Notoriously Hostile St. Louis County Poised to Adopt Complete Streets

St. Louis County has had a reputation for being hostile to cyclists and pedestrians. The county is poised to adopt a complete streets policy. Image: ##http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/controversial-complete-streets-bill-moves-toward-approval-in-st-louis/article_182dcbb1-5e0a-5ea8-ac77-a229f7e565b6.html## St. Louis Post Dispatch##

St. Louis County has had a reputation for being hostile to cyclists and pedestrians, but now the county is poised to adopt a complete streets policy. Image: St. Louis Post Dispatch

When it comes to safe streets, St. Louis County has often embodied the old guard mentality. It was county Department of Highways and Traffic spokesperson David Wrone who won our “Motor Mouths” Competition last year for his startlingly dismissive statements to bike advocates, such as: “We’re a highway department, not a bicycle department.”

But here’s a good story about how even places like St. Louis County are responding to changing attitudes about street design. After pressure from local groups like Trailnet, Brent Hugh at Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation reports:

The St. Louis County Complete Streets bill received its first nod of approval from the St. Louis County Council at a meeting Tuesday. It is set for a final vote at the County Council meeting next Tuesday. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch story has more details.

The result of months of work by County staff, elected officials, and citizen groups, the St. Louis County Complete Streets policy will be a major change for the county, which has not had a reputation for being friendly or accommodating to bicyclists.

The County Complete Streets bill came at the behest of cities in the County–who were trying to implement their own local bicycle plans and Complete Streets policies, but found themselves stymied by opposition from the County Highway Department and its policies.

Hugh calls the proposed complete streets bill “one of the best we have seen in Missouri,” noting that it “includes many of the elements recognized nationwide as best practice for a Complete Streets policy.”

Elsewhere on the Network today: American Dirt interviews Philadelphia transportation chief Rina Cutler about how to move politicians on street design issues. The Active Pursuit says concerns about cost may have derailed a vulnerable users bill Wisconsin bike advocates have been pushing for three years. And the Architect’s Newspaper reports that Kansas City, still constructing the first leg of its starter streetcar line, is already pressing ahead for the second leg.