Missouri Forging Ahead to Designate USBR 76

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Saint Louis, Missouri, to meet with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) and the bicycle community about the U.S. Bicycle Route System.

You can see a few of us above after a wonderful lunch at Pi Pizzeria; from left, Virginia Blaine, avid supporter of the TransAmerica Trail in Farmington, MO (a top-notch bike friendly community and home to the TransAm Inn – a bike hostel); Patty Vinyard, St. Louis bicycle advocate extraordinaire and board member of the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation; me, and then Joe Torrisi, teacher, chair of the Federation and contributor to Adventure Cycling’s Pedal Pioneers: A Guide to Bicycle Travel with Kids; Melissa Anderson, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for MODOT; and Todd Antoine, deputy director of Great Rivers Greenway.

Melissa Anderson will manage the implementation of the U.S. Bike Route 76 (USBR 76) and the state will use Adventure Cycling’s TransAmerica Trail as their proposed route. Our meeting involved a video conference with five of the DOT districts.

Dawn Gardner, of the Springfield district, was ready to get to work, saying, “There is a vast interest in the Springfield area to have this route signed. I consistently receive calls from the City of Lebanon requesting a TransAmerica Trail ‘spur’ be considered so TransAm cyclists will have the option to travel to Lebanon on Historic Route 66. Whatever needs to be done to get the TransAmerica route designated through Missouri, I am willing to assist, coordinate.”

Some of the districts aren’t as far along with the outreach process and will work with their communities along the route, seeking input and support. Each district will work with Melissa on the appropriate strategy to get their sections of the route ready for application to AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) by next fall.

While I was in St. Louis, I also took time to find out what else is going on in the region. Attending an open house in honor of the release of the St. Louis Bike Master Plan, I learned an incredible amount about the bicycle, greenway, and trail happenings for the whole St. Louis region. I also met a host of bike celebrities including Jennifer Toole of Toole Design Group, and Paul L. Wojciechowski of CH2M Hill, contractors for the plan; Todd Antoine, Carey Bundy (pictured above with Joe Torrisi and me) and Susan Trautman, executive director of Great Rivers Greenway. I attended the event with my dear new friend Dana Gray (thanks for the incredible hospitality Dana!) and saw Trail Net staff including John Cameron and Cindy Mense.

Great things are happening for bicycling and active living in the home of the Gateway Arch — and I can’t wait to come back and see even more of this beautiful state — possibly cycling along the newly designated U.S. Bike Route 76!

Photos by Ginny Sullivan

BUILDING THE U.S. BICYCLE ROUTE SYSTEM (USBRS) is posted by Ginny Sullivan, USBRS coordinator at Adventure Cycling, and features news and updates related to the emerging U.S. Bicycle Route System. The USBRS project is a collaborative effort, spearheaded by a task force under the auspices of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Members of the task force include officials and staff from state DOTs, the Federal Highway Administration, and nonprofits like the East Coast Greenway Alliance, and Mississippi River Trail, Inc.

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