Legislative Platform Accomplished

Supporting better law and policy change to create an environment for better, safer bicycling and walking in Missouri is a goal of MoBikeFed's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri. Our annual Legislative Platform puts forth our priorities and issues for the year.

Missouri delegation with members of Congress at the National Bike Summit
Missouri delegation with members of Congress at the National Bike Summit

Between 1995 and 2016, no fewer than fifty-two of the proposals that we have supported or opposed have been approved or defeated, respectively.

That includes thirty-nine Legislative Platform planks, resolutions or proclamations have been passed, signed, or otherwise approved or passed into law or policy.

It also includes defeat of thirteen pieces of poorly conceived or poorly written legislation--and success stopping a bad bill is often just as important as passing a good one. The bills we have stopped include legislation that would have banned bicyclists from all state highways, required cyclists to wear reflective vests, required motorists to pass within the lane regardless of danger, required cyclists to ride against traffic, banned bicyclists and pedestrian from key trails, stopped use of any state transportation funding for bicycling, and others.

 

Our Representative in Jefferson City

Of platform planks passed or defeated, 47 of 52 have been accomplished since 2005, when we first hired a Jim Farrell, our Government Affairs Representative, to work on behalf of bicyclists and pedestrians during the legislation session in Jefferson City. 

Engaging our dedicated Government Affairs Representative is the most effective single thing we have ever done to improve our effect

    The lobbyist is the most effective single thing we have ever done to improve our effectiveness as statewide bicycle advocates—and your membership and support makes his continued, extremely valuable work happen.  His work has dramatically impacted and improved every one of the four major objectives of MoBikeFed's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri.

     

    MoBikeFed Legislative Platform Planks that have become law or policy

    2016

    Defeated: Proposal to allow ATVs on the Katy Trail

    Defeated: Proposal to require bicyclists to carry 15-foot flags

    Defeated: Another proposal bicycle ban on certain state highways

    Passed: $20 million in flexible state transportation funding ("Missouri Moves"). First time in modern history flexible state transportation funding available for highways, transit, bicycling, walking, and other multimodal projects.

    Passed: Funding to fix 1.3 mile gap in the Katy Trail in Sedalia

    Passed: Funding for a portion of the Spirit Trail between Warrensburg and Whiteman AFB

    Passed: $4.6 million in supplemental for the Rock Island Trail segment between Windsor and Pleasant Hill, for trailheads, signage, other enhancements. Trail opening planned for late 2016.

    2015

    Defeated: Proposal to require bicyclists to carry liability insurance.

    Progress towards: A dedicated statewide funding source for walking, bicycling, and trails

    2014

    Defeated: Proposal to Remove Bicycle Funding. In one of the most important legislative victories in MoBikeFed's history, the proposal to remove bicycle funding from proposed statewide transportation funding plan was soundly defeated in the floor Missouri House of Representatives.

    Passed: First-ever statewide transportation funding proposal to fully integrate bicycling, walking, and transit funding.  Ushering a completely integrated transportation funding proposal through the General Assembly was a major accomplishment.  Two major firsts: First-ever funding proposal endorsed by the General Assembly that included funding for biking and walking; First proposed constitutional amendment to fix a decades-old problem that prohibits state road fund dollars from being spent on bicycle and pedestrian projects. 

    Though Amendment 7 was eventually defeated by voters in the August 2014 election, it raised the profile of bicycle and pedestrian issues tremendously and puts us in a far stronger position as the next steps to address MoDOT's funding crisis move forward.  In addition, A7 was both a better proposal and received a far higher percentage of the popular vote than the last similar MoDOT funding proposal in 2002.  The 2002 proposal included highway and transit funding--but not biking and walking--and was defeated by a 3-to-1 margin.

    Defeated: Bicycle Ban Proposal. Again.  Rep. Bart Korman's proposal to ban bicyclists from certain state highways, HB 2279,  failed again--and made the least headway any similar proposal has in recent years.

    Defeated: A poorly drafted proposal to discourage cities, counties, and state agencies from working with Missouri nonprofit organizations on sustainability issues--including bicycling, walking, and trails. After a narrow defeat in 2013, this bill gained little traction 2014, thanks to the opposition of groups like MoBikeFed and our allies.

    2013

    Defeated: Bicycle Ban Proposal. Thanks to early action by MoBikeFed and tens of thousands of calls and letters from bicyclists from around the state, this year's bicycle ban proposal, to disallow bicycle use on any roads or highways paralleling a trail, was defeated soundly.

    Introduced: First transportation funding bill in Missouri history to fully integrate biking & walking. This bill came close to passing, but finally failed in the last week of legislative session due to a Senate filibuster.  However, the essential idea--including the groundbreaking proposal to add "bicycle" and "pedestrian" directly to the Missouri constitution as part of the definition of the type of transportation allowed for new statewide funding--will be included in an initiative petition slated for a November 2014 vote of the people of Missouri

    Defeated: Bill to restrict funding of bike/ped organizations by cities and state agencies. By a very close vote in the veto override session of the 2013 legislative session, a veto of SB 265 was upheld.

    MoBikeFed had opposed SB 265 because it contained an obscure provision that was uncertain in its meaning, but was presented by supporters as banning any government or agency in Missouri from working with or contracting with nonprofit groups to work on sustainability issues—such as biking, walking, trails, and community livability.

    More information about all of these issues in the 2013 Legislative Session Roundup.

    2012

    • Defeated: Bicycle Ban, Reflective Vests Requirement for Bicyclists on State Highways. Rep. John Cauthorn sponsored HB 1937, which was first intended to ban bicyclists on state highways, then amended to remove the ban but require all bicyclists on state highways to wear reflective vests. After many letters and calls from bicycle organizations and individual cyclists, and testimony in opposite by MoBikeFed the measure was defeated in committee.
    • Passed: Municipal transportation funding now includes sidewalks and trails as allowed funding. SB 568
    • Passed: Enabling legislation for expanded funding for the Great Rivers Greenway District. Enabling legislation for greatly expanded funding approved.  The measure will now go a vote of the people in the three affected areas (St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County). HB 1504.
    • Defeated: Attempt to eliminate all funding for the Great Rivers Greenway District. HB 1967.
    • Passed: Enabling legislation for a new trails and greenways district in Jackson County, Kansas City area. HB 1504
    • Passed: "Ryan's Bill"--fixes the bike rack/license plate problem.  SB 470.
    • Passed: Bridge Bike/Ped Path to be named after former MoBikeFed Chair Bob Watts. HB 1807.

    More information about all of these issue in the 2012 Legislative Session Roundup.

     

    2011

    • Complete Streets: After four years of work, the Missouri Complete Streets resolution, HCR 23, passed in May 2011.  The resolution establishes the General Assembly's support for Complete Streets at the local, state, and national level and encourages MoDOT, cities, counties, and the US DOT to adopt Complete Streets policies.  The work on Complete Streets in the General Assembly over these years has been accompanied by an explosion of Complete Streets policies adopted across Missouri at the local level.
       
    • Bicycle & Pedestrian Holidays on state holidays calendar (Bike Month, Bike to Work Week, Walk to School Day/Month/Year).  SB 180 passed in 2011 after two years of work on this issue.
       
    • "Same Roads - Same Rights" specialty license plate (for motor vehicle) - Approved by the Joint Transportation Committee, 2011, after six years of work on this issue.
       
    • Important technical corrections to the Safe Passing of Bicyclists Law originally passed in 2005.

    2010

    • Complete Streets Resolution passes House of Representatives
    • Governor declares Bike to Work Week
    • Governor declares Walk and Bike to School Month
    • General Assembly passes $1 million appropriation for the Tour of Missouri
     
    2009
    • Ban on texting while driving passed; applies only to young drivers.
    • Dead Red law: Allowing motorcycles & bicycles to proceed through a red light after waiting a certain period that makes it obvious the motorcycle/bicycle is not triggering the traffic signal. This addresses a situation commonly faced by bicyclists, where the traffic signal simply will not change because the equipment does not recognize a bicyclist as it should.
    • License plates - a new law creates a system for us to apply for a Missouri "Share the Road" license plate that will raise funds for bicycle-related education/outreach; we will apply soon.
    • "No passing on solid yellow line" law disadvantageous to bicyclists and pedestrians was stopped and did not move forward in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 (we opposed the law as written and proposed a more bicycle-friendly compromise, which was accepted; we are happy to see it move forward in the bicycle-friendly compromise version or simply stall and not move forward at all)
    • Equestrian Trail Bill--we were able to stop a version of an equestrian trails bill that would have been very disadvantageous to bicyclists, hikers, walkers, runners, and other pedestrians who use trails, and support a version of the bill the encourages development and maintenance of equestrian trails while have no negative effects for bicyclists and pedestrians.
    • Bike Month resolutions in House & Senate, Governor's Proclamation for Bike to Work Week

    2008

    • Bike Month Resolution and Governor’s Proclamation
    • Walk/Bicycle to School Month/Day Resolution
    • $18 million from AmerenUE settlement for Katy Trail Connection to Kansas City appropriated to DNR; construction on the Katy Trail Connection can now move forward

    2007

    • A measure to encourage recreational trails/mountain biking trails in state parks and conservation areas by allowing/encouraging greater participation by nonprofit organizations in state parks (as proposed by Rep. Sutherland in 2006)
    • Bike Month resolution
    • Tour of Missouri Month proclamation & resolution

    2006

    • Clutch's Law—increased penalties & driver license points for those who fail to yield right-of-way and cause an accident

    2005

    Major/comprehensive update to the state's basic bicycle law, including

    • Allow right turn signaling with the right arm; allow intermittent signaling when arms/hands are needed to control bicycle (previously cyclists were required to do all signalling with the left arm, which necessary for automobile drivers who lack signal lights, but confusing and unnecessary for bicyclists).
    • Bicycle-friendly rules for bike lane usage (previously the state had no regulations for bike lanes, leaving cyclists in the lanes in a legally uncertain situation, and giving no rules for motorists to keep out of the bike lanes except when necessary).
    • Clarify that bicyclists riding on the road shoulder is not illegal (previously Missouri law banned all regular travel in the shoulder area for all vehicles on the road, leaving cyclists who may safely choose to travel in the shoulder in many situations, in a legally precarious position when they chose to bike on the shoulder.)
    • Update the definition of a bicycle to include tricycles and quadracycles. (Previously tricycles and quadracycles were in a bit of legal limbo, as Missouri's definition of 'bicycle' did not appear to include them.)
    • Safe passing provision for motorists passing bicyclists.  Motorists must pass at a safe distance and maintain the distance until completely clear of the bicyclist.

    See summaries of the 2005 legislation here and here; complete text as passed here.

    2004

    • Legislation to address liability concerns of landowners adjacent to trails (258.010 RSMo)

    1998

    • Defeated attempt to reinstate the mandatory sidepath law

    1995

    • Repeal mandatory sidepath law: Repeal the law that required bicyclists to ride on path adjacent to road if such a path is available
    • Improve, clarify, and update Missouri's basic bicycle law

    Note that law and policy is never made in a vacuum. On many of these issues, the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation is but one of many voices asking for change. On other issues--particularly those of interest mainly to bicyclists & pedestrians--MoBikeFed has played a leading role. Regardless, no legislation has ever been passed without a huge amount of cooperation and support from many individuals, organizations, clubs, and elected officials work together. Many thanks to all of them for working together to make Missouri a better, safer place to walk and bicycle.

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