Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation releases report--what does it say about bike/ped?

The Missouri Speaker appointed a Blue Ribbon Committee to study transportation funding in Missouri.  The Committee held listening sessions all across Missouri--and many of you attended them.

Now the Committee has released its final report.  What does it say about the place of bicycling and walking in Missouri's transportation picture? 

Waiting for MoDOT, by Zaskem on FlickR
Waiting for MoDOT, by Zaskem on FlickR

In the statewide listening sessions, the Committee found six themes:

1.  The existing system must be maintained
2.  Safety must continue to be a priority.
3.  Missouri’s transportation needs are multi-modal.
4.  Missouri does not have the financial resources to strategically expand the transportation system.
5.  A healthy and improved transportation system is critical to the state’s future economic growth.
6.  MoDoT is well regarded by the state’s citizens.

Theme #3 most directly touches on bicycle and pedestrian issue.  The report explains: "Although roadways remain a major priority for Missourians, other modes such as public transit, aviation, rail, ports, bicycles and pedestrians are also important" and adds, "MoDOT's mission also includes responsibility for other modes of transportation within the state, including public transit, river ports, air, passenger rail, bicycles and pedestrians."

We have noted MoDOT's increased commitment to bicycle and pedestrian planning and projects--one of the results of the statewide advocacy work many of you have helped with.  The report highlights MoDOT's recent emphasis:\

Bike and Pedestrian is usually handled locally but Missouri does have about 600 miles of shared use roadway and the Department has begun to aggressively work with their planning partners to create opportunities to accommodate this vital sector.

The Committee made five recommendations:

1.  The State of Missouri needs to invest an additional $600 million to $1 billion annually in transportation.
2.  MoDOT cannot cut its way to meeting the needs of the future.
3.  Meeting these needs will require a combination of solutions.
4.  Missouri should adopt a solution that is fair, accountable and transparent.
5.  Any new revenue should be directed to transportation.

The committee's final recommendation:

The committee recommends that our elected state officials in the Executive Branch, as well as in the House and Senate, take ownership in the incredible investment this state currently has and must make in its infrastructure.  And we encourage them to work together for the future of Missouri.

The report is obviously leading up to a transportation funding proposal for Missouri--but it does not make a specific recommendation.

That recommendation is the next step--and where we will see if there is real support for biking and walking among Missouri's political leaders.

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Photo credit: Waiting for MoDOT by Zaskem, FlickR. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0