Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

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. 

If those links are not included,  it means a lengthy detour on busy, fast-moving state highways for the Ozark Trail Mountain Bike System in order to bypass ONSR. That is, obviously, not ideal.

The draft plans have just been released this morning, so we have not had time to analyze them carefully. But please look them over, let the National Park Service know that you support mountain biking in ONSR, and also let them know that you strongly support a complete, continuous Ozark Trail Mountain Bike connection through ONSR.

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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. 

If those links are not included,  it means a lengthy detour on busy, fast-moving state highways for the Ozark Trail Mountain Bike System in order to bypass ONSR. That is, obviously, not ideal.

The draft plans have just been released this morning, so we have not had time to analyze them carefully. But please look them over, let the National Park Service know that you support mountain biking in ONSR, and also let them know that you strongly support a complete, continuous Ozark Trail Mountain Bike connection through ONSR.

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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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ALERT: Dangerous dogs injure 450 Missouri bicyclists annually; Your messages supporting Missouri Dangerous Dogs Bill needed by Mon Apr 5th

Dangerous dogs injure 450 people bicycling annually in Missouri, are the sixth-leading cause of cyclist injury, and cost $2.8 million in medical care and lost wages. Most of the most serious injuries are caused by loose, running dogs--not dog bites. 

But a loophole in Missouri's current Dangerous Dogs law means that dogs that bite fall under the law--but dogs that run loose and cause a fall or injury are not considered as dangerous dogs.

If you bicycle, you know that loose dogs running and chasing--even running in front of your wheels--is a serious concern and very, very dangerous.

This year the Dangerous Dogs Bill, HB 992 sponsored by Rep. Jamie Burger of Benton, is focused like a laser on solving that problem.

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Alert: HB 992 - Dangerous Dogs Bill to be heard in the MO House Monday, March 29th; Your testimony of dangerous dog situations while bicycling needed

Barry Bean of Peach Orchard has been leading the charge for several years to get a dangerous dog bill passed in Missouri, to address the issues of loose dogs that attack and injury people bicycling. Barry was seriously injured in a collision with a dog several years ago.

This year the Dangerous Dogs Bill is HB 992, sponsored by Rep. Jamie Burger of Benton.

A hearing on HB 992 in the Missouri House Crime Prevention Committee is scheduled for Monday, March 29th at Noon. The hearing will be in House Hearing Room 5 at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City. 

Testimony in support of HB 992 needed through Monday, April 5th

Testimony in support of the bill is welcome from any individual and from clubs, groups, organizations, and businesses.

You can testify in person at the hearing or submit written testimony online here (submission of written testimony strongly encouraged thanks to COVID-19 issues).

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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg address @ National Bike Summit 2021--How will a mayor who led a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community lead the U.S. Department of Transportation?

U.S. Department of Transportation Pete Buttigieg addressed the National Bike Summit on Wednesday, March 3rd--the day Summit delegations from every state, including Missouri, (virtually) visited Capitol Hill for Congressional meetings throughout the day.

Sec Buttigieg was mayor of South Bend, Indiana--which received the League of American Bicyclists' Silver level Bicycle Friendly Community award under Buttigieg's leadership.

Buttigieg was recently photographed riding a bike share bike to work--not for a photo op or special event, but just in his regular work commute in DC.

MoBikeFed's summary of Secretary Buttigieg's remarks Wednesday:

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US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to address 2021 National Bike Summit Wed; Missouri fields strong delegation to Summit

The 2021 National Bike Summit is underway--virtually this year--and Missouri is fielding a strong delegation to the Summit, as we have most years. MoBikeFed along with BikeWalkKC and Missourians for Responsible Transportation (representing BikeWalkKC, Trailnet, Ozark Greenways, and Pednet) are attending the Summit and Congressional meetings this  year.

Meetings with the Missouri congressional delegation are slated for Wednesday at the Summit, as is an address from recently appointed U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

Buttigieg recently made news as bystanders caught him riding a Capitol Bikeshare bike home from work--the first Transportation Secretary to bike commute, as far as we know.

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Missouri Department of Conservation proposes massive increase in bicycle accessibility in Missouri conservation areas totaling 1 million acres - your public comment needed!

UPDATE: Initial success! Due to a large amount of interest in including e-bikes in this proposed regulation, even before the public comment period had formally opened, the Missouri Department of Conservation staff has withdrawn the proposed regulation and is re-writing it to include e-bike access.

For that reason, the March public comment period has been withdrawn.  Instead, MDC staff is working to update the proposed regulation. It will be presented to the MDC Commission again in August 2021 and then the public comment period will be in October 2021. If approved, the regulation will take effect March 1, 2022.

The MDC press release reads:

The proposed regulation initially approved by the Commission did not include the allowance of electric bicycles. MDC staff are now exploring amending this regulation to include the use of certain classes of electric bicycles, also known as e-bikes. The use of motorized vehicles, including electric bicycles, is currently not allowed on conservation-area multi-use trails and service roads.

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