2017 Legislative Session: Summary of bills affecting bicycling, walking, and trails

We are just in the third week of Missouri's 2017 legislative session, and already we have seen a number of bills introduced that are important to people in Missouri who walk, bicycle, and use trails.

Another major issue, returning for 2017, is state transportation funding. Missouri's dramatic underinvestment in transit, walking, and bicycling harms the ability of our communities, large and small, to compete in today's global marketplace--but all proposed solutions address highway funding only.

Summary of 2017 pedestrian, bicycle, and trails-related bills

Below is a summary of all pedestrian bicycle, and trails-related bills currently in play in the Missouri House and Senate. Bookmark this page--it will be continually updated as the 2017 Legislative Session progresses.

Statewide Funding for Walking, Bicycling, and Transit

A major issue in 2017, and a major concern of our members, is state transportation funding. In the news we hear about a chronic shortfall in road and highway funds for MoDOT.

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Major national win for bicycling and walking in new federal Performance Measures

The Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation has been part of a national coalition of groups that have been working to ensure that walking and bicycling were included in proposed Performance Measures for our national transportation system.

The danger was that the measures would focus on, and support, only motorized transportation. That would mean that federal policy and funding would all move in that direction--towards support of motorized automobile travel only, neglecting public transit, walking, bicycling, trails, and other transportation options.

The end result would be to deny these legitimate transportation modes their fair share of federal transportation funding. Federal policy sets the standard for state and local spending, so the effects of the new policy will cascade down to affect nearly every transportation project in the country, for multi-lane high-speed freeways to neighborhood sidewalks.

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"Scathing" KCMO Auditor report recommends major upgrades & changes to city's bicycle plan

A major new development in the ongoing effort to make Kansas City a bicycle friendly community: The KCMO City Auditor's Office has released an audit of the current Bike KC plan that the Kansas City Star called "scathing".

BikeWalkKC, the lead local advocacy group in the Kansas City region, said that the report "summarizes much of the community’s frustration at Kansas City’s progress.  It also provides a much-needed wake-up call and an opportunity start anew with a clear vision, a well-designed strategy, and a modern master plan."

The auditor's summary of the report reads:

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Rock Island Trail Update: Connections for Springfield, St Louis? And more from MoRIT . . .

Greg Harris, Executive Director of the Missouri Rock Island Trail, Inc. (MoRIT) just sent the latest version of the Rock Island Trail Update.

Rock Island Trail Update

January 11, 2017

Hundreds attended the dedication of the first 47 miles of the Rock Island Trail on December 10, 2016. The Pleasant Hill to Windsor segment connects greater Kansas City to the 240 mile Katy Trail. Ameren will give an additional 144 miles to the State of Missouri in late 2017 after salvage of the rails and ties is completed. Salvage status is posted at https://www.powerforwardmo.com/rockisland.

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