the street has a slower, more pedestrian feel to it. Encouraging more traffic and higher speeds will make the road perilous for bikers and bring unwanted noise and danger to the neighborhood. Please proceed with putting in dedicated bike lanes! –William

I am an top University graduate, a young professional and a cyclist. The bright minds of my generation cycle, and we will go where we are wanted. If Saint Louis wants to ensure a healthy happy population and attract global business and talent, then bicycle accessibility should be a priority. I love my home state and believe in it’s progress.  –Anna

The Bike St. Louis lane markings will formalize the de facto cycling practices on this stretch of Tower Grove Avenue. I support this as the best option for preserving the quality of life that citizens have come to treasure in this neighborhood of St. Louis.  –Karen

Posted in Advocacy and Opinion, Tower Grove Ave
One comment on “Petition Update
  1. Melisa says:

    The pedestrian accessibility that currently exists is wonderful on TGA, bravo to those who worked so hard to have that in place! Why on earth would you want to take that away and replace them with angry drivers who generally have no need to be there, except for you placing them there with detour signs!?

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  1. […] Kingshighway closes.  The result was astounding – over 650 people signed the petition, hundreds wrote about why this was important, and a local TV station did a news story about this issue.  Yet the […]

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