You have probably noticed a lot more bicyclists — recreational bikers, commuters, racers — on the City’s roads, in our parks, and on the new bike trails. This is a positive development in a region that needs a lot more exercise than it has been getting. Activities like biking increase physical and mental health, reduce traffic and congestion, support the environment, preserve our natural resources, and frankly, are just plain fun.
Later today, I’m scheduled to be with Alderman Fred Heitert, cutting the ribbon on Phase 2 of the River des Peres Bikeway.
River des Peres has long been the City’s second-class waterway, consigned to serving as the conduit of our storm water and the punch line of some good-natured local humor. The River des Peres Bikeway redresses that injustice a little, by flanking the river with a very popular recreational activity. Short of the mythical Yacht Club, this is the best thing that could happen to our favorite little river.
Great Rivers Greenway District president David Fisher and his staff have worked hard to make this project a reality.
With each new greenway we plan and with each additional phase for existing greenways we build, St. Louis gets a little bit closer to the vision of a great River Ring that will encircle — and interconnect the metro region with bike paths and greenways. Here in the City, the River Ring trails, when completed, will connect City parks, to the City’s neighborhoods, to the City’s rivers bringing us all together.
All of this is possible because City and county (and St. Charles county) voters approved public funding for a "Metropolitan Parks and Recreation District." Operating as the Great Rivers Greenway District, it is now a national model of intergovernmental collaboration.
I encourage everyone who reads this blog to get out and use the new trail. Blogging is, after all, considerably less healthy than biking or walking.