NEWSLETTER ARTICLE: What has Missouri Bicycle Federation done for you lately?

[This is an article from the Summer 2004 issue of The Hub, MoBikeFed's newsletter. Articles from The Hub are posted on the website on a delayed basis. To receive articles on time and directly to your mailbox, please join MoBikeFed.]

The Missouri Bicycle Federation has been working hard on behalf of the interests of all kinds of bicyclists in all parts of the state this year. Here is just a sample of the projects with which we have been involved.


  • Supported a bill to give liability protection to owners of land adjoining trails. This bill, which was proposed and supported by trail advocates, will make it much easier to create both new recreational trails (like the Katy Trail) and new single-track mountain biking trails . The Missouri Bicycle Federation participated in a letter writing campaign late this spring that helped avert Governor Holden's threatened veto of this important bill. Governor Holden signed the bill into law on June 23rd.
     
  • Coordinated a letter writing campaign to encourage MoDOT to select a new director knowledgeable about and supportive of bicycle and pedestrian issues, and lobbied the governor to select bicycle/pedestrian friendly MoDOT commissioners. This campaign included major pieces in the Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post Dispatch by MoBikeFed board members.
     
  • Wrote and lobbied for legislation in the Missouri General Assembly that would have had a major impact in making the streets safer for walking and bicycling. After considerable debate, this legislation successfully passed the Missouri Senate, but it was not on the agenda of House leadership. Despite strong efforts by our supporters, lack of support from House leadership made it impossible to move the legislation forward in that chamber.
     
  • Worked to create an unprecedented broad-based coalition in support of proposed highway safety legislation, including walking and bicycling clubs, motorcycle clubs, motorcycle advocacy organizations and the Missouri state PTA. In Fall 2003, the Missouri PTA passed only two resolutions, one in support of the uniform statewide school zone speed limit bill MBF had worked with legislators to write and introduce in the General Assembly earlier that year.
     
  • Worked with MoDOT's bike/ped coordinator, Caryn Giarratano, to create and distribute a second draft of the state bicycle map for public comment. The map can be viewed and printed (and feedback given) at MoBikeFed.org/map.
     
  • Worked with MoDOT to give cyclists’ perspective on a new rumble strip policy. Some initial draft policies took into account research and suggestions MBF proposed. An official MoDOT policy has been issued and put into affect on some roads this summer, that almost completely ignores the needs of bicyclists. However, MoDOT leadership has been listening, and now a new round of discussions has been opened to again revise the rumblestrip policy.
     
  • Numerous letters have been written, calls and contacts made in support of bicycle/pedestrian accommodation on particular projects around the state; encouraging officials to give equal protection to bicyclists under the law, encouraging the Kansas City police to establish a more rational police pursuit policy, and encouraging officials to take strong action against motorists who deliberately or recklessly injure bicyclists.
     
  • Have sent out a steady trickle of Motorist Contact Letters for cyclists around the state who have reported a dangerous or threatening encounter with a motorist. For more information, or to report a dangerous motorist, see MoBikeFed.org/ motoristcontact.html.
     
  • After observing that Missouri was left off the list of states hosting a nationwide fundraiser for the Tyler Hamilton Foundation, encouraged the Foundation to add a Missouri location. Missouri was one of very few states to be added after the initial announcement. By all reports the St. Louis fundraiser, where over 200 cyclists gathered to watch Stage 13 of the Tour de France in high-definition TV on the theater screen, was a big success and a lot of fun.
     
  • Have rebuilt a solid MoBikeFed organization with a strong, committed board. Many of you know that MBF went through a difficult period when Chair Bob Watts encountered life-threatening health problems (Bob is much better now). The MBF board meets regularly, communicates daily vi a email, has outstanding people in the most important positions. Caryn Giarratano, one of MBF’s founders and current MoDOT liaison, is the MoDOT bicycle/pedestrian coordinator. In short, we have a solid organization that is ready to move bicycling forward in Missouri.

 

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