Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

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Ken Kifer's Bike Pages - bicycle advocacy, practical bicycle, camping, and commuting tips, safety tips
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14-year Old Bicyclist Killed in Independence

Three young people in Independence were struck by vehicles last week while bicycling or walking on city streets. One of them, 14-year-old Daniel R. Eiermann of Independence, was killed near 23rd Street and Arlington Avenue about 8:00PM, while riding his bike.

Read the KCStar story here.
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KC Area CMAQ Projects Under Review Late October 2002

The Mid-America Regional Council has quite a lot of money to spend on CMAQ (Congestion Management/Air Quality) projects. Mostly these involve bicycle and pedestrian projects. Projects proposed include sidewalks, sidepaths (one-sided wide sidewalks for both bikes & peds), multi-use paths along riverfronts/streams, Phase IV of BikeKC (on-street bicycle routes), and a few miscellaneous projects.

With such a large amount of money involved, MARC receives astonishingly few public comments. I (Brent Hugh) wrote some lengthy comments about the projects (specifically, criticizing "sidepath" projects and the scoring procedure for projects).

Here is more detail about the projects and issues from Dale Crawford:




Forward comments to CMAQ Committee Project Evaluation Workgroup, MARC, via MARC's web site would be quickest:

On the following link that also includes the project descriptions, send your comments to James Joerke and Aaron Bartlett.

http://www.marc.org/transportation/cmaq/overview.htm

Their email links are at the bottom of the page. State that you've read the projects and do not support wide sidewalks as viable bicycle transportation. Joerke is the CMAQ Workgroup Committee staff laison. Bartlett is the bike/ped coordinator and understands this concern, but needs to hear from the masses in able to be effective when contradicting recommendations from local governments. Emails should be addressed via MARC to the Conni Hadden, Chair, CMAQ Project Evaluation Workgroup. Hadden is a Liberty Council member and on MARC's CMAQ Committee, the Total Transportation Committee and is the only politician on the CMAQ Evaluation Workgroup. She is supportive of bike/ped, but needs to be effectively educated. As Chair she is directing the meetings, not making the recommendations so, as always with politicians, be respectful and to the point. Remember KCMO Councilman Ed Ford. Although he did not agree with us, we gained respect from him by our po sitive actions. We can have greater influence right now citywide on pavement be ready to be laid.

70% of a projects score come from two categories: Emissions reductions and cost effectiveness. The emissions reductions are based on the theory a percentage (usually +/-2%) of the average daily trips (ADT) for automobiles of an adjacent road would be reduced by providing a facility on a road, including wide sidewalks. There is not distinction as to the type of facility. Bike lanes have the same reduction value as wide sidewalks. The applicants claim wide sidewalks promote "non-traffic experienced" cyclists usage of the facility for utilitarian purposes. But AASHTO says there still the most dangerous.

Here are a few of the questions/points I raised at the evaluation meeting for bike/ped projects. Why would we put less experienced cyclists on more dangerous facilities? If wide sidewalks are not used by the "experienced" cyclists, what is the resulting emissions benefit after they are factored out of the percentage ADT reduction? How does this reduction affect the scoring? Why are AASHTO guidelines (safety) not a factor in the scoring CMAQ projects? Why are limited federal funds being used to build new sidewalks and new roads that should have had them built on them to begin with? Why should federal funds be used to pay for the entire sidewalk instead of just the additional width for the "bicycle" accommodation when most cities require sidewalks be built with all roadways?

Please personalize with your own experience/opinion as you see fit, just keep the comments brief. The next evaluation group meeting in Oct. 23. So do not delay forwarding comments. Please blind copy your emails to me so I can know what was sent to MARC. Avoid sending the same email to the bike list as responses from other list members will be responded to MARC as well. Copy your email into a separate email for the list, if you desire.

Dale Crawford

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Safe Routes to Schools, TEA21 Re-Authorization, MO Rep. Sam Graves

I (Brent Hugh) recently wrote Sam Graves, Missouri Representative from the 6th District (which includes Liberty & St. Joseph) about supporting the inclusion of "Safe Routes to Schools" in the TEA21 re-authorization. You may know that this has been proposed recently and seems to have some substantial support.

Graves is a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and so is very involved in the TEA-21 re-authorization question.

I received a reply from Graves just yesterday (dated September 25th, 2002). It included the following interesting tidbits:

"As you may know, Congress enacted the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century Act (TEA-2 1) in 1998. A federal funding formula known as the Revenue Aligned Budget Authority (RABA) mechanism guaranteed minimum levels of funding for infrastructure projects. The RABA mechanism determines how much of the collected gas tax in the Highway Trust Fund would be returned to the states. Essentially, RABA was calculated using previously collected gas taxes and projected gas tax revenue. While the mechanism returned record amounts to the states at the height of the economic boom, an economic slowdown has returned the actual funding to lower numbers. These lower numbers limit which programs receive federal funding.

"As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I look forward to working on the reauthorization of TEA-21 in 2003. First, I will support stable funding levels for our infrastructure and will fight to ensure that the Highway Trust Fund is used solely for transportation projects, as it was intended. I also will give attention to trail programs that will ensure the safety of pedestrians."


My comments:

1. This explains why federal funds have become harder to get recently.

2. It sounds as though Graves would oppose things like recreational bicycle trails funded by TEA21's successor. He may have other things in mind when he says "ensure that the Highway Trust Fund is used solely for transportation projects", but I'll bet (although he doesn't say so explicitly) that the multi-use trail funding is high on his list of non-transportation projects.

3. This could be an opportunity for bicyclists to push for a higher proportion of Highway Trust Funds to be used for on-road bicycle plans and on-road improvements that help bicycling. Under TEA21 the proportion has been something like 70% or 80% of the bicycling-related money towards multi-use trails (which, let's face it, mostly tend to be recreational in nature) and the rest for on-road projects. Personally, I would like to see the proportion changed and approximately reversed. I think more money put into making streets more bicycle-friendly would get more people riding, for the simple reason that streets already go close to where most people live and trails never will.

The rationales for changing the funding proportions to favor on-road projects would be:

a. On road bicycle projects serve a transportational purpose (thus diffusing the arguments of those like Graves who argue that gas tax funds should be used solely for transportation). Bicycling is already a more popular transportation choice than mass transit, so it is a real, legitimate transportation alternative and deserves funding at least on par with mass transit funding.

b. More bicycling helps reduce congestion (another transportational purpose).

c. On major roads, almost all bicycle-related improvements are also improvements from the motorist's perspective: wider, smoother, cleaner roads with good shoulders, greater separation between autos and pedestrians (because there is a bicycle lane, shoulder, or wide curb lane giving more space between sidewalk and motor vehicle travel lane), and so on.

[By the way, please don't cast me as a "trail-hater", because I'm not. We can have that discussion another day, but in short my position is: Both have their place; the proportion between them in a transportation funding package should be different than it has been.]

4. To make "Safe Routes to Schools" really helpful for bicyclists will require it to be written carefully with input from bicycle advocacy organizations--"the devil is in the details". But, in general, and hoping that the details turn out right, I think bicyclists should support the "Safe Routes to Schools" proposal in the TEA21 re-authorization, for these reasons.

a. "Safe Routes to Schools" helps cast bicycle-related improvements in terms of a clear and very popular transportation purpose: getting kids safely to and from school. This helps both in terms of helping make bicycling a viable transportation choice in the U.S. and in getting a powerful coalition of parents, teachers, and schools on "our side".

b. Routes from home to school, in every city and town throughout the entire country, encompasses a tremendous number of streets and roads. Imagine all those roads as being made bicycle-friendly! As is the case with current TEA21 projects, nothing will force communities to participate in the Safe Routes to Schools project. But this federal funding will give communities a powerful funding incentive to join the Safe Routes to Schools program and make streets and roads throughout their communities more bicycle- (and pedestrian-) friendly.

c. Bicycle advocates have long noted the decline in child and teen bicycling in the U.S. Safe Routes to Schools could be a powerful way to get more kids (and their parents) out there walking and biking. This can only be good for the future of bicycling.

--Brent Hugh

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Roads were built for bicycles

By Caryn Giarratano, October 2000, Jefferson City News Tribune: Bicycle racing is the second most popular spectator sport in the world, behind only soccer. The bicycle remains a significant transportation tool. There are 800 million bicycles in worldwide use compared to 400 million motorized vehicles. The majority of these bicycles are used for transportation. In some cities in western Europe, 25 percent to 50 percent of all trips are by bicycle. There are even cities in the U.S. in which 10 percent to 25 percentt of all trips are by bicycle.
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Wheels and Heels - October 2002

Email news from MoDOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator Caryn Giarratano

Greetings Windbenders!

The first week of September, I spent in St. Paul, MN, at the
ProBike/ProWalk conference to learn more about bike/ped access, issues,
facilities and ADA guidelines. I left Minnesota with my self-confidence
renewed, my focus broadened and my resolve to make my state a better place
to walk and ride bolstered.

It has become apparent that some of the MoDOT policies are vague and need
to be rewritten. I am working with MoDOT staff to rewrite the grate policy
in the Standard Plans and the Project Development Manual to allow only
bike-safe curved-vane grates on roadways and shoulders. It's looking good
for bike-friendly changes in six months!

The MoDOT rumblestrip policy needs to be rewritten also. I am collecting
other states' policies and working with a research team at UMR towards this
pursuit. What I think would work best is a narrow rumblestrip outside or on
the edge line to provide a barrier between the motorists and bicyclists.
This would allow smooth, wind-swept pavement two feet to the right of the
edgeline for experienced cyclists, and the rest of the shoulder towards the
ditch for those not comfortable riding close to traffic.

Our Share the Road policy needs attention and is waiting for me to have
time to address it. I have begun the process of identifying six bicycle
transportation corridors in our state. We already have three national
routes identified by Adventure Cyclists: Mississippi River Trail (along the
eastern edge of the state that connects Minnesota with Louisiana),
TransAmerica Trail (along the southern part of the state that connects the
west coast to the east coast) and the Lewis and Clark Trail that follows
the Missouri River from St. Louis to Oregon. I would like to identify three
more corridors to form three east-west and three north-south routes upon
which we may build to create an efficient infrastructure.

My first task in the area of safety is to sort the many flyers I have
collected. I plan to work with other state agencies to create a bike-safety
packet and a pedestrian-safety packet. Speaking of pedestrian safety, I am
working with the Department of Health to help expand the Safe Routes to
School program.

Bridge access is a burning issue for bicyclists. I have been granted
permission and given the funding to make the northbound bridge over the
Missouri River at Jefferson City bike-accessible by restriping the lanes to
provide a seven-foot wide outside shoulder and by replacing the grates with
bike-safe ones. My next pursuit is to gain bike/ped access on the
southbound bridge to allow those who ride over the bridge to ride back!

Last month, I began receiving requests from bicycle clubs, city government
groups and civic organizations to speak to their groups regarding bicycle
and pedestrian issues. I have been traveling all over the state! I love the
idea of creating a communications network, so we may reach consensus of
what we want, and then go for it!

It would be my recommendation for all bicyclists in the state to attend the
Missouri Bicycle Federation annual business meeting and election of
officers Sunday, November 11, from 1-4 pm in the Viewpoint Conference Room
at the Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City. I have been lining
up some high-powered speakers to discuss bicycle facilities, share the road
policy, national bike routes that cross Missouri, a Missouri Bike Map,
rumblestrips, grates, funding and bridge access.

My plan is to create a communications network in Missouri to advance
bicycle and pedestrian safe access. Please help to make Missouri a better
place to walk and ride!

Please forward this newsletter to anyone you feel may be interested. If you
are not on the mailing list and would like to be added, please email me
your wish.

Tailwinds, Caryn

Caryn Giarratano, PhD
MoDOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator
573-522-9297
giarrc1@mail.modot.state.mo.us
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Recent Advocacy Alerts

Missouri senator and congressman poised to influence federal bicycle and pedestrian funding . . . a crucial meeting about Kansas City mountain bike trail access in city parks . . . St. Louis County petitioned to become more bicycle friendly . . . read about these stories and more on the Missouri Advocacy Alerts Page.
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It is time for Missouri bicyclists to unite!!!

Important MBF organizational meeting Sunday, November 3rd, 2002, Jefferson City. Bike ride in the morning, presentations in the afternoon. Caryn Giarratano has really outdone herself lining up a stellar cast of bicycling experts. Don't miss it! Click here for details.
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MoDOT's Long-Range Transportation Direction for Bike/Ped

Missouri Department of Transportation
Long-Range Transportation Direction
Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodations

The bicycle and pedestrian program includes an effective balance of engineering,
education, enforcement and encouragement. MoDOT adopted the General Pedestrian
and Bicycle Guide in 1999 to define how bicycle and pedestrian accommodations
are to be included in state projects. The policy addresses safety, education,
intermodal connectivity, environmental impacts and interagency coordination.

The bicycle and pedestrian program presently does not receive state funds,
although MoDOT's policy states the department will include bicycle and
pedestrian accommodations on state highways when and where appropriate. If
accommodations are appropriate, they will be added as part of the highway and
bridge construction budget for the projects. MoDOT will target half (more the $7
million in fiscal year 2000) of its federal enhancement funds to bicycle and
pedestrian accommodations.

Needs for bicycle accommodations can be classified according to type of rider,
the type of facility and the type of trip. Needs also include education,
enforcement, technical assistance and policy adoption at the national, state,
and local levels.

Pedestrian needs differ from bicyclist needs. Pedestrians need sidewalks,
crosswalks at appropriate locations and curb ramps. Bicyclists and pedestrians
need convenient, safe access to other modes of transportation.

MoDOT will implement the following policies to guide its investments in bicycle
and pedestrian accommodations:

* MoDOT will incorporate bicycle and pedestrian accommodations in state
transportation improvement projects when deemed appropriate and will consider
providing for pedestrian and/or bicycle accommodations during preliminary
studies, design and construction.

* Improvements that provide the ability to cross major roadways and provide a
link for neighborhoods, schools, recreational facilities, medical facilities,
employment centers and shopping areas will receive particular attention.

* MoDOT will develop or support the following items.
· Identification and analysis of existing bicycle and pedestrian facilities
on the state transportation system.
· Education on use, safety and benefits.
· Recommendations on corridors and routes that comprise a state facility
network.
· Technical advice and input.
· Establish standards for bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and work to
integrate the USDOT policy for bicycle and pedestrian facilities into MoDOT
policy.
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MoDOT's New Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator Will Make Positive Strides for Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY - Bicycle and pedestrian transportation planning
continues to be a priority for the Missouri Department of Transportation with
the hiring of Caryn Giarratano of Jefferson City as the department's
bicycle/pedestrian coordinator at the Jefferson City headquarters.

Giarratano will continue development of Missouri's long-range plan for
bicycling and pedestrian facilities and programs as part of the department's
long-range, comprehensive transportation direction. She joined MoDOT July 1,
replacing Dennis Scott, who took a similar position in another state.

Giarratano will promote bicyclist and pedestrian safety; coordinate
bicycle and pedestrian activities with other state agencies; and maintain
contact with bicycling clubs, advocacy groups, metropolitan planning
organizations and local governments. She will also develop strategies for
incorporating bicycle and pedestrian transportation needs into highway and
bridge construction projects.

In the mid 1990s, Giarratano worked with MoDOT to help establish the
department's bike/ped policy. She has served on the Jefferson City Bike/Ped
Task Force. Giarratano, a mid-Missouri native, has a bachelor of science in
elementary education with a minor in math from the University of Missouri -
Columbia. She has three additional degrees in educational administration - a
master's, an educational specialist and a doctorate.

Giarratano founded the Capitol City Cycling Club in Jefferson City in
1990 and in 1993, founded a statewide bike advocacy organization, Missouri
Bicycle Federation. She is a United States Cycling Federation-licensed bike
racer and race official, and a member of the Columbia Bike Club and racing
team.
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Wheels and Heels - August 2002

Email news from MoDOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator Caryn Giarratano

Greetings Windbenders!

Two months ago, I hit the ground running and I have been pedaling as fast as I could since. My second week on the job people walked up to me and said, "Oh, you're the new bike/ped coordinator...here!" They then handed me a thick file,
turned and quickly disappeared!

I have been asked to work on bike/ped bridge access, investigate new rumble strip designs, refine the policy on Share the Road signs, fine-tune the policyon bike-safe grates and comment on how to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians
in the proposed I-70 Corridor!

I LOVE this job!!

I have been to St. Louis to a meeting about the Mississippi River Trail and to Kansas City to celebrate the kick-off of the Riverfront Heritage Trail. I havemet with representatives of several state agencies to discuss the creation of statewide bike/ped safety materials packets to send to schools and bike shops. The first week of September I plan to attend the
ProBike/ProWalk conference in St. Paul, MN. I am trying to gather as much information in as short a time as possible to equip myself to do my best to make our state a better place in which to ride a bicycle and in which to be a pedestrian.

The MoDOT folks have, without exception, been kind, helpful and interested in helping to make our state more bike/ped accessible. The problem I have encountered is that it takes sooooo looooong to make changes. I am amazed by the number of other agencies, city groups and MoDOT departments who must have input into decisions.

During my efforts to gain b/p accommodations on the Jefferson City Bridge, I am constantly amazed by the amount of money and the difficulty level required by something I thought would be quick and easy. MoDOT is required to meet federal and state standards for ADA, lane widths, percent of grade, guard rails and sidewalk width, plus stay within the maximum load-bearing capacity of the bridge! So far I have permission and funding to replace the grates with bike-safe ones and restripe the lanes on the northbound bridge to allow a seven-foot outside shoulder. The plan is to accomplish this next May.

I have discovered that it is impossible to "just do it!"

Most days I am grateful for the day to end. It's not because I don't like what I'm doing...it's because my poor 64k brain has been stuffed with 250k of vocabulary and new knowledge!

It is my hope that I will be able to email regular updates on my progress towards making Missouri a better place for bicyclists and pedestrians. Please let me know if you wish to be on the email list.

Tailwinds, Caryn
573-522-9297, giarrc1 @ mail.modot.state.mo.us
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