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St. Louis aldermen advance new bike lanes, Compton Bridge rebuild

A Trailnet rendering shows what the protected bike lane on Tucker Boulevard will look like.
A rendering from Trailnet shows the plan for protected bike lanes on Tucker Boulevard. The St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Friday authorized issuing contracts for this project and two others.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has authorized work to begin on a series of bike and pedestrian upgrades around the city.

The legislation approved Friday by a unanimous vote allows the city to issue contracts for three projects worth $22.3 million. The first, and the largest, is a complete rebuild of the Compton Bridge east of St. Louis University, including protected bike lanes. The others are the construction of nearly three additional miles of protected bike lanes — a 9/10-of-a mile stretch of Tucker Boulevard between Chouteau and Washington avenues in downtown, and a 2.1-mile stretch of South Broadway between the River City Casino and Bellerive Park in the Carondelet neighborhood.

“If you’re using a wheelchair, a walker, a bicycle, whatever it may be, this a big move forward in terms of making this a priority for the City of St. Louis,” said 6th Ward Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, who sponsored the legislation and whose ward includes the Compton Bridge.

The bike advocacy organization Trailnet helped get community input for the projects. Policy manager Kevin Hahn-Petruso said there are benefits beyond making it safer to bike and walk.

“Any time that we’ve seen more connection for folks who can bike but also for folks who are walking, you see more folks traveling through that area, which has a benefit for the businesses along that route,” Hahn-Petruso said.

He added that simply having more people out using a public space can lead to a greater sense of connection in the community, and making it safer to bike and walk can lead more people to use those modes of travel.

The cost of the projects is covered by federal grants and required local matching funds. Barring any delays, work on the bike lanes should be finished by 2024. The Compton Bridge will take a bit longer.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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