16 APR 2008: Hwy 45--Stop MoDOT from building another road without good bike/ped accommodations

Bicycle and pedestrian groups, including the Missouri Bicycle Federation, have been working with MoDOT on the design of the propose Highway 45 upgrade in Parkville, Missouri, for a couple of years. Hwy 45 will be the only through road in this part of the county.

Now MoDOT is holding a public meeting and inviting public input into the project. Click here to use a "two minute response form" to ask MoDOT to include bicycle and pedestrian accommodations in this project.

Keep in mind that, according to a recent article, "MoDOT . . . includes community feedback in setting priorities and providing input for its projects, [MoDOT spokesman Jeff] Briggs says. 'Typically, bike-ped needs rank pretty low . . . '"

In plain English, that means MoDOT says people are not asking for bicycle and pedestrian accommodation at public meetings and through public response opportunities (like email).

And since people are not asking, MoDOT does not need to provide.

Here is your chance to change that situation.

Once Hwy 45 is built, development will proceed around it and we will be "locked in" to what is there.

So this is our one and only chance to build Hwy 45 right.

And MoDOT is projecting huge amounts of growth in this area--meaning the amount of automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic on Hwy 45 will increase several times over the life span of this project.

At last report, MoDOT was relying on an inappropriate form of
bicycle/pedestrian accommodation for this project: a 10-foot wide
"sidepath" on only one side of Hwy 45. And they were relying on an
inappropriate source of funding--an Enhancements Grant. Since this project is an inappropriate use of Enhancements Funding, the grant applications scored low and were not approved (according to MoDOT's own policies and their recent testimony before the Missouri Senate Transportation Committee, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations are supposed to be routinely provided--and Enhancements funds are supposed to be used for something that is actually an "enhancement", above and beyond the norm).

So we have had a situation where MoDOT was planning inappropriate
accommodations and relying on an inappropiate form of funding for them.

In addition, MoDOT was claiming there is not enough right-of-way to include sidewalks on each side of the road and appropriate shoulders or bicycle lanes. But the design includes a wide grassy median and wide utility zones, which could be narrowed or combined with sidewalk or path areas.

So it is not a matter of not enough room but not putting their priority on making bicycle and pedestrian transportation work in this part of Platte County.

More about this project here.