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Where Should St. Louis Build Bike Sharing Stations?

Categories: Bikes

bikeshareboston.jpg
Joe Mazzola on Flickr
A bike sharing station in Boston.
Imagine checking out a bicycle like you would a library book, riding it for half an hour or so -- from work to the Metrolink stop, or from class back home -- and checking it back in when you arrive.

Bike sharing has already taken off in Washington D.C., Kansas City, New York, Boston and Denver. Now, St. Louis officials and sustainability experts are studying whether the collaborative and eco-friendly transportation model would work here.

But first, they'll need your help to answer this basic question: Where should St. Louis put stations for shared bikes?

"We're really hoping to hear from people on what they hope to get out of a bike share in St. Louis," says Elizabeth Simons of Great Rivers Greenway, which partnered with the city, the county and Metro to commission a bike share feasibility study for the region.

See also: Bicycle Ban Amendment Defeated: Cyclists Celebrate "Victory of the Decade"

Dozens of would-be riders have already submitted potential locations for shared-bike stations -- from as far north as I-270 and Riverview Drive all the way south at Gravois Road and the River Des Peres -- using the study's specially-designed map. So far, most suggestions seem to be in the central corridor or in south city.

Simons says ideal locations for bike share stations would be near public transit stops, such as a Metrolink station or major bus route, in a neighborhood with a variety of nearby destinations, including offices, restaurants, shops and houses or apartments.

"Metrolink can get you a large part of the way to work or to where you live, but usually, that last mile is an issue," Simons tells Daily RFT. "That's how a bike share system could help."

Here's what a shared bike might look like:


If you suggest a spot for a bike share station, don't forget to plead your case in the comments. One person suggested building a bike station at Cleveland and Thurman avenues in the Shaw neighborhood, commenting, "We need more stuff like this in the heart of residential areas, not just out at the fringes. Let me walk a block, grab a bike and run to the store."

Great Rivers Greenway is also hosting two community workshops on bike sharing this month: from 4-7 p.m. May 14 at the Forest Park Visitors Center and 7:30-8:30 a.m. May 15 at Webster University's downtown campus, 815 Olive Street, Room 20.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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99 comments
seven2seven8
seven2seven8

I'd love to see it at metro stations, and at points north and south and west that aren't served well by light rail: (1) Soulard. (2) Cherokee. (3) Lafayette Square. (4) South Grand. (5) The Loop. (6) Downtown Webster. (7) Downtown Kirkwood. 

James Madison
James Madison

Every MetroLink station. Borrow a bike to get to your destination, and return it for your ride home. Be sure to have an air pump at each station, too. Finding a means to secure it at your destination is the key.

Nicholas Allen
Nicholas Allen

Yes!!! Downtown, soulard, Benton park, laf square, grove, Cherokee street, maplewood, cwe, Washington ave, midtown, south grand, forest park, wash u, Clayton, Delmar loop, south Hampton, and holly hills

Este Ruiz
Este Ruiz

Didn't the company that did this in Chicago go bankrupt like last year?

Sade Donovan
Sade Donovan

I think that if we do this in Stl. ..there will need to be policed patrolong the area..bikes are stolen constantly here in the city. .

Joshua Lewis
Joshua Lewis

lanes all over south grand/tower grove (i used them all the time) all the way through soulard. i took them to work all the time. Don't know about cherokee but there should be somewhere in there. i think there are some downtown but i can't be sure. the other nieghborhoods probably have at least some. They won't be on the main drag of course (i doubt you want to bike with all that car and foot traffic anyway) it's been a few years and i've been reading about some more going in but i forgot where. I think there's some kind of bike association or club that tracks them if you look around for them. didn't they just open that bike hub thing downtown or was that another city? Something about bike repair, maybe some lockers and bike cubbies (whatever they're called for commuters to lock their bikes). The thing i liked about STL bike lanes is that they usually have plenty of space and not just shared with cars. I know some cities have even better lanes but the lou does ok. The other thing is that the car drivers seem to be more used to having bikes around than other places I've biked so that makes me feel a little safer. I've looked up some resources for you. Not sure how good or useful but they should get you started. http://www.greatriversgreenway.org/discover/bike-st-louis.aspx and a MAP! http://www.greatriversgreenway.org/Portals/0/Bike%20St%20Louis%20Map/2013BikeStLouis_2%2027%2013.pdf It's not perfect but it's pretty good and with all the planned additions, could be almost great depending on your standards. Bonus: this tool to help map your bike commute: http://www.mapmyride.com/us/saint-louis-mo/

Chibbi Chibbi Roe
Chibbi Chibbi Roe

On trails.... like say down by the river on Marshall Rd in Kirkwood.

Sibyl Karenina
Sibyl Karenina

River des peres at Shrewsbury station, grant's trail, downtown near that traffic headache that will one day result in a tourist trap.

Jessica Hoemann
Jessica Hoemann

Yeah, in 1904 they had a world's fair ;p I kid, I kid

Kathleen Brodeur
Kathleen Brodeur

Lanes would be nice. But I've biked in St. Louis without them. This is one of those situations where, if usage is high enough, the lanes would follow the bikes. St. Louis needs better mass transit. This would be a step in that direction. A few years ago when I was doing the mass trans thing form the IL side it would have cut about an hour from my 3 hour one way trip if I could have hopped a bike at the metro stations.

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

What lanes are built around the metro station for biking?

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

Stl is backwards... Never on the forefront of anything but crime. You never hear of anything Stl does as innovative, progressive or original. Ok- so there are some cool historical buildings, a great zoo and "decent" sicilian food.

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

Where should they be put was the question asked by RFT on this post. They (STL city) should first have lanes designed for biking throughout the city limits. THEN decide where they should be kept for sharing/renting.

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

Unfortunately, you have to use the metro buses to get close to a bike trail designed for it. In city limits - please let me know where they are (besides forest park). Are there lanes in the loop, south grand, Cherokee, tower grove, Lafayette, downtown?

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

Metro area yes. City, no. It is "becoming" more cycle friendly.

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

The streets of st.louis are not designed for safe riding. If it were designed to accommodate and if it were a safer city absolutely!! This is everyday rental in most larger cities. Some cities even have motorized bikes/smart cars to share. For a fee of course!

dalediversity
dalediversity topcommenter

Are people concerned about a "certain demographic" stealing them?  

Julia Rose Vogel
Julia Rose Vogel

I've always wanted this. The set up of st. Louis makes it hard to drag around a bike on the metro. And you can't exactly ride from the county to the city. There are also a lot of bike paths and ones that connect cities too. These would be great for tourism

Mary Evelyn Decker
Mary Evelyn Decker

me and BF were just talking bout something like this last week.. I would use it

Trish Britt
Trish Britt

Why have bike share when they have barely any bike PATHS? StL is way behind in the world of cycling. They should take some pointers from Minneapolis.

Kay Pea
Kay Pea

I really like this idea.

Enrique Mitchell
Enrique Mitchell

Tower grove park, forest park(off of kingshighway) , 14th & market , the Delmar Loop,

Amy Scheve
Amy Scheve

Don't let the Taxi drivers know about this!

Matt Dresner
Matt Dresner

Soulard in the city, Maplewood in the county, then branch out from there. St. Louisans have to be convinced. Powder coat them with bright colors, and put GPS trackers inside the frame so if they do get stolen they can be recovered.

Spencer Hanning
Spencer Hanning

Nowhere. Ghetto fucks will find a way to steal them all.

PuraVegan
PuraVegan

Forest Park & CWE! Love using this system when visiting Miami - South Beach. We never rent a car, just use the bikes instead.

John Chapman
John Chapman

Madison, WI uses a bike system like this throughout their downtown area and it works extremely. This would be a nice addition to the St Louis metropolitan region

Laura Heying
Laura Heying

The riverfront when it's renovated and central downtown locations. Maybe by Metro stops?

Brent Cowell
Brent Cowell

schools parks outside big business downtown and n each neighborhood

Ashley Sproull
Ashley Sproull

Forest park, cwe, downtown, Soulard tower grove, the grove

Jean Whitney
Jean Whitney

Not in Chesterfield. They won't be used there.

Matt Galati
Matt Galati

Corner of morganford and Chippewa. Its already a bus stop.

Jason Deem
Jason Deem

you can unlock it using text message from a non-smart phone

Stephanie Peace
Stephanie Peace

But not everyone has a smart phone. So how do you use it then?

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

Well....I would want to know the initial cost of any such endeavor as well as cost of operation and maintenance. But here are my suggested locations: The River Front/ Laclede's Landing.....Forest Park....Tower Grove Park....U-City ... Soulard.....Bevo Mill....next to all the major colleges....Cherokee Street......to name just a few

Heather Silver
Heather Silver

Everywhere! Rode in DC and it was awesome!!Need to be able

Nathan Kromat
Nathan Kromat

Grove, south grand, Cherokee, cwe, loop, and Clayton.

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