Missouri Bicycle Federation, Director's Report - November 2007

Brent Hugh
Report given at the Board and Membership Meeting, 4 November 2007, St. Louis, Missouri
by Brent Hugh, Executive Director, Missouri Bicycle Federation

This report is also available as a more beautifully formatted PDF file.

Overall: The past quarter has been one of the busiest and most productive in MoBikeFed's history. The Tour of Missouri has opened doors that have never been opened before. Membership is the highest ever. Our finances are stable and we have a reasonable financial reserve. We are gradually getting the organization and procedures in place to operate on a far more professional level.

STL Swap meet - will give presentation January 27, 2007

Springfield Bike Summit - will be involved February 8-9, 2007

Tour of Missouri - acted as Statewide Volunteer Coordinator for the Tour

Results were very good; raised bicycling to unprecedented visibility & importance

Traveled across the state twice (once to give volunteer orientations; once for the Tour itself)

Found many good contacts and friends

7 stages/days next year

Governor's Office - meetings with Ed Martin, Chief of Staff

Has been very interested in bicycling due to success of Tour of Missouri

Tour of MO volunteer letter

MoBikeFed member letter

MBF Volunteer Coordinator - Cathy Gray

Working well!

Online Calendar Editor - Bob Omer

Membership receipts assistant - Jagat Khalsa

Email newsletter editor - ?

Newsletter editor - ?

Advocacy Event chair - ?

BikeMO committee

- Overall Chair

- Sponsor Chair

- Displays/start line Chair

- Volunteer coordinator (Cathy Gray?)

"Steering Committee" (needs name!)

- Geographical areas of the state

- Constituencies (bike shops, racers, mountain bikers, etc.)

Missouri Highway and Transportation Committee - presentation October 2007

"Board of Directors" of MoDOT

Bike/ped people have never made a point of cultivating a relationship with MHTC

TrailNet/STLBikeFed/MoBikeFed spoke to them @ October meeting

MHTC doesn't have "institutional memory" of MO's bike/ped program

-> We should draft a history/timeline of MoDOT's bike/ped program to send them


Mentioned: Tour of MO (thank you MoDOT!); Paseo Bridge

Asked 4 things

· Appoint one MHTC member as "bike/ped liaison"

· Make sure MoDOT bike/ped coordinator replacement has appropriate staffing/authority/funding to get job done

· Ask on every project, how does this accommodate bike/ped? Disabilities?

· Work with MoDOT to put in place policies & standards to ensure appropriate accommodation of walking and bicycling, then ensure that these standards are actually followed

MoDOT bike/ped position & program

< p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt 0.5in;">As result of MHTC meeting, talked with each MoDOT admin, from b/p coordinator up to Pete Rahn. All assured me that they plan to hire a very highly qualified, full-time replacement for Caryn. They say they want to make the bike/ped program a success and actually get changes made on the ground.


Two bits of worry:

"We need an engineer in this position.

"We need to emphasize walking" because everyone does that.

Counter to this attitude: More people walk, but the distances are short. In the U.S. Bicycling (fewer but longer trips) covers almost exactly the same mileage as walking (many trips but short).


Next steps for MoDOT Bike/Ped:

1. Get legislators to write MoDOT/Pete Rahn in support of strong b/p

2. Get key bicycle/pedestrian groups to write MoDOT with detailed expectations of the b/p program.

3. Meeting with key MoDOT people

Grant in the pipeline/opportunities

Safe Routes to School

Opportunity for Grant application, due Feb-March 2008, granted late Oct 2008

Bike Month 2008/2009?

MBF is part of KC area grant, $20,000 to organize/promote Bike to Work Week.

Details remain to be determined

Need to pursue other grant/consultant opportunities

Missouri State Employee Charitable Campaign

Foundation is listed, code 8063

We need to promote--any state employee can donate; can be monthly, once per year

http://www.msecc.mo.gov

Summer fund raising campaign

Goals: 500 new/renewing members, $15,000

Final results (approximate): 515 new/renewing members, $21,439

Largest membership database ever (over 1300)

End of Year fund raising campaign

Wm. Kerr Foundation has committed to $25,000 Challenge grant

Other challenge grants possible

Deadline 30 January (?)

Membership renewal system

Have worked to be able to import membership renewal info into email newsletter system

This works pretty well now, can send a membership status report any time we have current info from the secretary, or with the monthly email newsletter, etc.

Renewal reminders are now by:

Email

When doing summer membership drive OR end-of-year fund raising campaign (include membership status info & first option to renew membership on remit form)

When sending newsletter (membership expiration on address block; include remit envelope)

Occasional membership renewal mailing in between times as needed

Legislative

Legislative committee

See 2008 Draft Legislative Platform

2 people have volunteered to help us with lobbying/trips to Jeff. City

Bicycle Day in Jefferson City Feb 26, 2008

Next steps: Meet with Jim Farrell (our lobbyist), then committee chairs to get legislation moving (legislation prefile starts early December)

National Bike Summit

March 4-7, 2008

We want to work for having at least one attendee from each of MO's 9 congressional districts

Bruce Adib-Yazdi (Ozark Greenways) may have a condo available--leading to cheaper housing costs & Bruce attending

Share the Road license plate

Far more interest than I imagined (and I imagined a lot!)

o Continue gathering signatures (about 1750 so far; goal 4000)

o Design contest

o < /span>Julie, Volunteer in AZ, will enter info on forms into database

Other recent grassroots advocacy efforts:

Complete the Katy Trail (2500 via online form; probably more than 2500 via mail)

Paseo Bridge (about 250 over 1-month period)

Thank Senator Bond (400 via Rails-to-Trails Conservancy form over 2 month period; cooperative effort with RTC--contact Kartik Srinivas, kartik@railstotrails.org)

6004 messages (from 3569 distinct email addresses) via the online email advocacy system since Feb 2006

MoBikeFed Vision

Make "MoBikeFed Vision for Missouri" petition that people/organizations can sign

Work over years to have thousands sign on (on web site any time there isn't a specific "advocacy campaign" going on)

Similar to PedNet

Use in various ways for advocacy & to show support to policy makers & legislators


Boonville Bridge

Removing the bridge will turn a settled legal situation into an unsettled one--for the entire Katy Trail.

We need to press the "legal agreement" option in case the bridge is removed--to preserve the underlying corridor.

A relatively simple legal agreement--an "Interim Boonville Bridge Agreement," similar to the agreement that created the Katy Trail--could turn that unsettled legal ground into something far more firm.

Complete Katy Trail

Eastern end: Approx. 11 miles from St. Charles to Machens is under construction/partially open?

KC Connection: 65 miles from Windsor to Pleasant Hill is supposed to be in the upcoming agreement with Ameren about reparations for the Taum Sauk disaster

Our issue right now: The question is--how well will it work; how much will it cost?

Ameren has been pushing for a 40-foot trail corridor within the (approx.) 110 foot-wide Rock Island railroad corridor. The problem is that the RR has many cuts/fills, meaning that 40 foot trail corridor could be in very difficult terrain. Plus all bridges would have to be rebuilt. Result: Very high cost to build.

Positions: Gov is "on board" with our issue, promises to make it really workable. Attorney General is 'looking into it'. Agreement is probably quite near.

Paseo Bridge

Disappointed: We are very disappointed in MoDOT District 4's response on the Paseo issue. Plan to go to next MHTC and voice that disappointment.

Paseo contractor will be decided at the MHTC meeting, as well as overarching design decision(s)--what type of bridge will be built. This will determine the practicality of include bike/ped in the design. There is still every possibility this will work out well.

Heart of America: MoDOT promised to retrofit Heart of America Bridge for bike/ped by 2012. They were working to get it done earlier (before Paseo construction starts). The recent "panic" bridge rebuilding effort has slowed this effort down.

Kansas Bicycle Federation

Started via presentation I gave at Kansas Trails Summit

Kansas groups are very much behind this idea and ready to move in this direction

One year plan to organize & fund raise (similar to Iowa Bicycle Coalition)

Meeting 1st Sunday every two months starting Dec 2nd

Chair: Gina Poertner, gksport5 [at] yahoo.com


BikeMO 2008:

Need special committee just for BikeMO (Chair; board liaison)

Could easily raise $10,000 in sponsorships (just need to ASK!); sponsorships chair strongly suggested--this person sends mail, email to past & potential sponsors & makes a few followup phone calls

Date: Saturday October 11th or 18th, 2008 (?). Need to coordinate with TrailNet to avoid conflicting date.

Add 17 mile option