Alton works with SIUE collaborative on building bike, pedestrian plan

Seven-year-old Charlie Master (left), daughter of Sarah Masters, a senior majoring in sociology, sets out on a ride with her mother. (Photo courtesy of SIUE)

The students and faculty of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Successful Communities Collaborative (SSCC) transformed two city blocks in Alton into a bike lane for a day on Saturday, March 23.

To demonstrate what the City of Alton’s proposed Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan would look like, with temporary paint, the team created a depiction of what the road could resemble when the plan is executed, according to Connie Frey Spurlock, Ph.D., SSCC faculty director and associate professor in the Department of Sociology.

The SIUE/STL Art Hive, hosted by SIUE’s art therapy counseling program, was also present at the pop-up event. The Art Hive provided community members the opportunity to provide feedback on the demonstration with art materials.

“I learned a lot and enjoyed the opportunity to see what a bike trail might look like along the Broadway Corridor,” said Alton Mayor Brant Walker. “I would like to thank SIUE’s Successful Communities Collaborative for all their planning, development and funding through the JPB Foundation. We were also able to discover the perspectives of the public and business owners.”

In his support of the idea, Bill Simon, owner of Bill Simon Equipment, Inc., donated a bicycle to the SSCC. The bicycle will be part of a raffle at SSCC’s wrap-up event Thursday, April 18 at the Old Bakery Beer Co. in Alton. 

SIUE Successful Communities Collaborative (SSCC) is a cross-disciplinary program that supports one-year partnerships between the University and communities in Illinois to advance local resilience and sustainability based on community-identified environmental, social and economic issues and needs. Our mission is to connect Illinois communities with the students and faculty of the university.

SIUE is a student-centered educational community dedicated to communicating, expanding and integrating knowledge. In a spirit of collaboration enriched by diverse ideas, its comprehensive and unique array of undergraduate and graduate programs inspire professionals, scholars and leaders who shape a changing world.