MoBikeFed takes part in MoDOT's "Missouri Advance Planning"

MoBikeFed Executive Director Brent Hugh is taking part in MoDOT's long-range planning process, Missouri Advance Planning (MAP).

The purpose of MAP is to listen to citizens and interest groups from across the state in order to set MoDOT's long-term priorities and agenda.

MoDOT faces many issues--funding, public confidence, growing congestion, a huge state highway network, and probable changes in transportation patterns as fuel prices continue to rise over the long term.

The Missouri Bicycle Federation believes that MoDOT will have to take a multi-faceted approach to overcoming these problems. More opportunities for safer walking and bicycling, more emphasis on public transit, encouragement of smart growth patterns that reduce rather than contribute to congestion, more emphasis on multimodal options like rail, more emphasis on maintenance of the current system and less on building new, bigger roads--all these must play a part.

Part of MoBikeFed's emphasis in the planning process is to clearly spell out the need for better bicycling and walking accommodations in Missouri. Right now bicycling and walking trips in Missouri represent just a few percent of total trips--perhaps as few as 2 to 4 percent. Over a period of 30 years or so, many European, Canadian, and American cities that have set out to change the shape of the city to make it more bicycleable and walkable have been able to increase bicycle and pedestrian mode share to as high as 30 to 40 percent.

It is clear that we can do the same in Missouri if we have the political will.

This is obviously not the complete solution to increasing congestion. But it must be part of a multi-pronged approach.

Because MoDOT roads go through the heart of every city and town in Missouri, and are often the biggest impediments to bicycle and pedestrian travel, MoDOT must play an important role in making the state friendlier for bicycle and pedestrian travel.

A SEMissourian article talks about MAP and the issues:

The state's highways are aging, and repairs are growing more expensive, section manager Luis Perello told the group. And the main funding source for highway construction and repair, a gas tax based on the number of gallons sold, isn't keeping up with needs, he said.

"Not only do we not have enough money to deal with things we have now, the revenue stream is decreasing," he said.
The MAP website tells about the planning process and invites public comment.