Outstanding Public Outreach, Program, Project, Tool, Community Initiative

Student Route 66 Taskforce

The Student Route 66 Taskforce, consisting of eight middle and high school students representing five area schools, was formed by the City of Wildwood in June 2022, in partnership with Rockwood School District, and under the umbrella of the Historic Preservation Commission, to encourage multigenerational engagement in the Route 66 Revitalization Initiative.

Originality and Innovation:

Tapping into the potential of Wildwood’s original alignment of Route 66 as a cultural heritage tourism attraction and community economic development tool, was not a new idea. However, despite its international popularity, a general lack of awareness of or interest in Route 66 history by younger generations presented a key challenge to engagement in both the corridor revitalization effort as a whole and a corresponding Route 66 Roadside Park project.

To address this challenge, the City partnered with its local school district, forming the Student Route 66 Taskforce, inclusive of eight student members and liaisons from the City’s Planning Department, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Route 66 Association of Missouri, and Rockwood School District. They were tasked with engaging the larger school community, including parents, teachers, and students, in the Route 66 Revitalization effort. Its members met monthly at City Hall, established by-laws, elected officers, and acted on Taskforce business.

Effectiveness and Results:

The Taskforce was instrumental in the planning and design of a proposed Route 66 Roadside Park (the Master Plan has been completed), the orchestration of a Student Design Competition for the park (involving over 40 area students in the design of the park’s “photo op” element), the filming of a Wildwood Route 66 Selfie Tour (now with over 400 views) and Virtual Tour, and the planning and execution of two themed events for the City’s Route 66 Month, occurring throughout April 2023 (both engaging participants in the park project and revitalization effort). Additionally, one of the seventh-grade members served as the Taskforce liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission, which has since led to a proposal to permanently include youth members on the Commission.

Not only did the Taskforce members themselves participate in every step of the planning and design process through this real-world application, but the broader school district community and the general public also participated via the Student Design Competition, community events, and outreach, and through its social media channels.


  • Rockwood School District partnered in the establishment of the Taskforce and regularly promoted Taskforce events. The District Curriculum Coordinators for STEM and Social Studies attended Taskforce meetings, helped develop 360-degree photos of Route 66 landmarks for the virtual tour, and encouraged teacher and student participation in the Student Design Competition for the park project.
  • Route 66 Association of Missouri offered discounted memberships to the students, with representatives attending park planning workshops with the students, including their initial orientation and tour of the historic corridor.
  • Eighteen Wildwood businesses and organizations sponsored student-led community events.
  • Route 66 State Park hosted a Taskforce field trip and meeting and presented both the history of the park and the bridge restoration project over the Meramec River. The students also toured the exhibit hall.
  • The Wildwood Historical Society provided the students with a tour of its museum and offered discounted memberships to them.
  • Residents and business owners attended the park project meetings with the students, expressing their interests and concerns.
  • An estimated 60 cars attended the Route 66 Drive-In movie night, complete with a Route 66 outreach tent and Taskforce pre-movie video with information about the revitalization effort and park project.

Through this effort, youth were instrumental in the planning process, learning from designers, architects, historians, economic developers, planners, and other municipal officials.

Vision Zero Action Plan

Originality & Innovation

The basic concept behind Vision Zero is that all fatal and serious injury crashes are preventable. Vision Zero is a commitment to road safety that aims to completely eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries — promoting safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all. Therefore, our transportation systems should be designed and operated to prioritize the safety of everyone, not just the efficiency of vehicular movement. This is a paradigm shift to traditional transportation planning. The Vision Zero approach recognizes that people will sometimes make mistakes, so the road system and related policies should be designed to ensure those inevitable mistakes do not result in serious injuries or fatalities. This is the first safety action plan of its kind in the STL metro area.


During this initiative, a crash analysis of data from 2011 to 2020 crashes in Kirkwood found that 61% of all City crashes over the ten-year span occurred on only 7% of roads and further identified a High Injury Network, or 10 miles of roads and intersections within Kirkwood where the most fatal or serious injury crashes occurred. This network will be utilized by the city to prioritize safety projects.

Three Vision Zero demonstration projects implemented tools such as temporary pavement striping, temporary cones, lane delineation, and curb extensions to increase overall safety for all users, create pedestrian buffer areas, and narrower lanes to decrease speeds. The projects provided residents with direct, in-person ways to experience safety improvements for people who walk, bike, roll, and drive in Kirkwood and allowed the City to test potential solutions. Findings from the demonstrations will be used to create tailored and more effective implementation projects in these areas. For example, the demonstration along Longview Boulevard showed an approximate reduction in average speed during week 1 of 4-7 MPH (15-25%). This is a significant decrease; however, the average speeds during weeks 2 and 3 rebounded with an overall decrease in average speed of 1-5 MPH (4-18%). While there was overall slowing of speed, the long-term results indicate that a permanent project would likely need to consider additional measures/design features to change driver behavior permanently.


The following interest groups and agencies were involved in the Vision Zero Steering Committee, which met four times between July of 2021 and February of 2022: Kirkwood Police Department, Kirkwood School District, members from several Kirkwood boards and commissions, MoDOT, STL County–Transportation, STL County–Public Health, Great Rivers Greenway, Trailnet, and Bi-State Metro Transit. Creating strong relationships with these groups helped ensure a well-rounded plan and will help ensure Vision Zero implementation projects and investments can achieve broader safety goals for the community.

Wider outreach efforts included: a virtual public open-house with live polling; informational tables at a variety of local events; a survey (online & paper); engagement kiosks at community gathering spaces; walking audits for stakeholder groups; and awareness efforts of social media, print media, and a project-specific website. This allowed people with various comfort levels with government entities to learn more, voice their concerns, and provide feedback.

A data-driven equity analysis is a major component of the plan and identified “Communities of Special Concern” as concentrations of residents that have been historically disadvantaged or otherwise considered vulnerable to unsafe active transportation facilities. City staff met with representatives of the Meacham Park neighborhood, one of the areas identified in the equity analysis, to coordinate a demonstration project at three intersections in the Meacham Park area. One of the main motivations of this demonstration was to acknowledge the challenges faced by residents in the Meacham Park neighborhood while also creating localized awareness of Vision Zero tenets.

Elevate Ellisville

Shockey completed a Comprehensive Plan Update for the City of Ellisville with transportation planning support from the Lochmueller team. This planning process is the City’s opportunity to develop a shared community vision, goals, and prioritized actions to achieve the greatest possible impact. This new Comprehensive Plan establishes a 20-year community vision to responsibly guide the community’s future development and redevelopment, serving as the decision-making roadmap for the City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission. A complimentary Strategic Plan was also developed to address Ellisville’s short-term needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and fast-paced demographic, economic, social, and industrial trends.

The plan represents collaboration across the community and incorporates public input throughout the planning document. The planning process aimed to actively engage stakeholders throughout Ellisville and focused on achieving a cross-sectional representation reflective of the community demographics regarding age, race and ethnicity, and geographic location. Shockey led a robust and inclusive public engagement process involving a variety of tools and techniques such as a digital engagement platform, conversation kits, pop-up engagement events, an interactive community open house, social media campaigns, and promotional materials. Shockey also facilitated the Elevate Ellisville Advisory Committee, consisting of 21 community members representative of diverse interests, demographics, business sectors, community organization affiliations, and geographic areas. This critical group represented the voice of the Ellisville community, supported the community engagement efforts, provided insight related to issues and opportunities, and shaped the goals, strategies, and future land use policies.