Huge victory for bike/ped in Jefferson City: STL and KC Trails/Greenways Funding passes; bike rack license plate advances

1.  HB 1504, the major bill expanding the Great Rivers Greenway funding for the Arch and other parks/greenways/trails in the St. Louis area AND including the creation of the Kansas City regional greenway & trails district, has passed BOTH the House and the Senate and is now going to the Governor for his signature!

Missouri Capitol
Missouri Capitol

Major increase in bike/ped funding for St. Louis region

The bill allows counties in the St. Louis region to more than double the amount of funding dedicated to Great Rivers Greenway--it allows and additional 3/16 cent tax to be added to the current 1/10 cent sales tax.  The 1/10 cent tax raises about $10 million annual in St. Louis city, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County.  This has the potential to accelerate the build-out of trails and greenways in the region tremendously.  The Arch proposal received the lion's share of attention in the proposal--and the proposal certainly will benefit the Arch grounds and their connection to the community.  But the majority of the funding by far will go to greenways and trails in the participating counties.
 
Creation of first-ever regional Trails & Greenways District in Jackson County - Kansas City area
In the Kansas City area, the bill allows the creation of a greenway and trails district in Jackson County, the region's largest county by population.  The District can be funded by a 1/10 cent sales tax, similar to Great Rivers Greenway. The District is governed by a board appointed by the county and cities within the county.
 
This bill takes a big step towards accomplishing one of the major policy objectives in MoBikeFed's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri: Creating more funding, and a steady, reliable funding stream for bicycle and pedestrian facilities.  These two trails & greenway districts together potentially encompass nearly half of Missouri's population, and the creation and success of the districts creates an important precedent for the rest of the state.
 
On both sides of the state, the proposals will have to go to a vote of the people in the counties involved before any tax is levied or funds collected.  Only if the bill passes by a vote of the people in each county will the money be collected and used for projects in that county.
 
Great Rivers Greenway District's initial enabling vote passed rather handily in all three areas it covers--St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County.
 
2. The bike rack/license plate language has been amended on to SB 470 on the House floor, and SB 470 passed by the House.  This is the first time the Bike Rack license plate language has passed either chamber, so it is a big step. 
 
You can see the recent activity on the bill's page here: http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=27 The bike rack license plate language is HA 6 to HCS H offered & adopted (Schieffer)--(4430L08.22H).
 
The bill/amendment language is not available online yet, however it is similar to SB 843.  The bill allows, but does not require, the purchase of a third license plate which may be displayed in the rear window of a motor vehicle in cases where the rear license plate is obscured by a bicycle rack or anything similar on the rear of a vehicle.

 

It's not too late to support our work in Jefferson City by becoming a 2012 Legislative Platform sponsor!

 

 

 

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