St. Louis Open Streets Changes Course, Misses the Point

I still think it's cool that a concept like Open Streets can come to St. Louis. The idea is to give over a portion of our streets to people on bikes, with strollers, walkers, runners, rollerbladers, Segway riders, what have you. It's a small way to reclaim part of the city generally reserved for cars and give it, if briefly, to people. The first St. Louis Open Streets event was to use Lindell to Midtown and then Locust. Well, the Archdiocese complained and like smoke from a thurible, poof! the route was changed. Now the route has changed again.

The purpose, or at least the attraction, of Open Streets in many cities is the opportunity to explore places that are generally off limits or unfriendly to pedestrians and cyclists. Many of our streets have little traffic on them during the weekend. Being able to ride your bike or push a stroller down Lindell without worry is a cool experience. Doing the same on Westminster? Not so much. The result is that Open Streets becomes a slightly nicer running or bike route rather than a celebration of our city.

All that said, you'll likely see me with a bright red running stroller out on the route June 13. Coordinating with the CWE Art Fair and Taste as well as the Tour de Grove is great. Between a little exercise, taking in some art, grabbing a bite and then kicking back with the barbeque and a beverage to watch a professional bike race roll through The Grove, it's going to be another great St. Louis summer weekend!

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