In a recent Road Crew chat on, I asked the following question:

Is St. Louis County against the inclusion of on-street bicycle facilities on it’s roads? I was looking over the maps in the recently completed St. Louis Bike Plan and noticed that there’s nary a mile of sharrows or dedicated bike lanes on St. Louis County maintained roads included in the plan. I only see road segments designated as “wide outside lane”, “paved shoulder”, or “needs further analysis”; nothing that would require paint on the road.

David Wrone, spokesman for the St. Louis County Department of Highways and Traffic, replied:

As a matter of policy, we don’t build dedicated bike lanes. St. Louis County salutes the bike-riding community, but we manage our system in the knowledge that motor vehicles comprise the vast majority of our customer base. The ground and money aren’t available to provide ‘Bike Only” travel lanes.

Words fail me.

Cross-posted at nextSTL.

Posted by Herbie Markwort

I like to write about transportation.


  1. I get why everyone is worked up about this, but feel like I should point out that riding as a road user on the road, without any particular special facilities, works too. So people do have the option to ride in St. Louis County. Some bike advocates even argue that it's safer for bikes when they are treated as just another road user. Frankly, I think that's probably a lot more true once there's a critical mass of bikers using the roads – if it's only a few, auto drivers aren't used to them and freak out because they don't know what to do when there's a bike on the road.But. Keep in mind that with or without bike lanes, bikes are still lawful road users. Even in St. Louis County.

  2. I don't think there's any argument that bikes are lawful road users. The reason I'm worked up with St. Louis County policy is that it shows how little thought and effort, if any, St. Louis County puts into making its roads safe and practical for bikers. I mean, really, how much does it cost to put in a few sharrows after you resurface a road?I'm a fair weather cyclist. I bike mainly for exercise on the weekends or after work. But I do love to explore and have ridden as far as Sunset Hills. To me, the presence of bike lanes indicates that someone has deemed that road safe for bikers to travel and practical for bikers to get from point A to point B.In the past, I've criticized bike the bike lanes surrounding Fountain Park as dangerous and have advocated taking the lane. I've also ridden all over south city near Carondelet where bike lanes are few but the streets are low traffic and low speed. I've found rides on Clayton Rd to be pleasant. But I've also had harrowing experiences riding on Morganford from Grant's trail to the River des Peres. Likewise trying to get from Sunset Hills to Grant's Trail via a small portion of Gravois Rd (the exceedingly fast downhill ride is the only thing that made me feel "safe"). For the latter two, I could not think of safer, and practical, alternatives to the routes I chose. Since then, I haven't returned to Grant's Trail as I do not feel safe taking the lane on Morganford. I'd also explore many more places in the county if I knew there was a safe route to get there.

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