Capitol Day results: Complete Streets Resolution passes Missouri House, set to move in Senate; how you can help

The Complete Streets Resolution, HCR 23, passed its first key vote on the floor of the Missouri House of Representatives by a voice vote just two minutes ago.

This is a great example of how the long-term vision provided by MoBikeFed's Vision of Bicycling and Walking in Missouri, the work we have done with legislators and MoDOT over the past six years to develop support for Complete Streets, MoBikeFed's Capitol Day Monday, the annual Ride with Legislators, having key constituents and organizations from across the state visit with their own legislators in the capitol and in their home districts, the inside knowledge and personal connections of our representative at the Capitol, Jim Farrell, and support and help from key decision-makers in the Missouri General Assembly, have all worked together to move Complete Streets forward in Missouri.

And this effort hasn't just moved Complete Streets forward at the Capitol and with MoDOT--but in communities across the state, in planning organizations, and with efforts like the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service's Missouri Livable Streets initiative, run by the University of Missouri Extension. 

Complete Streets is really coming together in Missouri.  Currently more than a million Missourians live in a city with a Complete Streets policy and over three million Missourians live in the area of a Metropolitan Planning Organization with a Complete Streets policy.

The number of Complete Streets policies across Missouri has tripled in the last year.

And the work in the Missouri General Assembly has been key in this movement to take the successful Complete Streets ideas piloted in the early 2000s in communities like Columbia and St. Joseph, and make them the norm statewide.

The Complete Streets Resolution, HCR 23

The Complete Streets Resolution, the end result of six years worth of hearings, discussions, and negotiations with Missouri legislators and MoDOT, encourages cities, counties, agencies, and planning organization who build and maintain roads to include accommodations for people who bicycle, walk, and use transit, as well as young, old, and disabled people, whenever they build or maintain our roads and transportation system.

During debate on the Resolution, Representative Michael Brown of Kansas City mentioned that he was so excited on hearing about the Complete Streets Resolution that he nearly jumped out of his chair. In his district, efforts are being made to connect bicycle routes and trails throughout the city and to downtown.

Rep. Faith commented that this resolution is designed to encourage different agencies and levels of government to work together, and that MoDOT is in support of the resolution.

Representative Susan Carlson commented that she had ridden on the Ride with Legislators yesterday, enjoyed the crossing of the river on the new bike/ped lane across the Missouri River at Jefferson City, and found that these bike/ped connections are great benefit to the communities.

Representative Keith Frederick, an orthopedic physician, met one of the participants in Bicycle and Pedestrian Day at the Capitol yesterday who had lost over 35 pounds riding his bicycle.  The representative said that in his practice he encourages his patients to bicycle and walk, but they need a place to do it safely.  He heartily endorsed the Resolution.

After the debate, the resolution passed by a voice vote that appeared to be very close to unanimous.

Complete Streets
Complete Streets

There is still one remaining vote in the House, likely to be held Thursday, before the bill moves on to the Senate. This vote is typically a formality for Resolutions that have overwhelmingly passed the first vote on the House floor. 

Then the Resolution will go to the Senate.  In an arrangement worked out during constituent meetings on Bicycle & Pedestrian Day at the Capitol,  Senator Kevin Engler of Farmington has agreed to handle the Resolution in the Senate.  Senator Bill Stouffer of Napton, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, has agreed to hold a hearing on the Resolution soon. 

The bill will most likely be assigned to the Senate committee late this week or early next week.

How you can help

Please support the Complete Streets resolution in the Missouri Senate by contacting your own state senator with this message:

Dear Senator _________,

Please support HCR 23, the Complete Streets Resolution.  The resolution, developed over several years of negotation among state legislators, MoDOT, and the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, encourages cities, counties, agencies, and planning organization who build and maintain roads to include accommodations for people who bicycle, walk, and use transit, as well as young, old, and disabled people, whenever they build or maintain our roads and transportation system.

[Include a brief personal story or experience about why bicycling & walking is important to you.]

Find your senator's contact information here.

Steve Tilley
Steve Tilley
Special thanks goes to Speaker of the House Steve Tilley, who took the time to meet in person yesterday with a constituent from his district, Virginia Blaine--who also happens to be on the Board of MoBikeFed--and at Virginia's personal request was able to help the Complete Streets Resolution move on to the House calendar for a vote this week.

That's the power of one person asking for something that is important to her!

If you'd like to send resolution sponsor, Representative Sally Faith, a quick message of thanks for sponsoring HCR 23, her email is: Sally.Faith@house.mo.gov

Faith recently won election as Mayor of St. Charles, Missouri, and she will be leaving the General Assembly in the next week for her new position.

 

Full text of the resolution

FIRST REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

House Concurrent Resolution No. 23

96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

.

1269L.02C

            WHEREAS, bicycling and walking are essential to millions of Missourians as basic transportation and enjoyed by millions of Missourians as healthful recreation and as part of a healthy lifestyle; and

            WHEREAS, encouraging and promoting a complete network of safe bicycle and pedestrian ways and routes is essential for those Missourians who rely on bicycling and walking for transportation, recreation, and health; and

            WHEREAS, a safe and complete bicycle and pedestrian system is important for Missouri's economy and economic development; and

            WHEREAS, world-class bicycling and walking facilities help promote Missouri as a leading tourist and recreation destination; and

            WHEREAS, walking and bicycling improve the public health and reduce treatment costs for conditions associated with reduced physical activity, including obesity, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes; and

            WHEREAS, the United Health Foundation estimates direct medical costs associated with physical inactivity in Missouri at $1.9 billion in 2008, and projects an annual cost for Missouri of over $8 billion per year by 2018 if current trends continue; and

            WHEREAS, the annual per capita cost of obesity is $450 per Missourian, among the highest per capita costs of any state in the United States; and

            WHEREAS, promoting walking and bicycling for transportation improves Missouri's environment, reduces congestion, reduces the need for expensive expansion of our road and highway systems, and reduces our dependence on foreign energy supplies; and

            WHEREAS, creating healthy, walkable, bicycleable, and livable communities helps keep Missouri competitive in the global competition for high quality businesses and motivated, creative workers who consider transportation and recreation options an essential part of a healthy community; and

            WHEREAS, Missourians who reach retirement age choose more often to walk and bicycle for fitness, recreation, enjoyment, and transportation; and

            WHEREAS, citizens with disabilities often rely on walking, bicycling, and transit to meet basic transportation needs and to make connections with the transit system, face great obstacles within our current transportation system, and benefit greatly from complete and well designed accommodations for bicycling and walking; and

            WHEREAS, all transit users depend on walking and bicycling to complete at least part of each transit trip; and

            WHEREAS, the number of Missouri students who walk and bicycle to school has dropped dramatically over the past forty years, with 50% of students walking or bicycling in 1975 but only 15% in 2005. In the same period, the percentage of children clinically defined as overweight has increased from 8% to 25%; and

            WHEREAS, the principles of Complete Streets are designed to create a transportation network that meets the needs of all users of the state's transportation system: pedestrians of all ages and abilities, bicyclists, disabled persons, public transportation vehicles and patrons, and those who travel in trucks, buses, and automobiles; and

            WHEREAS, the term "Complete Streets" means creating roads, streets, and communities where all road users can feel safe, secure, and welcome on our roads and streets and throughout our communities; and

            WHEREAS, the terms "livable streets" and "comprehensive street design" are also used to identify these same concepts; and

            WHEREAS, coordination and cooperation among many different agencies and municipalities is required to fully implement Complete Streets and create a complete, connected, and safe transportation network for walking and bicycling; and

            WHEREAS, the cities of Elsberry, Pevely, Herculaneum, Crystal City, Festus, De Soto, Ferguson, Columbia, Lee's Summit, Kansas City, and St. Louis City have adopted Complete Streets or Livable Streets policies; and

            WHEREAS, metropolitan planning organizations in the St. Joseph area, the Kansas City area, and the St. Louis area have adopted Complete Streets policies as part of the long-range planning process:

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-sixth General Assembly, First Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby declare our support for Complete Streets policies and urge their adoption at the local, metropolitan, regional, state, and national levels; and

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the General Assembly encourages and urges the United States Department of Transportation, the Missouri Department of Transportation, the governing bodies of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and Regional Planning Commissions, municipalities, and other organizations and agencies that build, control, maintain, or fund roads, highways, and bridges in Missouri to adopt Complete Streets policies and to plan, design, build, and maintain their road and street system to provide complete, safe access to all road users; and 

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare properly inscribed copies of this resolution for Ray LaHood, Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation; members of the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission; the director of each Metropolitan Planning Agency and Regional Planning Commission in the State of Missouri; and the Missouri Municipal League.