Bikers beware: Delmar Loop Trolley tracks raising safety concern - KMOV.com

Bikers beware: Delmar Loop Trolley tracks raising safety concerns for bikers

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The Loop Trolley is still a few months from hitting the road, but already it is causing safety concerns. (Credit: KMOV) The Loop Trolley is still a few months from hitting the road, but already it is causing safety concerns. (Credit: KMOV)
UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

The Loop Trolley is still a few months from hitting the road, but already it is causing safety concerns.

Signs have gone up in the Loop warning bicyclists of the tracks, and there is a page on the Loop Trolley website advising bikers, scooters and wheelchair users on how to navigate around the tracks.

“It’s very unsafe, it’s causing problems, just about once a week I hear about an accident, about once of month an injury that’s occurred as a result,” said Ralph Pfremmer, the CEO of Trailnet.

Pfremmer says he wishes there had been more public engagement before the tracks were built, but now they are working on educating cyclists.

“Education is, it’s a tough place to ride a bike, don’t ride on it unless you are an excellent rider,” said Pfremmer.

But Mayor Shelley Welsch says they do not want to discourage bikers from riding in the Delmar Loop.

“The trolley is a sustainable form of transportation, so are the bikes, we don’t want to bring one form of sustainable form of transportation to the Loop and then say other forms should not be there,” said Mayor Welsch.

Earlier this year there had been discussions about a potential bike ban in the Loop during some hours, but the mayor says that is not something on the table.

“Bikers are welcome all over U City,” said the mayor, adding that any kind of ban would need to be approved by the city council.

The city council is working to make it safe for all modes of transportation, which is why they also passed two new ordinances Monday night.

“Drivers must stay behind the trolley, you can’t pass the trolley and you cannot block the path of the trolley,” said the mayor.

There is also an alternative route offered for bikers on the Loop Trolley website.

"For a ride with less traffic (vehicle and trolley) or trackage, an alternative route has been established one block to the north on Enright between Eastgate and Skinker, and to the north and south between Skinker and Kingsland, all of which connect to the Centennial Greenway. Further east on Delmar, a marked bike lane runs along the expanded St. Vincent Greenway on DeBaliviere, connecting to Forest Park,” reads the website.

The trolley will make roughly 20 loops per day from the Missouri History Museum through the Loop and will travel at no more than 20 miles per hour. 

Pfremmer says that while there is no ban, there is a concern about accessibility. 

“It is sort of a ban by default, we're worried about safety but we're also worried about people having access to where they want to go,” said Pfremmer.

The trolley is set to open by mid to late summer.

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