Missouri is Bicycle Friendly, says MoDOT

Today's MoDOT Express Lane--MoDOT's twice-monthly email newsletter--included this article about MoDOT's bicycle friendliness:

Missouri is Bike Friendly

MoDOT works hard to factor bicycle and pedestrian travel into its highway projects, and has made a lot of headway making state roads and bridges user-friendly for bicyclists and pedestrians. In fact, the League of American Bicyclists recently ranked Missouri as the 17th most bike friendly state in the nation, an 11-spot jump from last year.

The ranking is based on Missouri’s commitment to bicycling and covers six key areas: legislation, policies and programs, infrastructure, education and encouragement, evaluation and planning, and enforcement.

“MoDOT strives to factor bicycle travel into its highway projects,” said Melissa Anderson, MoDOT ’s non-motorized engineer whose focus is on bicycle and pedestrian travel. “We’ve had some great success, and we continually look for ways to make our roads and bridges user-friendly for bicyclists and pedestrians.”

Anderson cited the planned rehabilitation of the Heart of America Bridge, which connects downtown Kansas City with north Kansas City via Route 9, as a good example of MoDOT’s bike friendly approach. Under the project, the bridge will be reconfigured to provide a barrier-protected path for bicycles and pedestrians. Signs reminding bicyclists and motorists to share the road will also be installed.

Other bike-bragging project achievements include:

* The project to rebuild Interstate 64 now under way in St. Louis called for two new bicycle/pedestrian underpasses, which are now complete. A multi-use path at Hampton and I-64 that used to cross over a heavily traveled road now passes underneath to protect bicyclists and pedestrians from traffic. In addition, a new, more open bypass just west of Kingshighway lets bikers and pedestrians cross safely under the interstate.

* A protected pedestrian/bicycle walkway was built down the center of Kansas Expressway over Interstate 44 in Springfield as part of a diverging diamond interchange project that was completed in June.

* MoDOT is collaborating with the city of Rolla on a multi-phase project that has provided 9.07 miles of biking and walking paths to date, with an additional 1.72 miles planned. Once complete, the paths will connect to provide a comprehensive bike and pedestrian sidewalk network.

* Working with the city of St. James, MoDOT built a 5.2-mile hiking and biking trail through divided Historic Route 66 and an old growth pine forest area. The completed trail is part of an overall plan to connect trails from St. James to Meramec State Park.

* An asphalt bicycle/pedestrian trail is being built in Riverview Park in Hannibal with federal enhancement funds. When finished later this summer, it will connect Riverview Park visitors to downtown Hannibal.

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