New bike and pedestrian network furthers HOK’s 30-year relationship with Trailnet, the St. Louis region’s voice for healthy and connected communities.
Following a two-year year planning process involving input from more than 4,000 community respondents and dozens of civic partners, Trailnet is out with a bold master plan to better connect St. Louis with new protected bicycle and pedestrian pathways. The plan, titled Connecting St. Louis, calls for a new 14-mile network that would link neighborhoods, cultural districts and business centers and tie in to supporting trails and transit.
“The plan addresses the demand for car-optional transportation in a way that is achievable in the near-term,” said Ralph Phremmer, CEO of Trailnet. “It’s healthy, it’s sustainable and it makes sense.”
HOK’s St. Louis planning team provided the nonprofit Trailnet with mapping for the plan’s routes and cross-sectional assessments and visioning of its corridors. HOK also worked with the agency to define best practices and various methodologies for implementing infrastructure to support walking and biking.
The Connecting St. Louis plan continues HOK’s partnership with Trailnet that began in the late 1980s when the newly formed agency was seeking to convert an eight-mile stretch of abandoned rail line into Grant’s Trail, now a popular bicycling and walking path. Through the years HOK has worked behind the scenes as Trailnet transformed from focusing on rail-trail conversions to an organization that promotes mobility in St. Louis’ urban core and historic neighborhoods.
“Very few organizations can claim the success Trailnet has had in advocating change at the local, state and federal levels,” said Jeff Davis, the regional leader of planning for HOK’s St. Louis studio who has worked on both Grant’s Trail and Connecting St. Louis. “Trailnet’s commitment to fostering healthy, active and connected communities is critical to the success of our region.”
Now that planning is complete, Trailnet is working with civic and community partners to explore funding models for building the new network. In the meantime, HOK’s Connecting St. Louis master plan has already picked up awards from the American Planning Association’s Missouri Chapter and the St. Louis chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Discover more about Connecting St. Louis.