Rock Island Trail update: Missouri State Parks enters new phase with 144-mile Rock Island Trail acquisition--now working on "partnerships" and a fundraising strategy

Missouri State Parks and Ameren have received another extension in their work to hammer out an agreement to transfer the next 144 miles of the Rock Island Corridor between Windsor and Beaufort.

The extension last until December 31st, 2019.

In seeking the extension, and in a Keynote Address at the Missouri Active Transportation Summit earlier in August, State Parks has given us the clearest picture yet of where they see the Rock Island project going.

Missouri State Parks and State Parks Foundation looking to develop partnership and financial support for the new Rock Island Trail State Park

In his Keynote Address to the 2019 Summit, State Parks Deputy Director Mike Sutherland strongly emphasized partnerships, and that State Parks is now looking out to make partnerships to make the next 144 miles of the Rock Island a success.

The filing with the Surface Transportation Board gives more detail about State Parks' plan:

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Major bike/ped goals addressed in new U.S. Senate Transportation Bill

One reason the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation--joined by many colleagues in advocacy groups across Missouri, and many private citizens over the years--has made a point to attend every National Bike Summit since 2005 is that we know that those person contacts with our elected representatives and their staff make a real difference.

Sometimes you don't see the difference day-to-day, or even year-to-year.  But when people who are enthused about better bicycling, walking, and trails from all over the U.S. keep up a sustained effort year after year, and when the effort is organized at the national level by smart organizations who follow up on Capitol Hill throughout the year--over the decades, it makes a real difference.

If you follow politics at all, you know that the last couple of years have been among the most divisive in many years. Both parties find it hard to get together and agree on much.

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Rock Island Trail update: Jackson County Rock Island hits a small bump in the road, but quickly back on track

The 17-mile Jackson County portion of the statewide Rock Island Trail seemed to hit a major roadblock early this month, as a federal agency revoked the county's railroad status and all work on the Rock Island Trail project stopped.  KCUR reported:

A major Rails-To-Trails cycling project in eastern Jackson County, Missouri, that’s been years in the making is suddenly in limbo following a decision this week by the federal government.

On Wednesday, Jackson County stopped construction of the Rock Island bike trail after the federal Surface Transportation Board revoked the county’s authority to operate the one-time railroad corridor.

Jackson County Rock Island's apparent derailment wasn't even a minor speed bump

However, just a few day's later, news reports like this from Fox4KC appeared:

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Announcing the new Guide to Missouri Road Rules, Markings, and Signs for Everyone who Drives, Walks, or Bicycles

Announcing the new Guide to Missouri Road Rules, Markings, and Signs for Everyone who Drives, Walks, or Bicycles.

Ever been confused about bike lane marking or the new green bike lanes, intersection markings, pedestrian crossing signals, and other new markings that many Missouri cities are rolling out? Or do you have a friend who doesn't understand the markings?

Would you like some of the best basic guidance about how to drive around people who walk and bicycle and how to safely bicycle and follow Missouri law?

The new Guide to Missouri Road Rules, Markings, and Signs for Everyone who Drives, Walks, or Bicycles is for you.

About the Guide:

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Missouri Active Transportation Summit - powerpoints, links, notes, and followup from sessions

Many thanks to everyone who attended or presented a session at the 2019 Active Transportation Summit. The Summit was packed full of inspiration, information, and good networking as always. The projects and progress we heard about from all across Missouri (and Iowa!) make all of us really optimistic about the future of bicycling, walking, and trails all across the state.

Below are links to powerpoint presentations and other follow-ups from 2019 Summit  Sessions:

Follow-up or additional items from sessions:

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