Cyclists rally for bike safety at St. Louis City Hall Monday

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Cyclists gathered at St. Louis City Hall Monday morning to rally for bike safety.  The group of Missouri and Illinois cyclists passed out bumper stickers that read "I Slow For Cyclists.”  They also plan on making bike safety and road sharing pamphlets to get out their message.

Two incidents have gained momentum for the bike safety movement. In June, cyclist Rick Beard was hit and killed by a car in St. Louis. And just last week, a cyclist was allegedly struck by the Sunset Hills, MO mayor.  Organizers are demanding action.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s office says it is working with Great Rivers Greenway on a $1.5 million project to make St. Louis more bike friendly. It includes improvements to more than 42 miles of existing bike infrastructure and should be complete by the end of the year.

More coverage:
Bicyclists rally to raise awareness for road safety

County police take over investigation into Sunset Hills mayor accused of striking biker

“Get off my roads” – Sunset Hills mayor under investigation after cyclist hit by car

 

33 comments

  • Michael Margulis

    you know what might work better than a rally, stay off busy streets and follow traffic laws like passing between cars at stop lights or stopping at stop signs and lights.

  • Ed Golterman

    No municipal government can ‘ensure safety’ for anyone. Not in their power. Especially people in motion. They can pass laws but among the most abused laws are traffic laws.

    • Roger

      They may not be able to keep people safe, but they can enforce the law when someone breaks it, something they too often fail to do if the victim is a cyclist.

    • Ace Baily

      Ed, when the law enforcement officers do their job, whether it is for speeding running stop signs, illegal parking, the number of people ranting about how they should be out catching robbers and murderers kicks into high gear. traffic law enforcement is just part of their job, and if 10 percent of the speeders on our highways were ticketed, MO would have budget surplus.

  • Belinda E. Plopper

    We live in old Valmeyer, IL. I love seeing cyclist riding by. Makes me proud that they enjoy our community. I would however, feel more comfortable if the county would build a bike/walking path along the roads. At least Bluff road. Quit a busy road and a path would make thing better for both cyclists and drivers.

    • STL BIKE RIDER

      Thank you for your reasonable response. This is all we cyclists are calling for — drivers to pay attention and help create a safe environment, police to respond when we are harassed, and physically separated lanes when possible. Believe me, we would feel a lot more comfortable too not having to ride alongside traffic on many roads not built with us in mind! (and to all future responders: Yes, I stop at stop signs/lights and use turn signals. I am legally required to be in the road, and legally prohibited from riding on the sidewalk. No, I will not stop riding my bike because I might slow your commute down by a few seconds, but I will be as courteous as possible while keeping my own safety in mind. Please do the same.)

  • rose

    Respect is earned. The minute they start “DEMANDING,” They lose whatever respect they already had.

  • WJE

    Good point Belinda however in St. Louis there are many dedicated bike paths that these cyclists ignore and still ride down the middle of the road a lot of times side by side making the roads much more unsafe for cars and trucks when trying to pass. I have asked a lot of cyclists why they do not use these dedicated paths and they say because they have skinny expensive tires and that the side bike paths have more pebbles and debris that could pop their tires. So having a rally by having a large amount of cyclists blocking city streets really does not make much sense. Bottom line… more cyclists on the road equals more danger to motorists and bikers.

    • Roger

      There are a lot of reasons I use roads as well as bike paths and do so for the following reasons: Bike paths often don’t go where I am going, and even simply to get to or from a bike path I have to take streets or roads.

      Sometimes bike paths are too crowded with people walking their dogs, people jogging or walking with headphones who can’t hear you coming (and btw, I am also against anyone riding with headphones, it is not safe), families with small children riding bikes and others to safely ride in a group and often even alone. We often have between 6 and 20 riders who ride together on weekends and it is safer for us to ride on a road than a bike path when the paths are crowded. I had a friend break a collar bone because of a dog who took out his front wheel while he was riding at less than 5 mph on a bike path. We also have had people ‘booby trap’ bike paths and trails that have not just damaged bikes but also severely injured riders. Yes it happens on roads as well, but much less often.

      Often, particularly in winter, the bike paths are not plowed or are icy and unsafe to ride. Some bike paths are not meant for road bikes.

      They are not paved and can only be ridden by a bike with wide tires such as a mountain bike or ‘cruiser’ and are not meant for road bikes.

      Most of all we are considered vehicles and have every right and responsibility a driver of any other vehicle has when it comes to the public roads.

  • Mike Sauer

    Why do the cyclist think that they have rights to use the roads. I always thought that the roads were paid for by motor tax. How much do they pay, and why don’t they need a license just like a motor vehicle.

    • Roger

      Actually very little of the money that goes for the roads are from motor vehicle or even gas taxes. And most cyclists also own cars as well so they pay those fees and taxes as well.

    • Michael Margulis

      and liability insurance, when i lived in Chicago so many people got their car damaged by a bicycle rider that just yelled and rode off before the cops showed up…no license no plates, and the only description they could give the cops is bearded hipster.

    • DHSPilot

      As of 4 years ago just less than half of the cost of road construction and maintenance was actually covered by fuel taxes. Statistically that number also declines every year also (more fuel efficient cars, hybrid cars). The rest is covered by income tax, sales tax, real estate taxes, etc which everyone pays regardless whether you drive or bike.

  • Ed Golterman

    Anthony-How long have we been paying the Gateway Greenways trails tax.? 12, 13 years? How many miles of bicycle paths and trails have been created. How much money so far from the City and from the County? How many paths are part of City-Arch-river? How wide are they? How much will they cost? Will there be at least one safe lane for walkers? May be it is time for that tax to end?

  • Ed Golterman

    These are our ‘youngest, best and brightest’, so why don’t they take energy and spotlight off themselves, and their ‘rights’, and help end the violence in the City. Look outward instead of inward.

  • Kevin

    Bicyclists That are old enough for a automobile or motorcycle drivers license should have an endorsment on thier drivers license to ride a bicycle on streets and roadways, and acessed points with suspension and revocation of driving privlileges the same as a motor vehicle. Bicyclist with a vald bicycle endorsment should also carry property damage, uninsured motorist and medical insurance, and wear dot approved helmet and kevlar gloves and knee and elbow protective pads. The bicycle should be safety inspected yearly, including headlight bright and dim, taillight visable at least 500′, brake light, front and rear turn signals and 4 way flashers. with proof of insurance only then be licensed yearly at the same rate as a motorcycle, Bicyclists should obey all motor vehicle laws. Bicyclists under drivers license age should not be allowed on streets and roadways, only sidewalk and bkie paths not within 10′ from streets or roadways.

    • DHSPilot

      So I’m guessing there should be something similar for a person walking across the street (because they’re on a public roadway)? Children/Teens can’t ever ride a bike to a park, 3 blocks down to a friend’s home, etc? Sounds like an unfriendly world to me. Government is big enough. Bike licenses/plates are not a solution.
      Or maybe people should get over their sense of self-importance and narcissistic behavior when they get behind the wheel of a car. PUT THE PHONE DOWN and pay attention. If the 30 seconds or lets even exaggerate and say 2 minutes that a person on a bike slows you down has that big of an effect, you need to do a better job planning.

      • Kevin

        The only job I am planning is how get politician’s attention to see that more property taxes and road use taxes, licensing and license plate and city sticker revenue would help our great state of Missouri to fund bicycle lanes for safety, or to legislate this dangerous hobby safely off the streets and roadways.

  • Martha young'Turner

    Maybe if cyclists would read and go by the laws; they wouldn’t have these problems. They need to stay off the narrow county roads that cars have to use; that don’t have shoulders. They need to quite weaving in an out of traffic. I was hit by a cyclist last year down town. The light was red and I started across the street. This guy on a bike runs the red light and runs into me; He got on his bike and left. They should have to carry insurance if they are going to ride on the streets. I ended up with a chipped bone in my elbow and a miner concusion.

  • Towtruck

    Pretty simple DONT RIDE IN THE STREETS THEY ARE MADE FOR CARS AND TRUCKS … Geez. So i guess all bikes should not be on side walks now. Or better yet how come i cant drive my car down the side walk ?

    • rose

      All bicycle riders should become Sovereign so they don’t have to obey any laws and it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks.

      • Kevin

        If you are going to ride on thr street or road you need a traceable license plate number, insurance to cover you and your passengers and those of the automobile involved medical bills, and drivers license to restrict or revoke and all safety equipment required on a motor vehicle like horn, lights, turn signals, brakes on all wheels, ect. License plate and bicycle license endorsment money could be put in the roads fund. And we need bicycle only lanes for them to ride in for saftey and maybe seatbelts? Arn’t these bicycles dangerous? They have open-spoked wheels with no safety guards and very weak brakes. Where is Ralph Nader when you need him?

  • dcahillane

    I sincerely hope law enforcement and politicians read these comments so they can understand the level of vitriol motorists have for anyone not using an automobile to get around. Driver education is sadly lacking for most drivers.

    • rose

      DCAHILLANE, If education on driving automobiles were lacking there would be more injuries and fatalities to people on bicycles.

  • Jo

    I feel like the problem here is bikers are seeing all bikers as they see themselves and motorists are seeing all motorists as they see themselves. No one is seeing that all bikers aren’t like them, all motorists are not like them. Instead of demonizing the other how about we consider that both sides are preaching to the choir?

    I work 20 miles from my home, I am very much a motorist, but I go down 270, clearly I know some drivers are tools! I am a product of the 70s bikes are freedom! I am very much a cyclist. When I saw my autistic son ran off the trails for no reason, no other traffic, pretty much because he was slow, I realized not all bikers are like me.

    I get the feeling that biker caused the kerfuffle with the mayor is not like me. Why are bikers rallying around someone who is more than likely a tool, are you tools as well, are you the bikers who didn’t want to share a trail with my son? Think people! just because you identify as something doesn’t mean everyone else who identifies the same is in fact like you.

  • Ed Golterman

    One of them ‘let it slip’. For all the millions of dollars taxpayers have kicked in to build the bicycle paths, they cant ride fast enough on them to suit them, so they take to the pavements-streets-where they can go faster and means very few stops at stop signs.

  • dcahillane

    Rose its not driving skill that is the problem. Mr mayor is an excellent driver. He was able to slide right up next to that rider and knock him off with a flick of his steering wheel. He should get a new vanity plate. “TERMINATOR”.

  • Tim

    The issue doesn’t just apply to cyclist. I ran in the streets for many years before I focused on cycling. I’ve been hit by cars twice, once while running and once while cycling. In both cases the driver violated traffic laws. One driver stopped, the other did not. As a runner, I’ve had things thrown at me. As a cyclist, I’ve been run off the road and cursed at. I also ride a motorcycle and it’s pretty much the same story. Given these three different modes of transportation, the problem is clearly with the mentality of some drivers when they get in their little metal box. Another problem is all of the people that I see texting or talking on the phone as they make a right turn on red and almost run over me. I’ve comment that cycling is the most dangerous avocation that I’ve undertaken. I’ve done a lot of diving with and photographing sharks including great whites and it’s definitely safer than cycling.

    • Kevin

      Runners don’t belong in the streets or roadways, that is the reason there are sidewalks. Runners are pedestrians not vehicles. Where there are no side walks there should be no runners/pedestrians and where there are no bicycle lanes there should be no bicycles, It’s just too dangerous. Use a little common sense, would you ride your bicycle or run down the railroad track? To address riding motorcycles, I have been riding for 35 years on the street and you have to assume no-one can see you and those who can are out to kill you. The days of self powered transportation are over. It hasn’t been safe to ride bicycles in the streets since the 1930’s. Majority rules.

  • WJE

    I have an ATV that I don’t even ride on the roads and have to pay personal property tax. I also pay for my cars. Most road bikes are much more expensive than an ATV and they use all the roads yet still paying nothing. If bikes can use the roads why not push scooters, skateboarders, and rollerbladers?

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