Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

Kansas City Cyclist Will Baumeister killed in hit-and-run; Relatives asking for help and leads tracking down hit-and-run driver; $500 reward offered

April 8th, 2022, Will Baumeister was killed by a hit-and-run driver while bicycling on Stadium Drive near the Truman Sports Complex in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Will and his partner, riding just feet away from him, were well lit and riding on a straight and well lit section of road with good visibility.  The speeding driver who struck and killed Will, paused briefly to survey the scene, and then drove off.

Will was a lifelong avid cyclist.  At the time of the crash, Will and his partner Wendy were bicycling as their primary mode of transportation.

Will was well aware of the importance of being well lit while bicycling at night. At the time of the collision, Will was pulling a bicycle trailer.  Both Will's bicycle and the trailer were very well lighted from the rear.

Police have been unable to identify the vehicle or driver, and Will's case has received very little attention in area media or from police.

Help us identify the vehicle and driver - $500 reward

Can you help us spread the word, or provide information to help identify the vehicle or driver involved in this hit-and-run fatality?

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Call for safety changes to popular KC-area Longview Lake cycling loop after cyclist and father of 10 killed in hit-and-run; Memorial Ride Sept 17th

The Longview Lake loop is one of the most popular cycling routes in the Kansas City area.  Much of the loop has been greatly improved for cycling safety in recent years, with wide shoulders, bicycle lanes, and even a section of separated bicycle now on the 10-mile loop.

However, one section on View High Drive just north of 3rd Street is a notoriously bad spot.  The shoulder ends just as a right-turn-only lane is added, the pavement is rough, sight lines are poor for both cyclists and motorists, and the road design encourages motorists to drive very fast up until this point.

It was just at the spot that Charlie Crinier, math teacher at the Martin City K-8 school, father of 10, and newly enthusiastic cyclist, was killed by a hit-and-run driver the morning of August 27th.

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Presentations and powerpoints from the 2022 Missouri Active Transportation Summit

Thanks to everyone who participated or presented - in person or virtually - the 2022 Missouri Active Transportation Summit in Jefferson City was a big success.  The program was packed with interesting and information presentations and information from agency staff, advocacy organizations, consultants and engineering firms, and community members.

Below are links to powerpoint presentations from some of the presenters at the Active Transportation Summit held August 12th, 2022.  More information about each session and presenter is below. Full 2022 Summit Program is here (PDF).

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2022 Missouri Active Transportation Summit Friday Aug 12 - in Jefferson City AND Online - lineup of engaging speakers and sessions - full Summit Program released

The 7th annual Missouri Active Transportation Summit is coming up this week:

 

Missouri Active Transportation Summit

Friday, August 12th, 2022, 9:00am-5:00pm

Jefferson City Municipal Complex
Jefferson City Police Department Building, 401 Monroe St
Jefferson City, MO

AND

Online Virtual Conference Via WebEx (Selected Sessions)

 

 

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Distracted driving/hands-free driving bill to be major emphasis for 2023 legislative session

Distracted driving, texting while driving, and electronic device use while driving leads to hundreds of fatalities and serious injuries in Missouri every year.  Missouri is now one of just TWO states that still allows texting while driving. 

Passing distracted driving legislation in Missouri has long been a priority of MoBikeFed members.  We have been working to support state legislation on distracted driving, texting while driving, and hands-free electronic device use for nearly two decades now.

In 2009, Missouri passed a law prohibiting texting while driving for drivers age 21 and younger. However, attempts to amend the law to include drivers of all ages, and more recent attempts to require use of hands-free devices while operating motor vehicles, have gone nowhere in the Missouri legislature.

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MoDOT installing J-Turns at rural intersections with no provision for safe bike/ped crossing - disconnecting rural bicycle routes

MoDOT has been installing an increasing number of "J-Turns" on rural highways. 

J-Turns convert intersections that are currently perfectly usable by people who bicycle and walk, into intersections that are, in many cases, essentially unusable.

Installing a J-Turn intersection takes a route that was previously an excellent, completely usable bicycle route and disconnects it.

Some J-Turn project examples:

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Rock Island Trail State Park: Missouri Legislature's final budget eliminates Gov Parson's $69 million funding proposal - but $1 million private funding restored

Today the Missouri General Assembly gave final approval to HB 3020, which included Governor Parson's proposal to spend $69 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to develop the most difficult and expensive part of the new Rock Island Trail State Park. 

The governor's proposal survived two votes on the House floor, but was cut by the Senate's version of the bill, which was also adopted by the House today.

"This is a lost opportunity and that is disappointing," said Brent Hugh, Executive Director of the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation.

"But communities along the old railroad and supporters from across Missouri line have been working for decades to preserve the corridor and develop it as a new State Park and cross-state trail, and have made tremendous progress.  We have a lot of optimism about the future of the trail and the many opportunities to develop it and benefit trail communities and Missouri as a whole."

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Joplin Globe Editorial: Restore Rock Island funding - Cutting it is a Poor Business Decision

Monday the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of HB 3020, allocating Missouri's portion of the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. The committee bill removed the entire $69.2 million Governor Parson had recommended for construction of the major "hard parts" of the 144-mile Rock Island Trail State Park. 

Thursday, the full Senate passed HB 3020 - and still, there was not even $1 for the Rock Island Trail.

The Joplin Globe let us know how they feel about this decision - and they didn't pull any punches:

The decision to zero out funding for the Rock Island trail is a poor business decision for Missouri.

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ALERT: Missouri Senate Committee zeros Rock Island Trail funding - Could come back in conference committee - What you can do now to help

UPDATE May 5th: Good news: Tuesday the Conference Committee restored the $1 million Rock Island Trail State Park Endowment funding plus an additional $150K funding for 2023 in HB 3006.

Less Good News: Wednesday the  HB 3015 Conference Committee failed to restore any of the $3.5 million for the RIT in 2022. The good news here is that several on the Committee spoke in favor of restoring some of the funding. But two key Senators - Vice Chair Lincoln Hough and Senator Sandy Crawford, whose district takes in a good piece of the new 144-mile State Park - spoke against any increase.  Sen Hough, in particular, was vehement in his opposition.

We are still waiting for the Senate to take up HB 3020, which includes Governor Parson's proposed $69 million in funding to build most of the most difficult parts of the new 144-mile statewide trail connection.  It may come to the Senate floor later Thursday or Friday - or perhaps it will go into next week. 

We know that intensive discussiosn and negotiations are going on over the Governor's proposal and other aspects of HB 3020, which is the state plan for spending some billions of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding sent to Missouri.

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ALERT: Contact the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee to ask for support for Rock Island Trail Funding by Tues, May 3rd

UPDATE 5/3: The Senate Appropriations Committee did indeed zero out all of Gov Parson's propose Rock Island Trail funding, in a vote Monday afternoon.

Please contact your Missouri Senator now - all Missouri Senators - and ask them to support the Rock Island Trail funding when HB 3020 comes to the Senate floor.

Look up your own Missouri Senator here. Call and/or send a message using the contact form on your Senator's web page.

UPDATE 4/28:

The Senate Appropriations Committee is still considering HB 3020, the bill that includes the bulk of the Rock Island Trail State Park funding proposed by Governor Parson.  They have repeatedly scheduled, then postpone hearings.  As of now, the earliest a hearing could take place is Monday May 2nd or Tuesday May 3rd.

These continual delays are GOOD NEWS for Rock Island Trail funding, as they mean that the debate and discussion about this and other funding priorities continues. The initial position of Committee leadership was to ZERO the funding, so we definitely need more discussion and debate in order to move them off of that position!

In the meanwhile,

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State Parks Rock Island Trail funding survives two close Missouri House floor votes - now on to the Senate - How you can help now

After nearly an hour of debate on the floor of the Missouri House, the House today approved Governor Parson's proposal for $69 million in federal ARPA funding to be use to build the most difficult section of the State Parks' Rock Island Trail.

Now the Missouri Budget bills move to the Missouri Senate - where the discussion is likely to be even more intense.

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