Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial: Long & short Santa Fe Trail bicycle routes to ride for Raytown's Festival of the Trails September 11th, 2021

It's the 200th anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail in 2021 and communities all across America and Missouri are celebrating.

The Raytown area - second day out on the trail from one of the major Santa Fe Trail launching points in Independence, Missouri - is celebrating with the The Festival of the Trails on September 11th, 2021. The Festival is a series of activities and events along the historic Santa Fe Trail route through town.

As part of this Santa Fe Trail bicentennial celebration, MoBikeFed has created two bicycle routes that allow you to visit all the Raytown Festival of the Trails venues along with a number of Santa Fe Trail historic sites from Wayne City Landing on the Missouri River in Independence to New Santa Fe on the far west Missouri border:

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MoBikeFed announces 270 miles of "Birthplace of the Santa Fe Trail Bicycle Tour" for Santa Fe Trail bicentennial

2021 is the bicentennial of the Santa Fe trail - a trail pioneered in 1821 from Boon's Lick, Missouri to Santa Fe, Mexico.  The entire Santa Fe Trail, a transcontinental route connecting nations and cultures, is filled with 200 years of history--and the first portion of the trail in Missouri is no exception. 

In honor of the Santa Fe Trail bicentennial, MoBikeFed is announcing the release of over 270 miles of carefully designed, vetted, and amazing bicycle touring routes exploring the Birthplace of the Santa Fe Trail in Missouri.

These routes and other related topics will be an important part of the discussion at the Missouri Active Transportation Summit, August 13th, 2021. All virtual for 2021--join us!

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Butterfield Stage Experience 500 Bicycle Route? Not officially (yet) but...try the new Butterfield Stage "Outlaw Trail": 240 miles, Springfield MO-Ft Smith AR

The Butterfield Stage Experience mostly-gravel bicycle route, 250 miles Jefferson City to Springfield, has been an amazing success for Missouri and for Butterfield Trail communities since it was announced in 2018.

Now - thanks to an amazing group of leaders and organizers in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas - we are looking at having the next 250 miles of the Butterfield Trail turned into an officially adopted bicycle route, perhaps as soon as December 2021.

Have  you been thinking about that next 250 miles of the historic Butterfield Stage route to Fort Smith, Arkansas?

So have we!

Read on to find out what we have been thinking - because it's worth checking out.

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STL Post-Dispatch: Missouri parks boosters falling millions short of fundraising goal for 144-mile cross-state Rock Island Trail section

A year and a half ago, Missouri State Parks and Ameren signed a historic agreement to transfer the next 144 miles of the Rock Island RR corridor, between Windsor MO and Washington MO, to Missouri State Parks to become Rock Island Trail State Park.

However, there was a big catch: To finalize the transfer, Missouri State Parks and its supporter had to raise $9.8 million dollars in private or other non-state, non-state parks funding, so that Missouri State Parks could accept the corridor.

Building statewide trail connections, preserving trail corridors like the Rock Island, and taking full advantage of your trail connection when it finally happens, will be some of the main topics of discussion at the Missouri Active Transportation Summit, Friday August 13th, 2021. All virtual for 2021 Join us!

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A great lineup for the 2021 Missouri Active Transportation Summit August 13th - Early Bird Registration ends Fri, July 24th

We invite you to join us for the 2021 Missouri Active Transportation Summit, where we will be sharing ideas for making our communities more active, vibrant, healthy, and economically sustainable through bicycling, walking, and trails.

  • Early Bird Registration for the Summit ends Friday, July 24th.  Save $10 just by registering early.
     
  • Take an extra 25% off registration with this online Coupon Code: 2021SUMMIT25

We have an amazing line-up of sessions for this year's Missouri Active Transportation Summit--two top-notch keynotes and a large number of breakout sessions to choose from. Register today!

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Rock Island Trail - Jackson County segment Grand Opening Saturday, completing statewide trails vision

Grand Opening for the final section of the Rock Island Trail in Jackson County is Saturday, July 10th, 2021, 10am at the Truman Sports Complex in Kansas City. Details below. 

This is the last big piece of the statewide Katy-Rock Island trail system we've been envisioning for more than 25 years. There are, as always, some gaps in the system - but in the grand outline, this is it.

With the completion of this westernmost section of the Rock Island Trail, Missouri now has 376.5 miles of (almost) seamlessly connected trail stretch from (almost) state line to state line and connecting communities with millions of residents along the way.

This is as truly monumental accomplishment, and one many decades in the making.

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Ozark National Scenic Riverways seeks public input on Roads & Trails Management Plan - Potential key connections on Ozark Trail Mountain Bike System

Ozark National Scenic Riverways - Missouri's most extensive National Park - has released a draft roads and trails management plan that is open for public input. 

You may recall that ONSR is currently a major impediment, but with updates to its trail plan could become a key link, in the 280+ mile Ozark Trail Mountain Bike System.

ONSR has never allowed mountain biking on any of its trails.  The previous draft proposed opening a good number of trails to mountain biking, which is a positive.  But key links in the potential 280-mile Ozark Trail Mountain Bike System were not included. 

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Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation comments to FHWA regarding proposed changes to national road design guidelines

Today the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation joined thousands of organizations and individuals across Missouri and the U.S. in submitting detailed comments about problems with proposed changes to the influential Manual on Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

The MUTCD is the national guidance for all visible parts of the nation's road network--signs, stripes, lanes, crosswalks, traffic signals, and more.   The MUTCD is updated about once a decade.

The recently released draft for the 2021 MUTCD update is very problematic from the perspective of pedestrian and bicycle transportation. Public comments on the proposed updates are due Friday, May 14th, 2021 and can be submitted using the official U.S. government response page here.

However, the simplest and easiest way to submit a public comment is to use the Bike League's automated comment submission form:

League of American Bicyclists automated MUTCD comment submission form

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Bill legalizing ebikes in Missouri passed by Missouri legislature, headed to Governor for signature

As ebikes exploded in popularity in Missouri and across the U.S., their legal status in Missouri has been something of a mystery.  The ebike industry in Missouri has made it a top priority to get legislation in place that matches the national standard, allowing ebike use on roads and trails, and creating three classes of ebikes.

Recently, their work paid off as the ebike legislation was passed by both the Missouri House and Senate.  The bill, SB 176, now goes to Governor Parson for his signature.  The bill is not particularly controversial and we expect Governor Parson to sign it.

What is in the ebike bill?

What is in the bill?

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ALERT: Public comments on problematic updates to major federal road design manual, the MUTCD, due Friday, May 14th

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is the national guidance for all visible parts of the nation's road network--signs, stripes, lanes, crosswalks, bike lanes and markings, traffic signals, and more.   The MUTCD is updated about once a decade.
 
The recently released draft for the 2021 MUTCD update is very problematic from the perspective of pedestrian and bicycle transportation. Public comments on the proposed updates are due Friday, May 14th, 2021 and can be submitted here.
 
The simplest way to submit a public comment:
 
 
Many bike/ped and transportation organizations across the country are organizing to submit public comments.
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Missouri Legislature passes 12.5 cent gas tax increase, phased in over four years - headed to Gov for signature and it's done

Today the Missouri Legislature passed a 12.5 per gallon fuel tax increased, to be phased in at the rate of 2.5 cents per year from 2021 to 2025.

Passage of SB 262 by the Missouri House today sends the bill to Governor Parson for a signature.  Infrastructure has been a major emphasis of Governor Parson's administration and he has indicated he will sign the bill.

Unlike previous efforts to increase the fuel tax, this proposal will not go before voters.  Once Governor Parson signs the bill, it will be a done deal.  The gas tax will increase by 2.5 cents per gallon every October until 2025.

MoDOT's funding crisis and the effort to create statewide transportation funding since 2009

Missouri's fuel tax was last raised in 1996. At 17 cents per gallon, it is currently the second lowest fuel tax in the nation--ahead of only Alaska.  Since the fuel tax is not indexed to inflation, the buying power of that 17 cents has decreased substantially since 1996.

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Present a session at the 2021 Missouri Active Transportation Summit - session proposals accepted through June 11th!

The 2021 Missouri Active Transportation Summit is coming up Friday, August 13th, 2021.

The Summit will feature some of the best of bicycling, walking, and trails in Missouri:

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