Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

Missouri Senate passes bill outlawing distracted driving, texting while driving - bill now moves to House & you can help

Our members have consistently identified distracted driving and texting while driving as one of their top concerns.  For that reason, we have been working for years with a coalition of like-minded organizations across Missouri to support distracted driving and texting-while-driving legislation.

Year after year, this important legislation has been stopped by a few powerful legislators.

But now one of those legislators is sponsoring a bill with strong language restricting all kinds of distracted driving behaviors and use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.

The Missouri Senate has been the stopping point for distracted driving bills in past years and for nearly all bills in 2018.

But now SB 1050, sponsored by Senator Dave Schatz of Sullivan, has has passed the Missouri Senate by a vote of 28-3.

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National Bike Summit: Congress triples TIGER funding, one of our major Natl Bike Summit asks for 2018 - get your community's TIGER applications ready to go!

One of our big asks at the 2018 National Bike Summit was for Congress to continue and increase the TIGER grant program.

At the Summit's Capitol Hill Day, we visited the congressional offices of all ten Missouri members of Congress and Senator.  We asked them specifically to support continuation of TIGER and to support increased funding for the TIGER grant program.

We heard UNANIMOUS support for TIGER from our Missouri congressional delegation.

And now the TIGER transportation grant program has been renewed as part of the recent budget deal--with triple the funding it received last year. Find out more, and how your community can apply for TIGER, here.

Support for bicycling, walking, transit, and multimodal approach to transportation has grown dramatically in Missouri's Congressional delegation

I can't say how amazing it was to hear the support for TIGER from office after office--and with equal levels of support from both the 7 Republican and 3 Democratic offices. 

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ALERT: Join MoBikeFed & the League in asking Congress for self-driving vehicle safety for people who bicycle and walk

Right now, Congress is debating self-driving vehicle legislation that is far too lax on safety and oversight. Safety statistics show that current self-driving cars are 192 times more dangerous for people who walk and bicycle as human drivers are.

Please click here to join MoBikeFed and the League in asking Congress for safety for people who walk and bicycle.

Sunday, an autonomous vehicle hit and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, AZ, as she was walking her bicycle across the street. While the details of the crash are still forthcoming, the League of American Bicyclists is concerned that these vehicles are being deployed without having to first prove their ability to recognize and respond to people biking and walking in our streets. 

This tragedy marks the first time a bicyclist or pedestrian has been killed by an automated vehicle in the United States. However, recent articles in IEEE Spectrum and in Slate magazine report that detecting bicyclists is one most difficult problems Automated Driving Systems (ADS) technology faces, and testing for bicyclists lags behind other ADS technology tests. This tragedy shows that not all manufacturers’ technology is ready to be tested in communities.

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Pedestrian pushing bicycle is first person killed by fully automated self-driving car; "Technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles" says expert; MoBikeFed joins nationwide call for greater safety, accountability

An Arizona woman who was crossing the street pushing her bicycle became the first person to be killed by an autonomous vehicle operating in self-driving mode.

In recent weeks, with legislation pending in Congress and the US Department of Transportation set to release new driverless car regulations, the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation has been working with a national coalition of roadway safety groups to push for greater oversight of driverless vehicles, which have a well known blind spot when it comes to tracking and operating safely around people who walk and bicycle.

We feared that allowing autonomous vehicles to operate on our roads and highways, when they have a known issue dealing with people who walk and bicycle--who are frequent users of our public roads--would inevitably lead to tragedy.

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Self-driving car systems MUST ensure safety of people who bicycle and walk: MoBikeFed statement on proposed federal regulations

The Federal Highway Administration and NHTSA are currently developing federal regulations for autonomous vehicles--driverless cars.

Though autonomous vehicle technology has huge potential to improve road safety for all users of our transportation system, current systems have a huge and unfortunate blind spot when it comes to people who walk and bicycle--particularly with regard to cyclists.

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ALERT: MoBikeFed visiting Missouri members of Congress this week at Natl Bike Summit, please contact your own members of Congress in support

Wednesday and Thursday this week I'll be in Washington DC visiting every Missouri congressional office during the National Bike Summit.

If you follow the news you know there are some huge battles going on in Washington about the future of our transportation system.  So getting toour Missouri members of Congress this week to let them know how important bicycling, walking, and trails are to people like is is very important.

And YOU can help!

Will you take a few minutes to call or email your members of Congress to support our message?

It's easy--just three steps:

1.  Find contact info for your own members of congress (2 Senators and 1 Representative) - see below

2. Email or call (calling is better . . . ) with this message:

Bicycling, walking, and trails are very important to me.

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Coy Hart, 1942-2018: Springfield bicycle and trails advocate, long-time MoBikeFed Board Member

Coy Hart of Springfield, a long-time MoBikeFed Board Member, League Cycling Instructor, Ozark Greenways & SpringBike volunteer, and bicycling & trails advocate, passed away Saturday after an extended illness.

In 2012, the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation presented Coy with a Lifetime Achievement Award--one of just four we have presented so far.  The text of the award and accompanying press release tells just a little about the advocacy and volunteer work Coy did throughout his life:

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Groundbreaking for Phase 1 of Rock Island Trail in Jackson County March 8th

The groundbreaking for Phase 1 of the Jackson County portion of the Rock Island Trail will take place March 8th, 2018, at 10:00 at Hartmann Park, 700 SW Pryor Rd, Lee's Summit.

Phase 1 includes a portion of the 17.7 miles of the Rock Island Corridor purchased by Jackson County and the KCATA in 2016.  All of that corridor will eventually be developed into a trail, linking with the existing 47 miles of Rock Island Trail at Pleasant Hill, which connects with the Katy Trail at Windsor.

This section is a key portion of the Rock Island/Katy Trail system that has been envisioned for decades to connect across Missouri state line to state line.

Kudos and congratulations to the Jackson County Rock Island Rail Corridor Authority for reaching this important milestone.

In December, Jackson County announced that the contract for Phase 1 of the Rock Island Trail had been let, with more details about the planned trail and regional connections:

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2018 Missouri Legislative Session bills affecting bicycling, walking, and trails: Dogs, texting, Rock Island, Route 66 and more . . .

 

The 2018 Missouri General Assembly session is underway--and as usual, a large number of bills and legislative proposals affect bicycling, walking, and trails in Missouri.  Here is the rundown on bills and issues we are tracking this year:

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Last day for public comment in support of mountain biking in Ozark Natl Scenic Riverways & 280-mile MO mountain bike trail; Joint letter of support

Today is the last day to submit your public comment in support of mountain biking in Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR)--Missouri's National Park--and in support of an amazing potential 280-mile Ozark Trail Mountain Bike Trail System that is only possible of a few key mountain bike trail connections are allowed through ONSR.

ONSR was created in the 1970s and has never allowed mountain biking on any trails within its boundaries.  So we are asking for a big change ONSR policy, and when the you speak up in support of this important change it really makes a difference.

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Massive potential 280-mile Ozark Trail Mountain Bike System in Missouri mapped; Your comments in support needed by Monday

The Ozark Trail is an amazing 350-mile trail through scenic southern Missouri. All of it is open to hiking--but only a portion to mountain biking.

MoBikeFed has had the goal of creating a world-class mountain bike route along the Ozark Trail, using alternative routes where trails are closed to mountain biking.

The update to Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) Road and Trail Plan, underway through next Monday, has created a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring this idea to reality.

Imagine a 280-mile, seamless mountain bike trail through some of the most beautiful scenery Missouri has to offer.

That is what is possible--in just the next few years--with your help.

To make it possible, though, we need the key mountain bike trail connections through ONSR.  And they are not (yet!) a part of the trail alternatives ONSR has proposed.

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