ALERT: MoDOT needs YOUR input as it sets 25-year transportation priorities

When MoBikeFed first approached MoDOT about including bicycling, walking, and trails in the statewide transportation plan in the early 1990s, MoDOT literally had no plans or guidelines for including bicycling or walking on its roads.

MoDOT's Long Range Plan creates a 25-year vision for Missouri transportation.
MoDOT's Long Range Plan creates a 25-year vision for Missouri transportation. Our citizen feedback helps ensure that walking, bicycling, and trails are included in that vision.

How far we've come! Now MoDOT is asking for OUR input:

What is the Missouri Long-Range Transportation, why is it important, and how to bicycling and walking fit in?

After decades of work with MoDOT officials and legislators, in 2014 the MoDOT's statewide transportation plan finally included as one of its four major goals: "Give Missourians Better Transportation Choices."  Those choices included bicycling, walking, trails, and transit.

Now MoDOT is beginning the process of revising this long-range plan, which creates a 25-year vision Missouri transportation.

MoDOT is asking Missourians to complete a survey to let them your YOUR priorities.  Highways? Roads? Bridges? Public transportation? Rail? Walking? Bicycling? Trails?  Any--or all--of the above?

We need thousands Missourians to complete the survey and let MoDOT know that transportation is more than just roads and highways.  We need to include walking, bicycling, public transportation, Amtrak, statewide trails, and all the pieces of a complete transportation network that Missouri has neglected for far too long.

What is at stake?

Even though MoDOT adopted the goal of "Better Transportation Choices" in 2014, the Missouri General Assembly still has not followed that up with any dedicated statewide funding for walking and bicycling.

So your responses to this survey will make a big difference--because we know there is a sizeable contingent of Missourians that want to spend transportation dollars on roads, highways, and motor vehicles alone. Those highway advocactes will be speaking up on this survey--and if we don't speak up as well, our voice will not be heard.

And even though MoDOT included the goal to "Give Missourians Better Transportation Choices" in 2014, they may not include it again in 2017--unless we ask again.

So please, take five minutes and complete MoDOT's survey:

More about the MoDOT Survey - ideas and suggested responses

Some things the survey will ask and topics it will cover:

  • Do you support preserving our current system vs spending more $$$ to expand the system?
  • Do you support the current identified priority, "Keep all travelers safe, no matter the mode of transportation."  Key here is that MoDOT has specified "no matter the mode of transportation"--a move we strongly support. Far too many cyclists and pedestrian die on our roads, and MoDOT can do far more to address this issue.  Leaving an "optional comment" on this part of the survey to support the "no matter the mode" wording will be helpful.
  • Economic growth and creating jobs: It is worthing pointing out that bicycling, walking, and trails are a $2.8 billion portion of Missouri's economy - and investing in better bicycling and walking infrastructure in a community generally pays a far higher economic dividend than any other transportation investment. (Again an "optional comment" is helpful.)
  • Do you support the goal to "Give Missourians better transportation choices (transit, bike/pedestrian, rail, ports and airports)".
    This, of course, is one of our top priorities for the new long-range plan.
  • The survey asks you to rank several "Priority Areas" by dragging THREE above the line. "Sustainibility" and "Preserve Existing System" are reasonable priorities, but there is no priority to greatly increase access to the transportation choices that Missouri currently lacks.  You can "suggest another" and suggest something like "Greatly increase access to transportation choices such as public transportation, walking, bicycling, passenger rail".
  • Keep my costs the same? Keep in mind that Missouri's fuel tax and registration fees are NOT tied to inflation and have not been increased since the early 1990s.
  • Expand the system? Keep in mind that "expanding the system" was a top priority of road and highway engineers throughout the 1900s, when we went from the invention of the automobile to an average of one automobile per licensed driver in the U.S.  We are well past the "super-growth" phase now, however, and perhaps growing the system of roads and highways is no longer a very high priority?
  • Improve conditions?
  • Seek new revenue? This is the section where it asks if you are willing to pay more for increased public transit and rail, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

    Here, we certainly want to support the funding needed for transit, bicycling, and walking, and we want to point out to MoDOT that there is strong public support for the very modest investment that this will require. 

    But it is worth pointing out (perhaps via an "optional comment") that public transportation, bicycling, and walking should be an integral part of every transportation project and our transportation planning and funding. These things should not something extra that we should debating as a sort of a bonus.

    Public transportation, bicycling, and walking are basic and essential.

    MoDOT can and should be prioritizing more of its existing funding towards public transportation, bicycling, and walking.  Additional, new funding would be nice, but we don't need to wait for it.

    The fact is that MoDOT has access to hundreds of millions of dollars of funding annually for which public transportation, bicycling, and walking are allowed uses--but it actually uses practically none of those dollars for public transit, bicycling, or walking.  This can and should change without the need for any new funding.

    With that said, keeping MoDOT at 1993 funding levels--not even adjusted for inflation--means that MoDOT has few resources to do anything besides basic maintenance of the current system as it currently stands.  If new additional resources come in, they should be used to a great extent to fill in our "missing modes" of transportation--rather than simply continuing to expand our highway system in says that simply are not needed.

Click here to complete MoDOT's survey

 

Working to improve MoDOT's policy to include bicycling, walking, and trails at every step in one way we accomplish the four major goals of our Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri.

Your ongoing membership and generous financial support help turn our Vision into reality!

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