27 OCT 2004: Ask for support of a Katy Trail Connection

[UPDATE 3 NOV 2004: Claire McCaskill gave us a statement in strong support of the Katy Trail Connection; Matt Blunt's campaign was unable to develop a position in time but we will continue to work with Blunt now that the campaign is over; a group of cyclists is meeting with Kansas City Councilwoman Bonnie Sue Cooper to discuss KCMO involvement with and support of the Connection.

Please continue to write, call, and fax, particularly to Missouri governor-elect Matt Blunt and KCMO Mayor Kay Barnes.

McCaskill, who strongly supports the Katy Trail, will continue as Missouri State Auditor and so may yet be a very valuable resource.]


The issue
Kansas City Star columnist Mike Hendricks, who is a cyclist and writes often about bicycle and pedestrian issues, has issued a challenge to Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes and to Missouri governor candidates Claire McCaskill and Matt Blunt to become a champion for connecting the Katy Trail to Kansas City:
Wanted: Politico with pull. Must be willing to make a priority of bringing the Katy Trail to Kansas City. Wages lousy, but your constituents will love you for it — assuming anybody loves politicians, which isn't very likely. . . .

But first, let's review for readers who are new to town or don't get out much. The Katy is, at 255 miles, the longest rails-to-trails project in the country. Built primarily on the bed of the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, the hiking and biking trail has its eastern terminus just outside St. Louis, in St. Charles.

Its western end, for the time being, is in Clinton, some 75 miles southeast of downtown Kansas City.

So far, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has been unable to connect the trail to KC, but there is a preferred route. That's the former Rock Island line from Windsor (several miles east of Clinton) to Pleasant Hill. . . .

But to get the job done, it's going to take some focused effort, backed up with strong support from one or more political leaders.
What you can do in five minutes
Contact these three politicians, mention the Mike Hendricks column, and ask them to become a champion for connecting the Katy Trail to Kansas City. The Missouri Bicycle Federation has already contacted these politicians with details about the issue. What they need to hear from you is that people care about the Katy Trail Connection and it will be worth their while (politically speaking) to spend time and effort on it:
Matt Blunt, candidate for governor
Phone: 573-632-2828
Fax: 573-632-2583
matt@mattblunt.com
Campaign Headquarters
Missourians for Matt Blunt
606 Dix Road
Jefferson City, MO 65109

Clair McCaskill, candidate for governor
(816) 300-5585
(816) 300-5586 - Fax
Send email via online form
Kansas City Office
1724 Main St.
Kansas City, Missouri 64108

Kay Barnes, Kansas City, Missouri, mayor
816-513-3500
816-513-3518 - Fax
Mayor@kcmo.org
City Hall
414 E. 12th Street, 29th Floor
Kansas City, MO 64106

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