The 1.4-mile dedicated bike path will include modifications to traffic patterns along the route as well as new traffic signals. (Courtesy Tower Grove Connector)
The connector path is already a popular route, March said.
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“We did a study on bike routes and Tower Grove is the second most popular in the entire city, second only to Forest Park,” he said. “And what we’ve seen in other cities is that when you add a protected cycle track, ridership increases.”
On-street bike lanes were added to Tower Grove Avenue in 2015 and bicycle traffic doubled following their addition, March said. He expects another similar increase when the connector is completed.
“What we’re trying to accomplish with the Tower Grove Connector and our other projects is to cater to people who don’t currently ride bikes, or they currently aren’t comfortable on the bike lanes,” he said. “People who would be riding on sidewalks, if they’re riding at all.”
The project is estimated to cost $9 million, and about $5.6 million has already been funded through federal grants. The remaining money will come from the city and private donations.
Organizers held an open house for the Tower Grove Connector at the Piper Palm House in Tower Grove Park on July 14. Nick Robertson, firstname.lastname@example.org
“The three alderpersons which this connector transects have all committed some board capital funding, which is incredible, we’re really grateful for that,” said Sarah Arnosky, vice president of Greater St. Louis Inc.
A second phase of the connector has been proposed, but not funded. That section would run from the intersection of Vandeventer Avenue and Sarah Street to the Cortex MetroLink station. That would connect Tower Grove Park with the larger Brickline Greenway project proposed by Trailnet in 2017. Organizers intend to complete the extension through Sarah Street when money becomes available, Arnosky said.