Missouri Complete Streets Resolution passes first major hurdle in General Assembly

The Complete Streets Resolution sponsored by Rep. Sally Faith of St. Charles has passed its first major legislative hurdle.

Rep. Sally Faith

After a hearing in the Transportation Funding & Public Institutions Committee February 16th, at which Brent Hugh of the Missouri Bicycle Federation and several other organizations testified in favor of the resolution, the committee gave the resolution a unanimous "Do Pass" recommendation at the committee meeting March 3rd.

The next step for the resolution is a vote of the full House.  It will then be sent to the Senate, where (if all goes well) it will be heard by a committee and then the full Senate.

More stories about the 2011 Legislative Session in Missouri.

Text of the resolution:

 

House Concurrent Resolution No. 23

96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES FAITH (Sponsor), KIRKTON, OXFORD, MEADOWS, McDONALD AND FALLERT (Co-sponsors).

 

            WHEREAS, bicycling and walking are essential to millions of Missourians as basic transportation and enjoyed by millions of Missourians as healthful recreation and as part of a healthy lifestyle; and

            WHEREAS, encouraging and promoting a complete network of safe bicycle and pedestrian ways and routes is essential for those Missourians who rely on bicycling and walking for transportation, recreation, and health; and

            WHEREAS, a safe and complete bicycle and pedestrian system is important for Missouri's economy and economic development; and

            WHEREAS, world-class bicycling and walking facilities help promote Missouri as a leading tourist and recreation destination; and

            WHEREAS, walking and bicycling improve the public health and reduce treatment costs for conditions associated with reduced physical activity, including obesity, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes; and

            WHEREAS, the United Health Foundation estimates direct medical costs associated with physical inactivity in Missouri at $1.9 billion in 2008, and projects an annual cost for Missouri of over $8 billion per year by 2018 if current trends continue; and

            WHEREAS, the annual per capita cost of obesity is $450 per Missourian, among the highest per capita costs of any state in the United States; and

            WHEREAS, promoting walking and bicycling for transportation improves Missouri's environment, reduces congestion, reduces the need for expensive expansion of our road and highway systems, and reduces our dependence on foreign energy supplies; and

            WHEREAS, creating healthy, walkable, bicycleable, and livable communities helps keep Missouri competitive in the global competition for high quality businesses and motivated, creative workers who consider transportation and recreation options an essential part of a healthy community; and

            WHEREAS, Missourians who reach retirement age choose more often to walk and bicycle for fitness, recreation, enjoyment, and transportation; and

            WHEREAS, citizens with disabilities often rely on walking, bicycling, and transit to meet basic transportation needs and to make connections with the transit system, face great obstacles within our current transportation system, and benefit greatly from complete and well designed accommodations for bicycling and walking; and

            WHEREAS, all transit users depend on walking and bicycling to complete at least part of each transit trip; and

            WHEREAS, the number of Missouri students who walk and bicycle to school has dropped dramatically over the past forty years, with 50% of students walking or bicycling in 1975 but only 15% in 2005. In the same period, the percentage of children clinically defined as overweight has increased from 8% to 25%; and

            WHEREAS, the principles of Complete Streets are designed to create a transportation network that meets the needs of all users of the state's transportation system: pedestrians of all ages and abilities, bicyclists, disabled persons, public transportation vehicles and patrons, and those who travel in trucks, buses, and automobiles; and

            WHEREAS, the term "Complete Streets" means creating roads, streets, and communities where all road users can feel safe, secure, and welcome on our roads and streets and throughout our communities; and

            WHEREAS, the terms "livable streets" and "comprehensive street design" are also used to identify these same concepts; and

            WHEREAS, coordination and cooperation among many different agencies and municipalities is required to fully implement Complete Streets and create a complete, connected, and safe transportation network for walking and bicycling; and

           WHEREAS, the cities of Elsberry, Pevely, Herculaneum, Crystal City, Festus, De Soto, Ferguson, Columbia, Lee's Summit, Kansas City, and St. Louis City have adopted Complete Streets or Livable Streets policies; and

          WHEREAS, metropolitan planning organizations in the St Joseph area, the Kansas city area, and the St Louis area have adopted Complete Streets policies as part of the long-range planning process:

          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-sixth General Assembly, First Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby declare our support for Complete Streets policies and urge their adoption at the local, metropolitan, regional, state, and national levels; and

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the General Assembly encourages and urges the United States Department of Transportation, the Missouri Department of Transportation, the governing bodies of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and Regional Planning Commissions, municipalities, and other organizations and agencies that build, control, maintain, or fund roads, highways, and bridges in Missouri to adopt Complete Streets policies and to plan, design, build, and maintain their road and street system to provide complete, safe access to all road users; and

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare properly inscribed copies of this resolution for Ray LaHood, Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation; members of the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission; the director of each Metropolitan Planning Agency and Regional Planning Commission in the State of Missouri; and the Missouri Municipal League.

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