Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

Jim Konski, "Father of American Randonneurs", MU graduate

James L. Konski, known as "Father of American Randonneurs", died of natural causes December 17th at age 85. Konski graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in civil engineering and served as national director of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He also founded the International Randonneurs and the Onondaga Bicycle Club in Syracuse, NY.

According to an article on the New York Bicycling Coalition web site, Konski "actively supported the 'good engineering' that resulted in roads and bridges that were safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicles at very little extra cost. Jim’s research proved that proper road shoulders not only improved safe bicycling, but for 10% more construction cost would extend road life by 20%."

See the article in VeloNews for more information.
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Missouri Amtrak service to be cut

Amtrak is one of the best ways for cyclists to transport themselves and the bicycles to touring destinations. For instance, many cyclists ride the Katy Trail one way and then take Amtrak back the other direction.Unfortunately, last year the Missouri legislature provided only $5 million of the $6.2 million needed to run the "Missouri Mule" (looping between Kansas City and St. Louis, stopping at 8 cities in between) this year. Unless funding is found, the Mule will stop running February 28th. This will leave only one daily train covering the St. Louis-KC route.MoDOT has asked the Missouri legislature to provide the funds needed to continue the Missouri Mule through the end of the fiscal year in June.See the full story in KOLR online.

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The second annual bike swap meet, St. Louis, Feb 16

Two Wheel Deals and More . . .

The second annual St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation's Bike Swap Meet is nearing. If you want to buy, trade or sell bikes or anything bicycle-related at great prices, then mark Sunday, February 16, 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. on your calendar now. More than seven area bike shops, a dozen nonprofits, and bicyclists of all ages will gather under one giant roof with amazing deals for you: New bikes as well as previously owned models and other bike-related goods.

The swap meet location is 17355 Edison Avenue in Chesterfield Valley, MO, 63005, just off Chesterfield Airport Road near Lowe's.

Admission is $2 to the general public with proceeds benefiting the Bike Federation.

If you're interested in a 12'x12' booth for selling your own bicycle-related goods, or would like to sell on consignment, please contact 314-621-0220 ext. 333 or visit the swapmeet's web site by February 8.

"This swap meet is the best way to find great bargains on cycling equipment all under one roof," says Bob Foster, chair of the Bike Federation. "We're excited about this year's swap and all the bike shops, non-profits and individuals that are showing their support for this event. We've got a huge space, thanks to THF Realty, and it's great to see the cycling community come together to swap, learn and get ready for the arrival of spring."

"The Bike Federation is here to support the cycling community in every way we can, and one way to do that is to offer them the best deals in town."

A non-profit, all-volunteer organization, St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation shares a vision of a bike-friendly region. Its vision includes, but is not limited to the ideals of: bicyclists have a right to safe, well-planned roadways; proper equipment and training is important to safe riding; and education of cyclists and motorists is needed. Go to: www.stlbikefed.org for more information.

Detailed information about the swap meet can be found on the St. Louis Bike Fed's web site.
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Kansas City MO Walkability Plan meetings Jan. 23 & Jan 28

Kansas City, Missouri, is planning two meetings to discuss the draft Kansas City Walkability Plan:
  • 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan 23rd at Northland Neighborhoods Inc., on the lower east-side level of Antioch Center (5312 N.E. Chouteau Trafficway).This presentation will cover the plan's impact on the northland area.
  • 7:00 - 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 28, 2003, Rockhurst University Community Center at 54th St. and Troost Ave. Guest Speaker: Ollie Gates
From a KCMO press release:

Walkability Friends:

The purpose of the meeting is to present:

§ why we are doing the Walkability Plan
§ what the process has been and who has been involved
§ what the major recommendations of the plan are, particularly those that relate to neighborhoods, and to the design of development to be walkable
§ what changes we should expect as a result of the plan
§ how you can be involved in revising the draft plan and plan adoption

Meeting Location for Jan 28th meeting: Rockhurst University Community Center, parking lot on north side of building, enter from Troost Avenue or 54th Street. Located on # 25 Troost bus line and accessible from Brush Creek or 55th Street exits off Bruce R. Watkins Drive.

The draft plan is posted on the City's web site.

For more information please call Lynnis Jameson (513-2853) (e-mail: Lynnis_Jameson@kcmo.org) or Gerald Williams (513-2897) (e-mail: Gerald_Williams@kcmo.org) City Planning and Development Dept., City of Kansas City, Missouri

You can also use KCMO's Neighborhood Walking Survey, which is part of the Walkability Plan, to document how pedestrian-friendly (or otherwise) your neighborhood is.
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Resources for Lewis & Clark rides

Stan and Ann Nelson recently wrote this, in a KCStar letter:

Recently we traveled 99 percent of the trail by car and bicycle and would like to recommend two excellent sources for cyclists: Bicycle Guide to the Lewis and Clark Trail by Tod Rodger and Adventure Cycling's detailed maps, which can be ordered at (800) 721-8719. . . .

We hope others will team up with families and/or friends to experience the trail or a section of the trail -- it can be done in bits and pieces over several years.

You can also find a huge collection of Lewis & Clark-related web pages at LCArchive.org.
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The MIssissippi River trail

According to an article in the Quad City (IA) Times, "A bicycling masterpiece could be in the making."

Planners in several states are hoping to use a combination and local and federal funds to put together a 2,500 mile bike route, the Mississippi River Trail.

"When completed, the trail will include a link of on-road and off-road trails from the birthplace of the Mississippi River in Minnesota to where it merges with Gulf of Mexico waters in Louisiana."

Missouri planners have been busy plotting out the part of the route through Missouri--you can find maps and information on MississippiRiverTrail.org. The Missouri section of the trail is already signed an in place from Hannibal to St. Louis and from St. Louis on south.
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Report: Pedestrian deaths rise, safety spending lags

A new Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) report says that dangerous street design and a lack of investment in pedestrian safety are to blame for an increase in pedestrian deaths nationwide. The report, "Mean Streets 2002," finds that while 12 percent of all traffic deaths are pedestrians, less than one percent of federal transportation dollars go to protecting people on foot.

The report found that nine of the top ten most dangerous metro areas are below the national average in spending of federal funds on pedestrian safety, averaging just 62 cents per person. The national average is 87 cents per person. STPP is calling for greater spending on pedestrian safety as part of the TEA-21 renewal bill, creating and funding a new national Safe Routes to School program, designing safer streets, and collecting better data on pedestrian travel.

According to the report, St. Louis is the 16th most dangerous U.S. city for pedestrians, and Kansas City is the 20th most dangerous. In Missouri, 7.8% of all traffic deaths were pedestrians but only 1.1% of all federal transportation dollars were spent on pedestrian/bicycle facilities. Missouri spends about $1.35 per resident per year on pedestrian and bicycle facilities and safety.

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Support America Bikes' work on the T-3 federal transportation bill

The next generation federal transportation equity bill (known as T-3) will determine whether the many bicycle-related improvements throughout the country, continue or grind to a halt.

America Bikes is working for a bike-friendly T-3 federal transportation bill. Consisting of the major national players from both bike advocacy and industry, the America Bikes coalition will lead the effort to protect and expand what has been achieved in the past two bills (ISTEA in 1991, TEA-21 in 1998). Individual cyclists, bike clubs, bike shops, and other organizations are all asked to be a part of America Bikes' grassroots network.

Go to America Bikes' website. Read and endorse their agenda and "join the (e-mail) team" for occasional updates and action alerts. You'll be notified when a phone call, etc., is needed during the campaign, especially in 2003 as the bill gets closer to passage.

The America Bikes web site includes a page with responses from the Missouri congressional delegation about their support for bicycle-related issues0. Take a look--it makes for very interesting reading!
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Southampton traffic calming plan approved

Southhampton Neighborhood Association has approved a plan to calm traffic and make the area friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists, according to a story in today's STLToday.

The plan had been opposed by area businesses, who feared that traffic calming measures would reduce parking and access to their businesses (see previous MoBikeFed News coverage of opposition to the traffic-calming measures).

The main goals are to reduce speeding in residential areas, reduce cut-through traffic, reduce traffic noise and pollution, and increase pedestrian and bicycle safety. The plan's drafters hope that in the long run it will bring more people to the city and increase property values.

Proposed traffic calming measures in phase one include increased signage, bike lane striping, striping for on-street parking, curb neck-downs.
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Young cyclist remembered

Today's Kansas City Star had an article about activities commemorating Dan Eiermann, an Independence middle school student who was killed while riding his bicycle last fall.

"Dan was struck about 8 p.m. Sept. 27 by a 1984 Ford Mustang when the boy tried biking across 23rd Street in Independence. Police said the motorist had the right-of-way and officials found no wrongdoing."

The incident raised questions about whether cyclists and pedestrians need better facilities for safely crossing streets like 23rd Street. 23rd Street is a four-lane street with heavy, fast-moving traffic. There is much pedestrian and bicycling activity in the area; area teenagers and adults can often be seen walking along or crossing 23rd Street. 23rd Street has very minimal facilities to help pedestrians and young cyclists cross the street safely.

This incident, which happened after dark, also reminds cyclists of the importance of adequate lighting. A headlight and rear reflector or light are required by state law when riding after dark.

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Bike + video game = ?

Too cold to ride outside? How about hooking up your exercise bike to your video game console . . .

The Reebok CyberRider allows you to pedal your way around Playstation games--car race type games, for instance.

A hobbyist came up with a more home-made solution when he made an exercise bike interface to Tron . . .
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Ride the Lewis & Clark Trail

Missouri and Kansas are poised to play an important role in the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Atchison, Leavenworht, and Kansas City are planning a massive celebration on the 4th of July, 2004, called "Journey Fourth". Lewis and Clark celebrated the 4th of July, 1804, near what is now Atchison, Kansas.

Atchison is planning to open a new hike/bike riverfront trail in time for the celebration. Kansas City is planning to open a riverfront site used by Lewis and Clark, and Fort Osage (approx 15 miles east of Kansas City, MO), established by William Clark in 1808, will be the site of a new $3.9 million visitors center.

In May 2004, re-enactors will launch their keelboat from St. Louis. They will re-enact Lewis and Clark's original timetable, arriving in the Kansas City area in late June.

The re-enactment and associated activities will be the focus of national and international attention. According to a Kansas City Star article, "National planners estimate that 25 million travelers will hike, bike, drive or paddle in Lewis and Clark's path during the bicentennial."

MoDOT is planning to have a signed Lewis and Clark bicycle route in place by 2004. It will likely be followed by thousands of cyclists. The route has not been finalized yet, but the preliminary plans are to follow the Katy Trail from St. Louis to Booneville; then Hwys 41, 65, 224 and 24 to Kansas City; FF, 45, and 59 to St. Joseph; and K and 111 north of St. Joseph. Details will follow as they become available.

Two Kansas City-area cyclists rode the complete Lewis & Clark route in small chunks, 1998-2002. Their web site has a journal, route descriptions, and maps.
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