New T-Shirt Celebrates the Delmar Loop's Trolley Problem

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The same motif that graces signs along Delmar is now coming to a ringspun cotton canvas near you. - S. PLATT
  • S. PLATT
  • The same motif that graces signs along Delmar is now coming to a ringspun cotton canvas near you.

For those who love tourism, anachronistic transportation options and old-timey rail lines, the Loop's $52 million trolley project has been an unmitigated success. For the rest of us, well, there's a T-shirt for that.

The shirt, created by St. Louis-based Dogfish USA, features a cyclist facing imminent doom on the trolley tracks and the simple slogan, "Welcome to Delmar." And lest that illustration seems a bit over-the-top, rest assured — it comes from the very street signs now installed along the street. Indeed, the old-school tracks that curve through the narrow street are so unfriendly to cyclists, the city fathers are contemplating a complete bicycle ban.

John Merli, who owns Dogfish USA, says the inspiration was a simple one: His son works at Big Shark, which pulled out of the Loop last year in part over concerns over how cyclists would mix with the tracks. "He forwarded me a picture of the sign and said, 'Do a T-shirt!' I thought it was funny, so I did."

In addition to being a custom graphic apparel company that prints shirts for other businesses, Dogfish USA sponsors a cycling team and offers a number of cycling-related products. So, yeah, the 23-year-old business comes by its concerns honestly.

Merli says they've sold only a few shirts to date, but he's not disappointed. "Kind of what expected," he says.

If you want one of your own, they're available online now.

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We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com


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