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World Naked Bike Ride Tonight

July 28, 2012 Bicycling, Events/Meetings, Featured Comments Off on World Naked Bike Ride Tonight

Tonight is the 5th World Naked Bike Ride in St. Louis:

This year’s event starts at 6 p.m. at the South Grand Boulevard parking lot and includes body-painting, live music and “costume” contests. The ride, typically 10 miles, starts at 8 p.m. (stltoday.com)

The St. Louis Facebook page is here.

Source: World Naked Bike Ride in St. Louis

What’s this all about?

World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) is an international clothing-optional bike ride in which participants plan, meet and ride together en masse on human-powered transport (the vast majority on bicycles, but some on skateboards and inline skates), to “deliver a vision of a cleaner, safer, body-positive world.”

The dress code motto is “bare as you dare”. Full and partial nudity is encouraged, but not mandatory, on all rides. There is no mandate to cover intimate parts; this is a distinguishing feature of WNBR against other cycling events.

Creative expression is also encouraged to generate a fun and immersive atmosphere during the ride, capture the attention and imagination of the public and media, and make the experience more personalized and fulfilling for the riders. Body art, such as body painting, are common forms of creative expression, as well as costumes, art bikes, portable sound reinforcement systems (such as public address systems, bullhorns and boomboxes) and musical instruments or other types of noisemaker. (Wikipedia)

Of course local laws require participants “cover intimate parts.”

— Steve Patterson


Happy First Birthday Downtown Bicycle Station

One year ago today the Downtown Bicycle Station opened on Locust between 10th and 11th.

ABOVE: A large crowd of supporters gathered for the ribbon cutting on Thursday April 28, 2011

The Downtown Bicycle Station describes itself as:

The Downtown Bicycle Station is located at 1011 Locust Street between 10th and 11th streets, in Downtown St. Louis. Housed in a LEED certified building, it will feature storage options for more than 120 bikes, as well as provide cyclists with the opportunity to use showers, lockers and other bike commuter amenities. The Downtown Bicycle Station will occupy approximately 1400 square feet. The Downtown Bicycle Station has been designed to encourage the use of alternate modes of transportation by reducing some of the traditional impediments to bike commuting. Downtown St. Louis will now offer a full service bike facility easily accessible to the City’s central business district and Metrolink stations.

The Downtown Bicycle Station is an initiative of the City of St. Louis, Missouri, done in collaboration with key partners and supporters. The project is funded in part by funds allocated by the US Department of Energy through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. With these funds, the Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District (CID) has the initial contract to manage the Downtown Bicycle Station; the CID has contracted with Trailnet for marketing and membership and Urban Shark for facilities and operations services. The project would not have been possible without several additional generous contributions.

Earlier in the week I requested information on usage but I received no reply. I have no idea how well it’s doing.

– Steve Patterson


Readers Support Proposed Bike Parking Ordinance

February 8, 2012 Bicycling, Zoning 16 Comments
ABOVE: Bike parking on the campus of Washington University

Readers overwhelmingly support a bill before the St. Louis Board of Aldermen to require bike parking for some projects:

A proposed law would require bike parking for new construction or renovations in access excess of $1 million dollars. Auto parking requirements would be reduced.

  1. Great, more bike parking is needed 44 [50%]
  2. A good start, but it doesn’t go far enough 18 [20.45%]
  3. Ugh, more government regulation 16 [18.18%]
  4. Other: 9 [10.23%]
  5. Unsure/No Opinion 1 [1.14%]

I had a stupid mistake in the poll, corrected above, and a few of the other votes pointed that out:

  1. A good first step; besides handicapped parking there should be no reqirements
  2. don’t you mean “in excess?”
  3. What comes first demand or supply?
  4. need more bike lanes and paths first…
  5. Like the bike part, but no reduction for cars
  6. excess =/= access. We need more accessible and safe biking paths first.
  7. How about an option for not a good idea?????
  8. excess, not access
  9. Security is a MAJOR concern of those who use bike racks. Theft is a conern.

The 20% that said this bill is a good start but it doesn’t go far enough are correct, the number of projects in excess of $1 million dollars are few.The amount of verbiage to describe what is required in the context of our tired & old use-based zoning code is a nightmare to read and understand. Take a few minutes and read any section of Title 26 (Zoning) and you will quickly realize it’s easy to get lost in the cross references and lists of prohibitions all the while you don’t get an image of what’s actually desired.

Instead of trying to improve the city by amending our 1947 zoning code to current standards we need to toss it out completely and start over with a form-bsased code that is easy to read and understand.

– Steve Patterson


Poll: Thoughts on Bill That Would Require Bike Parking In Some Cases

St. Louis alderman Scott Olgilvie (I-24) has introduced a new bill that, if passed, would modify our zoning code to require bike parking for some major new construction or renovations:

ABOVE: Bike parking on the campus of Washington University

BOARD BILL NO. 258 INTRODUCED BY ALDERMAN SCOTT OGILVIE, ALDERMAN SHANE COHN, PRESIDENT LEWIS REED, ALDERWOMAN JENNIFER FLORIDA An Ordinance recommended by the City of St. Louis Planning Commission, requiring residential and commercial bicycle parking under the Zoning Code for all new construction or renovations equal to or in excess of one million dollars ($1,000,000);ontaining definitions; bicycle rack construction requirement, bicycle rack site requirements, bicycle parking requirements, exemptions, off-street parking reduction, an administrative waiver provision and a severability clause. (BB258)

From Olgilvie’s blog:

On Wednesday the Planning Commission approved an ordinance that will require bike parking be included in new commercial construction and certain renovations. The bill is a collaborative effort between myself and members of the Mayor’s staff. A lot of assistance was provided by the city’s legal and zoning teams to craft an ordinance that will be effective, yet flexible for existing structures. The idea follows the lead of other cities like Cleveland, Minneapolis, and Portland, to provide secure and convenient bike parking where people will use it: at their work and the stores they visit. The specific amount of parking is determined by the size of the structure, or the number of employees for warehouse, hotel, and industrial uses. The goal is to provide adequate bike parking facilities to accommodate up to 5% of trips – a goal which some other cities have already achieved and surpassed. The rules build upon the bike infrastructure progress made in St. Louis over the last decade, including GRG trails and bike St. Louis on-street routes. (ward24stl.com)

Section Two E of the bill:

The total number of vehicle off-street parking spaces required under the Zoning Code shall be reduced at the ratio of one (1) automobile off-street parking space for each one (1) bicycle space provided. The total number of required automobile off-street parking spaces, however, shall not be reduced by more than ten (10) percent for any newly developed or rehabilitated structure.

The following shows bike rack styles, half allowed and half not allowed:

ABOVE: Ald Scott Olgilvie provided this image showing types of racks allowed and not allowed

I have some strong opinions on this bill but I’ll reserve those until I post the poll results on Wednesday February 8th.

– Steve Patterson


Seventh Anniversary of UrbanReviewSTL.com!

To my knowledge, UrbanReviewSTL.com is the oldest urban blog in St. Louis, with the first blog posts appearing on Sunday October 31st, 2004 – seven years ago today!

ABOVE: The "about me" section created on Oct 31, 2004

At 12:50pm on October 31, 2004 I created the “about me” section, shown above.  Here is the text, sans my real estate pitch:


I’m often involved trying to save buildings from being demolished all the while stating I am not a preservationist. How can I put so much effort into saving old buildings and not be a preservationist?

I view myself as an urbanist first and foremost. Dynamic urban life is more important than any individual building, sports team, business or mayor. Great neighborhoods, by nature, incorporate existing urban-friendly buildings – especially those that are historic by virtue of architect, design or simply age.


As an urbanist I see many mistakes being made in our urban environment. My intention with this blog is to highlight the positive and decidedly pro-urban parts of our city and region as well as show the mistakes. I hope that by showing the mistakes (and explaining why it is a mistake) we will begin to rebuild St. Louis into one of the countries [country’s] great cities.

My first post was a short while later at 2:30pm that day:

ABOVE: My first pic was a bike locked to a bike rack on Washington Ave


A month ago I was having lunch at Wasabi on Washington Avenue and I captured the essence of urbanity emerging in St. Louis.

The one thing missing from this picture is people. The goal is to make it difficult to snap a picture, day or night, in downtown St. Louis that doesn’t have people in it just due to the shear number of people on the sidewalks.

I love seeing a well-used bike secured to a proper bike rack. This inverted u-rack is considered one of the best urban bike racks due to its relative low cost, ease of use and simple design. The street trees, overflowing planers and even the row of parked cars made the sidewalk dining experience feel downright cozy. Spending a leisurely lunch people watching is one of the best of all urban activities.

My guest and I split an appetizer of Edamame. Edamame is one of the most simple of foods yet it is also one of the most rewarding in terms of both the processing of eating the soybeans from their pods and nutritionally. The urban lesson is that sometimes the simple solution is often one of the best.

Four more posts would follow later that same Sunday! Thousands of posts later, I’m still having fun. Hard to believe the eighth year begins tomorrow…

Tune in to KDHX 88.1FM tonight at 8:30pm to hear me on DJ Wilson’s show Collateral Damage. Thank you for reading!

– Steve Patterson