MoDOT adopts new long-range plan; Missouri transportation tax proposal passes first hurdle

Today the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission--the group that heads MoDOT--met in Jefferson City and approved the final version of MoDOT's new Long Range Plan. You can view the updated plan documents, which include many revisions and suggestions made by MoBikeFed members and allied organizations, as well as many other MoDOT stakeholders and citizens, on the Missouri On the Move website

MoDOT Director Dave Nichols addresses Commission Members on the Long Range Plan
MoDOT Director Dave Nichols addresses Commission Members on the Long Range Plan

MoDOT's new plan is groundbreaking in comparison with past MoDOT Long-Range Plans. The new plan encompasses four main points:

MoDOT Director Dave Nichols gave a summary of the plan and the revisions that have been made since the plan was released for public comment last year.

Nichols pointed out that a number of revisions had been made to the plan in response to public comment and comments by MoDOT partners and stakeholders (including MoBikeFed members, supporters, and allies across the state), including updates emphasizing the health and economic benefits of providing for bicycling and walking.

Nichols gave some examples of the type of public feedback and comments they had received--for example, people from rural areas complaining that the plan gives too much emphasis to biking and walking, and comments from urban areas complaining the plan does not give enough emphasis to transit.

However, Nichols emphasized that by and large the public response to the new plan and its overall direction--including a new emphasis on all types of transportation such as biking, walking, and transit--has been very positive.

MoBikeFed Executive Director Brent Hugh addressed the Commission during the public comment period, thanking Commissioners and MoDOT staff for their work to incorporate bicycling and walking elements into the new plan, and presenting Commissioners and MoDOT leadership with the top priorities of Missouri's Bicycle & Pedestrian community.  Our very top priority is creation of a statewide bicycle and pedestrian plan--a proposal that may move forward soon.

The Commission unanimously adopted the new long range plan.

The meeting marked the end of Commissioner Lloyd Carmichael's term as Commission Chair.  Incoming Commission Chair Stephen Miller of Kansas City has been a strong advocate of MoDOT's work to better incorporate bicycling and walking.

Missouri Transportation Tax proposal passes first hurdle in the 2014 legislative session

In related news, HJR 68, the resolution proposing a 1 cent sales tax for transportation, was voted out of the House Transportation Committee today.
 
The vote in the House Committee was 11 in favor and 2 opposed.   The two members who opposed were Karla May (Dist 84, St Louis) and Michael Butler (Dist 79, St. Louis).
 
This is the first step for the proposed transportation tax this year.  Supporters plan to have the $8 billion, 10 year transportation sales tax plan before voters in November 2014.
 
The proposal is nearly identical to last year's transportation sales tax proposal and still contains the key provision--groundbreaking for Missouri--to fully incorporate all transportation modes, including biking, walking, and transit, into our state's transportation funding.
 
The exact priorities for the $8 billion in new spending are being determined right now by MoDOT's regional transportation planning partners working with local cities and counties and MoDOT District leadership.  
 
 

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