Our Vision for Missouri Regional Planning Commissions & Metropolitan Planning Organizations

Missouri's Regional Planning Commissions map
Missouri's Regional Planning Commissions map

Most statewide and federal transportation projects in Missouri--nearly $2 billion in projects annually--are envisioned and prioritized by MoDOT's "Planning Partners" these are Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) across Missouri.

This document summarizes our recommendations for RPCs and MPOs across Missouri as they work to move from a tradition highway-only focus to integrate bicycle and pedestrian planning and projects into their committees, processes, and plans.

Recommendations:

  • Non-motorized transportation and other multi-modal transportation options should receive full consideration in all committees, plans, programs, and activities, just as motorized transportation, roads, and highways do now:
    • Ensure full representation of non-motorized modes on all transportation-related committees.
    • Ensure that staff have required experience and training in planning for non-motorized modes, and that staff have the time and resources needed to adequately plan for non-motorized transportation, as they do for motorized transportation.
    • If specific modal committees or subcommittees do not already exist, consider development of specific modal subcommittees of the larger transportation committee, with appropriate organizations and areas of expertise represented, for bicycle, pedestrian, trails, and transit.  Depending on your particular needs and resources, this could be one, two, three, or four separate committees.  These committees might be standing or convened only for specific projects or purposes, as needed.
       
  • Every MPO and RPC should adopt a Complete Streets policy, adapted to local conditions and needs
    • Ensure routine accommodation of bicycling, walking, and transit in all transportation projects, as needed and appropriate, and ensure that transportation projects, particularly pedestrian projects, meet the needs of all users: the old, the young, the able, and those with disabilities
    • Every proposed road and bridge project should be examined for bicycle and pedestrian needs and for bicycle and pedestrian access and connectivity
    • Systematically identify and prioritize needs and gaps in the current bicycle and pedestrian system; dedicate funding and resource to filling those gaps
       
  • Every MPO and RPC should create regional bicycle, pedestrian, and trails plans
    • Create plans and prioritized project lists—either as separate plans or as part of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan—for each of these areas: (1) Sidewalks and walking, (2) trails and greenways, (3) on-road bicycling, and (4) transit.
    • Work with cities and counties within your region to help them create local bicycle, pedestrian, trails, and transit plans that complement and coordinate with the regional plans
       
  • Promote the Bicycle Friendly Community and Walk Friendly Community programs within the MPO and RPC
    • Depending on size of the MPO/RPC, this may involve the MPO/RPC applying for Bike Friendly/Walk Friendly status as the primary agency or creating a program to encourage municipalities within the MPO/RPC to apply
    • These programs are proven successful in helping communities develop a realistic, comprehensive approach to make the community friendlier, safer, and more inviting for bicycling and walking over time
    • The programs and well developed with many resources and examples for communities of all sizes and in all locations to use as models
       
  • The population of cities and counties should be a strong consideration in determining the makeup and representation on transportation committees; any committees involving bicycle, pedestrians, or trails funding, projects, or priorities should represent the involved municapalities and agency in close proportion to their population.
    • Unlike the rural highway system, where state highway road-miles may be more uniform according to geography than population, the need for bicycle, pedestrian, and transit facilities is very closely tied to population.  If high-population municipalities are under-represented in committees and decision-making processes, priorities and project dollars will not be allocated in a fair and equitable way.
    • Sales tax revenue from the proposed new transportation funding initiative will be generated very closely in proportion to population--a distinct change from the current fuel tax system, where funds are generated more in proportion to miles traveled.  This change in funding requires a change in approach committee representation, project funding, and regional priorities
    • Of course, protection for the legitimate transportation needs of rural residents and smaller communities must be built into the system as well.  Smaller communities and rural residents suffer in both mobility and health because those communities lack needed bicycle and pedestrian facilities and connectivity. These communities and areas will need funding assistance to create needed bicycle and pedestrian mobility and access.
    • With this large and well publicized new transportation funding source, if priorities and project dollars are not distributed fairly and equitably, dissatisfaction with the new funding system is certain to result.

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