MoDOT's regional planning partners across Missouri are creating bike, ped, and trails project lists right now for the $8 billion funding plan - how you can help!

The proposed $8 billion Missouri transportation funding proposal--the first in Missouri history to fully incorporate bicycling, walking, and trails--was heard in the House Transportation Committee this week.  Legislators and supporters are planning to bring the 1 cent sales tax proposal to Missouri voters in November 2014. 

Missouri's 19 Regional Planning Commissions decide on hundreds of millions in tr
Missouri's 19 Regional Planning Commissions decide on hundreds of millions in transportation spending and priorities each year.

Meanwhile, MoDOT's regional planning partners are moving ahead full speed to put together the list of projects for spending the $8 billion that is required by the proposed Constitutional Amendment.

This is the biggest opportunity in Missouri history to improve our state for bicycling, walking, and trails.

We need to be certain that every needed bicycle, pedestrian, and trails project in Missouri is on that list.

How can we do it?  What specific things can you do to help?

How you can help--and make sure $8 billion in new funding includes a fair share for biking, walking, and trails

  1. Find your local MoDOT planning partner. The planning agencies are known as "Metropolitan Planning Organizations" (MPO) and "Regional Planning Commissions" (RPC).  If you live in a city, you might live in the boundaries of both an MPO and a RPC.
    • Look up your RPC here. (Covers the entire state--every Missourian lives within the boundaries of an RPC.)
      • Call or email your RPC and ask to talk with the transportation planner.
    • Look up your MPO here. (Covers only the larger metro areas--if you live in a small town or rural area, you won't have an MPO.)
      • Call or email your MPO and ask to speak with the transportation planner or (for larger MPOs) the bicycle/pedestrian planner
  2. Let your RPC/MPO contact know that
    • You are interested in being informed about and involved in the process for selecting the transportation project list for the new MoDOT funding proposal.
    • You are particularly interested in being involved and informed about the process for choosing bicycle, pedestrian, and trails projects.
    • You would like to be involved in any public meetings and public outreach as these projects are selected.  Every RPC and MPO keeps contact lists for public outreach--ask to be added to the list.
    • You would like to work on a committee to help with project selection (assuming you are interested, of course!).  Share any ideas you have for how should be on these committees
    • You have some ideas you would like to share, about what should be on the proposed project list (see below for ideas)
  3. Get the contact information for your RPC/MPO contact and share your list of project ideas (see below)

That sounds simple--and it is.  But these RPCs and MPOs make decisions about how literally billions of dollars of transportation funds are spent each year. Under the new Missouri transportation funding proposal, they will be making decisions about how to spend billions more.

These agencies and officials need to hear from people like you.  When you take the time to talk with them, get to know the process, and provide input, you can really make a difference.

Your list of bicycle, pedestrian, and trails project ideas

We have been working with our Statewide Advisory Commission and bicycle, pedestrian, and trails groups across the state to create a suggested list of bicycle, pedestrian, and trails projects that can and should be implemented in every MPO and RPC region in Missouri.  

Take this list and adapt it, refine it, and make it work for your part of Missouri.  Then, submit the final result to your MPO and/or RPC:

  • First, think of every street that needs a sidewalk, every road that needs a shoulder, every intersection that needs a crosswalk--every other specific bicycle, pedestrian, or trails project you can. Ask that these project ideas be added to your regional project list. 
    MoDOT is working with its regional planning partners to program $8 billion.
    MoDOT is working with its regional planning partners to program $8 billion in new transportation funding--including, for the first time, the opportunity to include bicycling, walking, and trails.

    Brainstorm with your friends, walking, running, and hiking buddies, neighbors, and others.  You know your area better than anyone--and you know what people who walk, bicycle, or use trails need the most to improve safety and access.
  • Ask agencies to add shoulders to roads and highways - shoulders wide enough to safely use for bicycling and walking, where needed.  MoDOT and agencies don't often think of shoulders as something meeting bike/ped needs.  But bicycleable shoulders are often the top request of area cyclists.
  • Create a regional bicycle, pedestrian, and trails plan.  The region should have a plan and so should city and every county.  Right now, most don't.
  • Incorporate routine accommodation of biking and walking in every transportation project built over the next ten years, wherever needed and as appropriate to the location and situation.
  • Create a dedicated bicycle and pedestrian transportation fund for each regional planning commission and metropolitan planning organization in the state, to support much-needed bike, ped, transit, and shoulder projects.
  • Create a Walk & Bike to School Safety & Connectivity Fund for each region and metropolitan area in the state, to support much-needed projects that help connect neighborhoods and communities to schools, so kids can walk and bike to school safely.
  • Create a prioritized list of roads needing shoulders in every region of the state, and devote a percentage of new funds to systematically adding needed shoulders.
  • Incorporate safe bicycle and pedestrian access into every major river bridge that is built or reconstructed
  • Refine, mark, and officially adopt into the U.S. National Bicycle Route System all current national bicycle routes in Missouri; consider creating and marking a regional on-road bicycle route system.

Further resources

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