St. Louis Mayoral Contender Lewis Reed Hopes to Bike to City Hall

Via the Kansas Cyclist, here’s a campaign ad from St. Louis mayoral hopeful Lewis Reed that would seem strangely inconceivable in NYC’s current political climate.

Reed, currently president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen (the equivalent of being City Council speaker in NYC), is challenging three-term incumbent Francis Slay in a primary election coming up on March 5.

Reed’s online campaign bio prominently features his role in launching Bike St. Louis, an effort to create safer streets for bike commuting and to connect the city’s parks with bike routes. This 30-second spot, though, has nothing to do with policy specifics. It’s all about imagery, and the predominant images are Lewis Reed biking the streets of St. Louis and hauling his bike up the stairs in the halls of municipal power (and high-fiving people). Do you think his team focus-grouped the spot?

  • Jesse

    That hands-free shot at the end = Awesome. I want to move to St. Louis just to vote for this guy.

  • KillMoto

    I’m conflicted.  Love the message he’s putting out there.  I just don’t know if I’d prefer that ad as the product of a focus group, or if he insisted on that message over the objections of one.  Either way it’s a winning message! 

  • Davidmhanna

    I’m from St. Louis, I would not recommend bike riding anywhere except for a small downtown area. Violent crime is just too high there. As important as bike riding is- crime is the number 1 issue in St. Louis City. It just goes to show how lucky we are in New York City. Please include the crime issue when voting for mayor this year. Otherwise, no one will be bike riding in NYC.

  • Ben Kintisch

     Good luck Mr. Reed!

  • mcsladek

    Here’s the long version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JelMNhgJo1c

    Yes, it’s a lot of really positive rhetoric, but people aren’t going to pay attention to policy specifics in a commercial spot like this.  It’s all about emotional appeal, which this man has in the bag.  I wish NYC politicians could realize that active transportation and community revitalization aren’t mutually exclusive.  I grew up in St Louis and I would totally vote for this man.

  • ctp

    I doubt that they did focus group it, as it’s likely to alienate more voters (dirty, stinky hippie!) than it will bring in. Not my feelings, of course.

  • Armand_stl

    I currently live in St. Louis, and it is this completely misinformed mindset that has destroyed St. Louis’ image locally. Crime is a major issue, but it is concentrated in a few small areas, and not just in the City of St. Louis. It spans an entire metro area of almost 100 municipalities and a population around 2.5 million.
    It is possible to live in St. Louis without a car, and people are beginning to finally realize it. The streets here are surprisingly bike-friendly, with miles of bike lanes connecting neighborhoods, CBDs and trails crossing the Mississippi River into Illinois. Our transit system is also very bike friendly. What Mr.Reed does here is build on what is already a strong positive for the city, and a very popular mode of transport. Sadly, this is as deep as our mayoral races get. That is why politics in St. Louis are so frustrating to the educated public. There are no debates, at least none that discuss anything remotely important to this city specifically (preservation laws, form-based code desperately need attention). As far as focus groups, I would be surprised if either candidate had conducted any.

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