Today’s children are much safer than we were growing up in the Dark Ages. Take bike riding, for example. If someone would have suggested that we wear a helmet when we rode our bikes we would have laughed in their face. Likewise my brother, who rode a big Harley. We all had our share of tumbles and falls, but nobody got seriously hurt. And we rode our bikes all over St. Louis, including downtown.
Every boy’s fantasy is to drive a car. To be able to escape their parents whenever they wanted to by jumping in the jalopy and putting the top down, so to speak. But we weren’t old enough to do that without landing in jail, so we did the next best thing: we rode our bikes.
We rode them through the neighborhoods, through the crowded streets of downtown, and sometimes we even touched the boundaries of the county. We even rode our bikes into the nearby housing projects and sometimes barely escaped with our lives.
We probably didn’t know what a bike trail was back then. And if we saw an adult riding a bike, we thought: “Why isn’t he driving a car? He must be retarded.” But today, there are bike trails all over the area. You see “Share The Road” signs all over the place and most of the major city streets have dedicated bike lanes on them. There are probably more adults riding around on bicycles today than there are children. And all of them are wearing helmets.
Buses and commuter trains all have places on them to store your bike, making it easier to get around town. And the two reasons given for riding a bike are: it cuts down on pollution and it’s great exercise. Some even use their bikes to commute to work.
According to The Healthy Planet Magazine: “The 411 Building at 10th and Locust streets will soon be home to a Downtown Bicycle Station, Big Shark Bicycle Co. and Trailnet, a nonprofit dedicated to creating more bikeable and walkable communities, positioning Downtown St. Louis as a place to get in and around without a car.”
The station will be 1450 sq. ft. and will be open twenty-four hours, so no matter what time you go to work in the morning or get off at night, it will be open.
The bike station is part of a major plan to make downtown a more livable place for urban residents. It was previously a dangerous place to be after dark, but now it is much cleaner, brighter, and safer, even for those who walk instead of ride.
The project is funded by the city of St. Louis and the U.S. Department of Energy.