MoDOT public opinion research shows a majority of Missourians support Complete Streets

Cities, agencies, MoDOT, and the Missouri General Assembly are becoming far more open to accommodating for bicycling and walking, making Complete Streets, and adopting Complete Streets policies.

Complete Streets - becoming far more common in Missouri
Complete Streets - becoming far more common in Missouri

It's not surprising, because public opinion polling has long told the same story: People want to live where they can bicycle and walk safely.  It's part of what makes a community a great place to live.

A few years ago, when MoBikeFed was working with sponsors in the Missouri General Assembly to pass a Complete Streets bill (finally passed in May 2011 as a Resolution), MoDOT added a question to their annual public opinion polling to find out how people feel about the idea of Complete Streets.

Now the question MoDOT asked wasn't about the actual legislation that was proposed, which (frankly) had very few teeth and almost no requirements, but about a supercharged version of Complete Streets that I, personally, would love to see passed--but which no state or community has indeed passed as far as I know.

The question asked: Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree with this proposal:

  • Up to 25% of the cost of a road or highway project should be spent to add bicycle and pedestrian facilities, that extra expense reducing the number of other projects that could be built

So what did they find?

  • 2008: 47% of Missourians support this proposal
  • 2009: 47% of Missourians support this proposal
  • 2010: 53% of Missourians support this proposal

Missourians do love Complete Streets--that's why we have passed no less than 14 new Complete Streets policies in the past year and half.

Over 1.2 million Missourians live in a city with a Complete Streets policy and over three million people live under one of the Metropolitan Planning Organizations who have adopted a policy.

To MoDOT's credit, when the people talked, they listened.  MoDOT has been including bicycle and pedestrian elements in projects across the state, filling in sidewalks where needed, improving bridges, and announcing dozens of projects to create bicycle and pedestrian connectivity where none existed before.

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Photo credit: Waiting for MoDOT by zaskem on FlickR, under a Creative Commons license.