Tower Grove Avenue runs about two miles from Tower Grove Park north to Clayton Avenue in the Central West End and is the busiest bicycle corridor in St. Louis. (Learn more.)
Tower Grove Avenue is the busiest bicycle street in St. Louis and a designated Bike St. Louis route. The SafeTGA project was started in response to poorly planned construction projects which posed a danger to cyclists along this route. Although some of the construction has ended, real hazard to riders exist, and upcoming projects threaten this key cycling corridor. Below are the key concerns for cyclists along Tower Grove Ave and beyond.
The north end of Tower Grove Avenue at I-64 is undergoing a complete rebuild as part of the I-64 Interchange Project. At the completion of this work (currently estimated for Summer 2014), there will be a roundabout on Tower Grove Avenue immediately south of I-64 and interstate ramps along both Boyle and Tower Grove Ave bridges (see more maps, info, and discussion.) Because of the high volume and speed of car traffic, preferred bicycle connections over I-64 will likely be along the Taylor Ave, which will be striped as a shared traffic lane. The details of the future bike north/south route have not been yet finalized (as far as we know).
Kingshighway Viaduct Construction
Kingsighway Boulevard, a major north-south arterial 1/2 mile west of Tower Grove Ave, will be closed for about two years as an aging viaduct is rebuilt (read more here). The work is currently planned to start after the completion of the I-64 interchange in Summer 2014. While Tower Grove Avenue will not be an official detour, car traffic will no doubt increase as drivers seek out convenient alternative routes, and more traffic will create potential conflicts and hazards for cyclists. Read more about this project, how it will impact cyclists, and how dedicated bike lanes can help.
Bike St. Louis Phase 3
The Bike St. Louis Phase 3 project, led by the Great Rivers Greenway, will add 40 miles of new bike infrastructure and upgrade facilities along another 60. The project is funded and in the final design stages, with implementation planned for 2014. Bike lanes are currently planned on Tower Grove Avenue from Magnolia to Vandeventer. However, the striping of bicyle lanes along Tower Grove Avenue may be delayed until after completion of the Kingshighway viaduct project. We believe that bicycle lanes are critical to maintaining the viability of this bicycle corridor especially during the Kingshighway construction, and advocate installing them before Kingshighway closes.
Building bicycle infrastructure which is safe and sensitive to the needs of cyclists and pedestrians is challenging, particularly for agencies for whom automobile traffic has until recently the principal consideration. In an effort to provide constructive feedback from a cyclist’s perspective for Phase 3 and other projects, we’ve expanded the scope of SafeTGA to provide reviews of infrastructure projects elsewhere in the city (see Chippewa, Arsenal, and Manchester reviews).