National Bike Summit 2007 report: Claire McCaskill

As part of the National Bike Summit 2007 in Washington, DC, Karen Karabell, John Sweet, Lisa Marty, and Brent Hugh met for a full hour with Jason Rouche, an aide with Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.
Claire McCaskill

Karabell, Sweet, and Marty represented the St. Louis Bicycle Federation while Brent Hugh represented the Missouri Bicycle Federation.

The bicycle advocates asked McCaskill to support these initiatives and take these steps:
  • Fund the Conserve by Bicycling Program--a program to fund several pilot programs across the country to test marketing and promotion strategies to encourage more Americans to travel by bicycle. We know that the safety of bicyclists increases dramatically when more people start to bicycle. Promoting bicycling as a transportation option is one of the most simple and effective ways to get more bicyclists on the road.
  • Support the Bicycle Commuter Act--a program that will allow employers to give small but significant help to those who commute by bicycle, just as they do now to employees who carpool or use transit for their trip to work.
  • Join the Senate Bicycle Caucus.
  • Write a letter to state officials asking them to complete the Katy Trail by connecting it to Kansas City.
  • Write a letter to several levee districts asking them to work together with trails groups to find a way to allow trails on or near existing levees.
  • Support the Complete Streets Amendment--which will require road and street projects involving federal money to be bicycle, pedestrian, and transit friendly.
Rouche indicated that McCaskill will be very interested in the Complete Streets Amendment and may even consider becoming a co-sponsor when that amendment is re-introduced by Senator Harkin.

(Recall that the first time the Complete Streets Amendment was introduced, Missouri Senator Kit Bond was key in its defeat.)

Rouche also indicated that as a matter of principle, McCaskill will not support or actively work for any "earmarks" this year.

We reminded Rouche of McCaskill's key support for the proposal to "Complete the Katy Trail" when challenged to do so during the 2004 gubernatorial campaign, when her opponent was unable to formulate a view on the issue (though he has since done so).

We had a long and detailed discussion about the situation for bicyclists and pedestrians in Missouri and our overall impression is that McCaskill is very likely to be supportive of initiatives that will improve the situation.

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