Rather than driving Some Bi-State area residents and Metro transit customers prefer to walk or bicycle to work, for exercise or to get to fun destinations. While both walking and cycling provide good health, financial, and environmental benefits, they also increase the risk of receiving serious or fatal injuries if involved in a motor vehicle crash.
During May, there is a significant increase in both cyclists and pedestrians on area roads so the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), Trailnet and Metro transit are partnering to kick off the “Safe Roads for All” campaign to emphasize the need for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to share the road and be aware of each other’s safety. Leaders of these organizations led a safety bicycle ride and walk to MetroLink from the Missouri History Museum to the St. Louis Downtown Bicycle Station today to represent the importance of sharing the road.
Alison Kinderfather spoke about the importance of pedestrian safety at this morning’s news conference. Her mother suffered debilitating injuries after she was struck by a car in 2012 while waiting to cross a street in Webster Groves. Her mother, who is on the road to recovery, attended the news conference. Kinderfather would like to keep other families from going through what she and her family have gone through with her mother.
“Public transit is a safe and economical means for people to access jobs, schools, medical facilities and recreational venues in our region,” John Nations, President and CEO of the Bi-State Development Agency/Metro, said. “Metro passengers use sidewalks and bicycles to access our transit system. It is important for all of us to promote safe and accessible travel for everyone.”
From 2011 to 2013, pedestrian fatalities accounted for 10% of Missouri’s traffic crash fatalities. There were 2,161 people killed during the last three years; 219 were pedestrian fatalities. That is a 2% increase in pedestrian deaths from the previous three-year period.
“Pedestrians and bicyclists need to understand that they have primary responsibility for their own safety,” Greg Horn, MoDOT district engineer for the St. Louis region. “Motorists should always avoid distractions while driving and give complete attention to the road and its surroundings. We all play a role in sharing the road and making sure that everybody gets to and from their destinations safely.”
Another 2,976 pedestrians were injured in Missouri traffic crashes from 2011 to 2013.
“Roads and sidewalks that are designed for safe, comfortable travel for bicyclists and pedestrians make the roads safer for motorized users as well,” Ann Mack, CEO of Trailnet, said. “When we design and maintain our roads for the most vulnerable user first and foremost, everyone benefits.”
Metro will have volunteer employee ambassadors to greet customers and to distribute safety items this afternoon between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the following Metro transit locations:
• North Hanley Transit Center
• Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station
• Central West End Transit Center
• Grand MetroLink Station
• Civic Center Transit Center
• Fairview Heights MetroLink Station
• 5th & Missouri MetroLink Station
• Shrewsbury Lansdowne I-44 MetroLink Station
• Riverview-Hall MetroBus Transfer Center
The Bi-State Development Agency/Metro (BSDA/Metro) is the operator of the Metro public transportation system for the St. Louis region, which includes the 87 vehicle, 46-mile MetroLink light rail system; 375 MetroBus vehicle fleet that operates on 75 MetroBus routes; and Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 120 vans. BSDA/Metro also owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport and its surrounding industrial business park, and the Gateway Arch Riverboats, as well as operates the Gateway Arch Revenue Collections Center, the Gateway Arch Transportation System, and the Gateway Arch Parking Facility.