August 13, 2010

5 Ways to Look Beyond The Heat, & Get Ready for September in STL

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It’s hot outside.  It’s mid-August, and the heat and humidity is practically melting the fortitude off of the average St. Louisans.  But have faith, for even the most brutal of Augusts only have 31 days.  Now’s the time to start looking ahead to September and the sweet relief of cooler temperatures and fading sunlight, and more opportunities to bike, walk and take transit in St. Louis. But until then, there are several ways you can get ready for early fall.

Look at all these people! Outside! Not melting! (Picture of Open Streets in San Fransisco via

Get On Board and Try Transit Month in September

August 30 Restoration launches a lot of new transit service for St. Louis, so it’s only fitting that September is Try Transit Month. To celebrate the service restoration, and to try to encourage more ridership, Nextstop will be hosting several Transit Tweetups in the area, highlighting rider stories and new routes, and hosting “Try Transit Challenges.” Do you have a great rider story? Do you know someone you would like to challenge to try transit for a day, a week? Please let us know! We’ll release a full schedule of events in the coming weeks, but in the mean time, please remind fellow riders of upcoming travel changes and check out the new schedules, route maps, and system map online.

Citizen’s For Modern Transit’s Ten Toes Express

Citizen’s For Modern Transit’s Ten Toes Express targets both older adults and work commuters to encourage people to walk more and use public transit. Sounds like a win-win, right? The program is free and each participant receives a pedometer, weekly walk log, MetroLink tickets, St. Louis maps, and more than 80 suggested walking tours with info on destination of interest and level of walking difficultly. Participants get to join up in groups and track their individual walking achievements. And it’s a great way to familiarize yourself with transit routes and explore the region. Registration for fall program has begun, and gets started in September.

Bike Education Courses (via St. Louis Bicycle Federation)

Biking in urban and suburban roads, like taking transit, can be an intimidating affair. But the rewards of better health, saved money and reducing air pollution are many-fold. Certified League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor (LCI) Martin Pion offers different levels of courses at his home in Ferguson (he provides both driving and Metro/bike directions). The courses range from a 4-hour crash course (no pun intended!) in traffic safety to a 18-hour course with plenty of on-road time and crash-avoidance practice. These courses can help you gain the confidence and skills you need to travel by bike, including biking combined with transit use.

Open Streets Events in St. Louis City

Open Streets returns to the City of St. Louis September 19, 8am – 1pm through downtown, Midtown and the Central West End. For those of you who missed the earlier Open Streets events, it is part-block party and part-active event, with everything from biking, walking, jogging, yoga, badminton, games and food. While no cars are allowed along the route to let people and bikes roam freely, last Open Streets they did have a Fire Department sprinkler to keep participants cool. Open Streets is also a great opportunity for businesses and civic organization to encourage wellness and community by bringing large groups of employees. The route is also accessible to several MetroLink and MetroBus transit centers to give families and individuals extra options for traveling to and from the festivities.

Shaw Neighborhood Photography Competition

Photography competitions are common throughout the year, but the Shaw Neighborhood Housing Corporation is hosting a photography contest this year in corresponding with the Shaw Art Fair Oct. 2 at Flora Place. The Shaw Neighborhood reached out to Metro on Twitter to help promote the contest, as they saw the August 30 Restoration as a great opportunity for people to try the new service while exploring Shaw and nearby neighborhoods. The contest area includes Shaw, South Grand Business District, Missouri Botanical Gardens, Tower Grove Park and The Grove. Contest deadline is 9/15, with one 8X10 framed or unframed photo per entrant. Turn in entries to Shaw Neighborhood Housing Corporation Office, 4067 Shenandoah in St. Louis (behind Thurman Grill).

Know of any upcoming St. Louis event that support transit or alternative transportation use? Email us at [email protected].

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