Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

Rock Island Trail "Rock the Trail" ribbon-cutting June 1st, 10am - Jackson County opens Phase 1 of connector to Rock Island/Katy Trail State Park

In 2016, Jackson County and the KCATA announced a deal to acquire 17.7 miles of the Rock Island Corridor. Now, three years later, they are ready to cut the ribbon on the first 6 miles of the completed trail, through portions of Lee's Summit and Kansas City--and they are inviting everyone to join them:

Jackson County will celebrate the official opening of Phase 1 of the Rock Island Trail on #NationalTrailsDay, Saturday, June 1 . Please join us for the "Rock The Trail" Ribbon Cutting ceremony at 10 am.

Location is 12600 E. 98th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, just off of Bannister Road and near the trail's Vale Tunnel, which passes under Bannister.

The Facebook Event Page for Rock the Trail is here.

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Bike-to-Work Day 2019: Jefferson City named Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community, Kirkwood HM, 1.5 million Missourians now live in a Bicycle Friendly Community

Today is Missouri Bike-to-Work Day--one of the high points of National Bike Month and Bike Week--and this year we really have something to celebrate: After years of work, Jefferson City has been awarded a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community award, and Kirkwood has received Honorable Mention in the Bicycle Friendly Community awards.

Jefferson City and Kirkwood join 10 other Missouri communities with Bicycle Friendly Community recognition--and with a total population of 1,453,449 living in those communities.

So nearly 1.5 million Missourians live in an officially recognized Bicycle Friendly Community.  That's worth celebrating!

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UPDATE on Rock Island State Park bill passage; Majorities were overwhelming in both House and Senate; Please say thanks to supporting legislators today

Friday is the last day of the 2019 Missouri legislative session--and we have a LOT to celebrate this session with the passage of SB 196, which will create the Rock Island Trail State Park Endowment Fund.

SB 196, which now awaits Governor Parson's signature, gives strong legislative support to the idea of the Rock Island Trail State Park--and State Parks needed that legislative seal of approval as they move forward with negotiations to accept the corridor as a rail-trail between now and August 2019.

The 144-Mike Rock Island corridor under discussion will, if completed, become one of the longest new rail-trails in the U.S. in recent decades.

A few important updates on the bill that have come to light since it passed last Friday:

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Announcing the Butterfield Stage Experience - A New 250-mile Gravel Bicycle Route connecting the Katy, Rock Island, and Frisco Highline Trails

The Butterfield Stage Experience is a new mostly gravel bicycle touring route consisting of county gravel roads and multi-use trails using/paralleling the historic Butterfield Stage Route in Missouri

 Currently over 250 miles in length--and more to come!--the route is low-traffic trail-like experience that leads you straight to the heart of rural Missouri and visits many of the historic Butterfield Stage sites and monuments across the state. The route is accessible to most who enjoy natural-surface routes like the Katy Trail and Rock Island Trail--and are ready to take the next step towards adventure.

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A great day for Missouri: SB 196 Creating Rock Island State Park Endowment Fund, and giving legislative support to Rock Island Trail State Park, passes both House and Senate

Huge congratulations is in order to our friends at the Missouri Rock Island Trail, Inc, as SB 196, creating the Rock Island Trail State Park Endowment Fund, has finally passed both the Missouri House and Senate.

The bill is "Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed"--meaning that the Missouri General Assembly is finished and done with it, and next stop is Governor Parson's desk.

Governor Parson and Missouri State Parks have pretty clearly indicated their support for the Rock Island as a major rural infrastructure and economic development project, so we expect Governor Parson to sign the bill.

However--it wouldn't do any harm to contact Governor Parson thank him and Missouri State Parks for their support of the Rock Island Trail, the Endowment Fund created by SB 196, and trails across the state like the Katy Trail (Gov Parson recently spoke glowingly in support of the project to complete 3 miles of the Katy Trail in Sedalia), and ask him to sign SB 196.

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May is National Bike Month! Rides and events all across Missouri

Time to get out your bike and go for a ride! May is National Bike Month. Bike to School Day is May 8th, 2019. National Bike to Work Week is May 13–19. Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 17. 

Thanks to amazing support from our Missouri State legislators back in 2011, all of those days are officially recognized in the Missouri State Holiday Calendar as well. So this month is Missouri Bicycle Month, Missouri Bike to Work Week, and Missouri Bike to Work Day as well!

Many organizations, groups, and individuals across Missouri are working on National Bike Month, Bike to School, and Bike to Work events.  A small sampling:

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369 miles of connected trail across Missouri: New Rock Island/Katy Trail Connections--Maps, routes, connections, destinations for soon-to-be-opened western end of the Rock Island Trail

With the first six miles of Jackson County's portion of the Rock Island Trail opening in June 2019--and a further 8-10 miles following in the next year or two--many people are asking how to connect Jackson County's Katy Trail in Lee's Summit and Kansas City to Missouri State Parks Rock  Island Trail and Katy Trail, which starts at Pleasant Hill.

Because you want to ride the whole Rock Island Trail, right?

Others are asking how to make a bicycle connection from Amtrak to the Rock Island Trail.

Others are asking: Now that the Katy/Rock Island Trail system reaches the edge of the Kansas City metro area, how can I ride from the trail to anywhere in the KC metro area--or to, for example, the airport?

Below are maps, routes, and files for your GPS unit that will help you bridge the gap between these trail sections and make all of those major regional connections--using trails and low-stress, low traffic routes.

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Join us for the 13th Annual Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Trails Day and Ride with Legislators in Jefferson City April 23rd - Rock Island, Distracted Driving, Funding, and much more

Join us for the 13th Annual Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Trails Day at the Capitol, Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019. Jefferson City, MO.

Join supporters of bicycling, walking, and trails from around the state as we come together to talk to our legislators about our Vision for Active Transportation in Missouri, the Rock Island Trail, Distracted Driving, MoDOT funding, and more

Transportation, recreation, health and fitness, sustainability, tourism, business, economic development, and more are all on the agenda - and we will start with advocacy training to help you effectively communicate with your own Representative and Senator.

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2019 National Bike Summit: Visiting Congress to ask for better bike/ped funding, safety this week - How you can help

The Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation is in Washington DC this week, along with several other Missouri bicycle & pedestrian advocacy groups, at the National Bike Summit. After three days of conference sessions and meetings, we'll spend Tuesday and Wednesday on Capitol Hill, meeting with every Missouri House and Senate office.

Asking Congress to support better, safer bicycling and walking

What are we asking for in 2019?

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Present a session at 2019 Missouri Active Transportation Summit - August 9th in Columbia

The 2019 Missouri Active Transportation Summit is Friday, August 9th, 2019 in Columbia.

Would you like to tell the story of your bicycle, pedestrian, or trails program, project, or success? Or present on any topic related to bicycling, walking, or trails in Missouri? The Summit is soliciting session proposals through midnight on Sunday, May 12th, 2019.

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Updated: Your complete guide to funding sources for bicycle, pedestrian, and trails projects in Missouri

Your community has some amazing bicycle, pedestrian, and trails projects it wants to build--perhaps even a local or regional bicycle, pedestrian, or trails plan.  But now you need the funding to actually build.

If your community doesn't yet have those plans and projects developed, it might be smart to take a step back first:

  • Develop your own plans, projects, and priorities
  • Implement a few projects--even very small, simple, low-cost projects--using available resources
  • Build a community partnership in support of these projects.

We have a whole page with ideas to help your community take these initial steps.

Then you are ready to approach potential funders to take the next steps.

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2019 Legislature: Hearing held on bill to prohibit texting while driving, please contact your state senator in support

A bill prohibiting all Missouri drivers from texting while driving and requiring hands-free use of electronic devices while driving has been introduced by Senator Wayne Wallingford (R-Cape Girardeau). 

The bill, SB 15, was heard in the Senate Transportation Committee last Thursday and the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation was there to testify in support. Our members have consistently identified legislation dealing with distracted driving as one of their top legislative priorities.

Also testifying in support of SB 15 the yearing were about thirteen other supporters, including the American Automobile Association, Associated General Contractors, the medical/health organizations, insurance companies, telecommunications companies, and others. MoDOT, which has been working with legislators on this issue for years, has compiled some compelling statistics and data on the issue, including some showing the overall effectiveness of this type of legislation in improving safety.

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