Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

Alert: Support bicycle and pedestrian projects in MoDOT's Unfunded Needs List (public comment due August 31st)

 

MoDOT has developed an Unfunded Needs Project List for every region in Missouri. Many citizens across the state were involved in creating this list over the past years. 

MoDOT is now taking public comments on the projects through August 31st, 2023. 

Please take a few minutes to submit a comment to MoDOT asking them to support more funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

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After 15 years of trying to get it done, Missouri Hands-Free Driving Law finally takes effect Monday

Monday, July 28th, the Siddens Bening Hands-free Driving Law goes into effect in Missouri. 

Missouri legislators have considered distracted driving and cell phone laws for nearly two decades. In that time, 48 states have passed laws banning texting while driving. Every state adjoining Missouri and in fact every state in the Midwest has banned texting while driving. And many states don't just ban texting while driving, but have even stronger rules regulating the use of electronic devices while driving - similar to the Siddens Bening Hands Free Law passed Thursday.

Thank you Missouri legislators and Missouri Governor Parson for passing and signing this important new law. And Missouri drivers: Get ready to keep your eyes and your mind on the road, your phone down and your hands free to drive safely, starting Monday.

What is in the law and what does it mean for you as a user of Missouri roads?  Read on . . . 

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Keynote Address for 2023 Summit Friday: Revitalizing a Rural Community - 1,000 feet at a time

The 2023 Missouri Active Transportation Summit is coming up Friday, August 11th - attend in person in Jefferson City or online via YouTube or Teams.

Our Summit Keynote this year is about a real Missouri success story - a small rural community that has been building its bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure literally 1000 feet at a time over the past 26 years.  And has now received a $25 million federal grant to complete their system.

How and why did they do it when so many other communities - large, medium, and small - have been unable to?

Register for the Summit today to hear this and MANY other Missouri bicycle, pedestrian, and trails success stories! View the full Summit Program here (PDF).

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2023 Missouri Active Transportation Presenters & Sessions released - it's going to be a GREAT one this year, come on out and join us in person Jefferson City or virtually online

The session and presenter lineup for the 2023 Missouri Active Transportation Summit - August 11th in Jefferson City - has just been announced. And it's a doozy - a truly amazing group of presenters, representing deep knowledge and experience with advocating for, designing, planning, funding, and using Missouri bicycle and, pedestrian, and trail facilities and programs.  

Check out the full lineup below, and when you're ready, register for the 2023 Summit here.

Remember that you can attend in person in Jefferson City OR attend virtually online via Microsoft Teams OR Youtube.

2023 Summit Sessions & Schedule

Download the Summit Sessions & Schedule as a printable PDF file

* Sessions in Council Chambers will be broadcast for Virtual Summit attendees to view

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Missouri State Parks officially names and adopts Rock Island Trail State Park as the 93rd park in the Missouri State Parks system

At 10am this morning in Windsor, Missouri - where the Katy and Rock Island Trails meeting - Missouri State Parks announced the state's 93rd State Park, with a new name: Rock Island Trail State Park.

Mayors and representatives from towns and supporting organizatiuons along the corridor spoke, as did David Kelly, director of Missouri State Parks, and Dru Buntin, director of Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

You may remember that Rock Island Trail State Park was the name of the 47 mile section of the Rock Island corridor developed using funding and a land donation originating to the 1990s and 2000s.  But when the trail was opened in 2016, the name was (suddenly!) change to "Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park."

Communities along the railroad line were surprised and unhappy - railroad towns usually have a strong identity with the railroad and its name.

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City of Warsaw MO awarded $25 million RAISE Grant to take Complete Streets, trails to entire city

TIGER Grants were first awarded in 2009.  That very year, the City of Warsaw, Missouri, applied for a major grant, designed to expand the city's renowned trail system, but even more - to connect the entire city to the trails and to major destinations like parks and shopping, via bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly Complete Streets.

They didn't get it.

Literally every funding round since 2009, Warsaw - population 2231 - led by City Manager Randy Pogue and a team of citizens, staff, and elected officials, has resubmitted and refined its grant application.

Every year, the same result - no grant funding.

Over the years, the program, as President and Congressional leaders changes, the program was renamed BUILD, and now RAISE. 

But the purpose has always been the same - to provide significant transportation investment to communties and regions that have a vision for rebuilding their transportation system in a transformative way.

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MoBikeFed's 2023 Events - Rides, Festival, Capitol Day, Summit and more

MoBikeFed's 2023 events

Missouri Active Transportation Summit, Friday, August 11, 2023

BikeMO, Saturday, August 26, 2023

Missouri Bicycle Festival in Urich, Fri-Sun, Sept 15-18, 2023

Tour de Wildwood, Sunday, Oct 8th, 2023

 

Join MoBikeFed for our 2023 events! Help move forward our 2023 legislative agenda, learn about how to make bicycling, walking, and trails better in your community, or  join us for a fun ride - with proceeds benefiting our statewide advocacy work. 

Click the name of any event to find out more: 

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Rock Island Trail: What happened in Jefferson City this legislative session - What was lost, what was gained, what's next?

If you have followed Rock Island Trail news in Missouri, you know that the new Rock Island Trail State Park has run into very significant headwinds in the Missouri legislature in 2022 and 2023. 

In 2023, Governor Parson asked for $69 million funding - which passed the Missouri House with east but was stripped in Missouri Senate, due to opposition from a couple of key Senate budget leaders. 

Earlier in 2023, we and a number of allied organizations issued an alert that $2.9 million in federal economic development funding that Governor Parson had earmarked for the trail would be lost forever unless the Senate chair reversed his position and allowed the funding to move forward.

So what happened and why is there suddenly such strong opposition to the Rock Island Trail in the Missouri legislature?

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After more than a decade of trying, Missouri legislature finally passes Siddens Bening Hands Free Law, prohibiting texting and electronic device use while driving

Thursday, May 11th, the Missouri House & Senate finally passed SB 398, including the "Siddens Bening Hands Free Law" which prohibits texting and other electronic device use while driving. 

Missouri is one of just two states still lacking a law prohibiting texting while driving.  The Missouri Legislature has been working to regulate electronic device use while driving since the late 2000s - passing a law that applied only to those 21 and under in 2009,  but otherwise unable to move any legislation forward thanks to opposition by a few key senators.

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Volunteer Opportunity: MoBikeFed's Elmwood Bike Rodeo May 6th in Kansas City - giving away 150 kids bikes

This year the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation is organizing the Elmwood Bike Rodeo May 6th in Kansas City.  We will give away 150 bicycles to area kids who need them, fit the bikes, and have bike safety information and an area for kids to ride their new bikes safely - and a LOT more. The event will be held at Elmwood Cemetery, 4900 E Truman Road, Kansas City MO. 

We need about 15 volunteers to help with bike fitting and to run the bicycle safety rodeo.

Could you help Saturday, May 6th?

----> Sign up to volunteer with the bicycle safety rodeo in KC Saturday here

The Health and Wellness Fair generally has over 1000 in attendance and gives away about 150 bikes to children.

None of the volunteer jobs is hard, but they are IMPORTANT and we need your help.

Details:

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ALERT: $2.9 million Rock Island Trail funding eliminated by Missouri Senate - federal funding will be lost if not spent this year - pls contact your Missouri legislators

Please contact your Missouri Senator and Representative this week and ask them to support the Rock Island Trail funding in HB 6.  A $2.9 million in federal grant has been approved for the Rock Island Trail. However, the grant must be  appropriated by the Missouri legislature.  The governor requested the appropriation, the Missouri House approved it, but the Missouri Senate, led by Springfield Senator Lincoln Hough, zeroed out the funding. 

If the $2.9 million in federal funding is not allocated by the legislature, it cannot be spent elsewhere.  It will simply be returned to the federal government and lost to Missouri.

We have one last chance to restore the funding.  When HB 6 goes to Conference Committee, the committee can decide to follow the House version (which includes the $2.9 million funding) or the Senate version (which zeroes out the funding). 

This decision will be made by Friday, May 5th, 5pm - when all 2024 budget bills must be complete.

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Public invited to give feedback on MoDOT's Unfunded Needs List - including many pedestrian, bicycle, trails, and public transit projects - in upcoming meetings round Missouri

Since the proposals to increase Missouri's fuel tax and federal transportation funding have been under discussion, MoDOT has been working with its local districts and representatives from the states Regional Planning Commissions and Metropolitan Planning Organizations - representing every county and city across the state - to determine the priorities for spending that funding.

Because of the advocacy work MoBikeFed and like-minded organizations across the state have been engaged in over the past couple of decades, MoDOT has now incorporated pedestrian, bicycle, trails, and public transportation projects directly into these funding discussions from the start.  This includes individual bike, ped, trail,  and public transit projects that might receive funding as a separate project, but also bicycle, pedestrian, and public transportation features that may be included as part of another, larger project.

Every rural Regional Planning Commission and every Metropolitan Planning Organization has been honing its priority list of projects, waiting for the day funding for them might be available.

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Join MoBikeFed's Advocacy Network

MoBikeFed is a statewide group of people like you, working together for better bicycling, walking, and trails in Missouri. When you join our advocacy network you receive occasional important advocacy alerts and bicycle, pedestrian, and trails news from around Missouri.

Working together we make a real difference! Join our advocacy network: