Bike St. Louis Progress

Phase III of Bike St. Louis, the street routes for bicycles in the City of St. Louis, is making progress! Signage and markings are being added all over the city so people can explore and enjoy all that St. Louis has to offer by bicycle. Started last fall, this construction will be finished in the next two months. We’re celebrating on Saturday, April 25th, more info on that at Here’s what you need to know about the current construction:

 Week of April 6, 2015

The top priority for the Bike St. Louis Phase III striping crews this week is finishing up all work along West Florissant Avenue from Goodfellow to 14th Street. Parking will be limited tomorrow (4/7) from Mimika Avenue to I-70. There are thunderstorms in the forecast for the next three days, so striping work may be halted at times. Another priority this week is installing five of the seven bike corrals. The corrals to be installed this week are in front of the Walnut Park Branch Library on West Florissant Avenue, in front of the Julia Davis Branch Library on Natural Bridge Avenue, on Euclid Avenue in the Central West End, on Manchester Avenue in the Grove and along Cherokee Street. In the coming weeks, two more bike corrals will be installed Downtown and in Lafayette Square.

Week of April 13, 2015

Bike St. Louis work continues with layout on Martin Luther King in anticipation of striping scheduled for the week of April 20. Striping also in progress on Holly Hills, Hampton and Des Peres.

Week of April 20, 2015

This week the striping crews will be doing striping and hand work on Martin Luther King, Southwest and Christy. Some layout work will also take place, weather permitting, on Olive.

 Road Diets

Many streets are getting what’s called a road diet, which is what citizens asked for during our well-attended open houses to find out what people wanted during this project. Road diets are when a lane of traffic is removed to make room for other people to share the road. For instance, a wider road with parallel parking spots on each side and 4 lanes of traffic (2 each way) can be transformed into a road that keeps parallel parking spots on each side, has one lane of traffic each way and has a buffered bike lane each direction as well. Now people driving or biking know exactly where to safely share the road. And the buffer (striping on the pavement that provides space between parked cars and the bicycle lane) makes sure that people entering or exiting cars won’t interfere with people bicycling, and vice versa. Many neighborhoods actually prefer road diets, as they calm traffic and reduce speeds, making it safer for all to cross the street, get in and out of cars, and enjoy taking a walk, riding a bike or driving.

What’s the difference between a shared lane and bike lane?

Cars and bikes share the same space in places with shared lane markings. For Bike St. Louis, shared lanes are marked by a silhouette of a bicycle and a chevron painted in the travel lane. Bike lanes are marked with a similar bicycle and chevron but also have two solid, parallel white lines painted along the length of the bike lane indicating that the lane is restricted to people on bicycles only.

In the photo below (not in St. Louis), there is a bike lane on the right and a shared lane marking on the left. The road also has parallel parking on both sides. On the right, people in cars and people on bikes have their own dedicated places in the road (particularly because people on bikes are pedaling uphill in this lane). On the left, people in cars and people on bikes share the same space.

Is it okay to drive in a bike lane?

Cars and bikes do not share the same space where there are bike lanes. Just like when you drive on streets or highways, a solid white line means you cannot pass into that lane. If it’s a dashed white line, you can check for bicycles and then pass or merge. Dashed lines are at intersections, streets, bus stops, etc so that people driving can maneuver easily.

Buffered bike lanes on Arsenal  Photo Credit: Matthew Wyczalkowski

We have been reaching out to neighborhood associations and aldermen so everyone can know what changes are coming! We’re also distributing door hangers and windshield flyers to ensure those nearby know about the changes. By and large, the main impacts to you are that there is typically one day where no parking is available, and then, of course, there is a little bit of time to adjust to the way a new street looks. These projects are meant to offer options for all people using the road, and they may take some getting used to – we appreciate your patience as everyone adjusts. In order for people to feel safe and comfortable riding a bicycle, it’s important to have places like a buffered bike lane for them to try it out.

If you have any questions, or would like a staff member to speak to your neighborhood group, please contact Emma Klues, or 314-932-4919. We are more than happy to discuss these developments anytime. We are excited to give people active ways to get around town and we hope we can work together to share the road successfully.