St. Louis, Kansas City, Missouri among top cities and states for increase in bicycling

The St. Louis Business Journal recently covered a report issued by the League of American Bicyclists about the dramatic increase in the amount of bicycling in Missouri cities: 

Bicycle commuting trips in Missouri, 1990-2010
Bicycle commuting trips in Missouri, 1990-2010

The city of St. Louis since 1990 has added more cyclists to its roadways than the vast majority of U.S. cities, according to a report by the League of American Bicyclists.

St. Louis ranked No. 7 in the U.S. for commuter cycling growth since 1990, racing past cities such as San Francisco, Denver and Minneapolis, all of which, in fairness, count a larger percentage of bike commuters.

Out of the city of St. Louis’ 2012 population of 318,172, 1.2 percent were bike commuters, up from 0.3 percent in 1990, according to the Annual American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. Bike commuters in St. Louis grew 332.8 percent from 1990 to 2012.

Bicycling statewide doubles; in Kansas City more than doubles; 

The increase in bicycling is happening in more than just St. Louis--the increase in the amount of bicycling in Kansas City was also very high--KC came in 11th in the U.S., just behind St. Louis.

And we know the same trend is true statewide in Missouri--the amount of bicycle commuting in the state doubled from 2000 to 2010.

The same report points out that Missouri ranks as low as 42nd in the absolute amount of bicycling.

Missouri has been among the lowest states for bicycling and walking--but now we're growing fast

These statistics only confirm what we have been saying for years:  Missouri was among the lowest states for bicycling and walking.  Over the past few decades, Missourians have bicycled and walked at half the national average--or even less.

The reason is, over the past century we have chosen to build our roads, highways, and communities to be unfriendly, uninviting, and unsafe for bicycling and walking.

But that was the past, and now Missouri is building for the future.

Because as uninviting as Missouri has been for bicycling and walking, we are now turning that around 180 degrees--and becoming one of the fastest growing states for bicycling, walking and trails.

Missouri now has some of the best Complete Streets policies in the nation--and they cover millions of Missourians.

Missouri boasts many thousands of miles of trails and was recently named Best Trails State of 2013.  Parks and trails agencies are now working to create a census of all trails in Missouri, leading to the state's first-ever comprehensive statewide trails plan.

And MoDOT has turned around 180 degrees in its outlook towards bicycling, walking, and trails--releasing a new Long Range Plan that for the first time in history, fully embraces the multi-modal approach to Missouri transportation.

Meanwhile, a proposed $8 billion Missouri transportation funding initiative proposes to solve the underlying century-old problem that has caused Missouri to be so unfriendly to biking and walking: We can't spend any of our state transportation funding on biking, walking, trails, or transit.  If this initiative passes in November 2014, it will solve that problem dramatically and permanently by adding biking, walking, and transit to our state constitution.

So--we may not be on top yet.  But we have the Vision and with your help and support, we're making huge strides in the right direction!

 

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