Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

MoBikeFed Annual Meeting, November 2002--Notes and Minutes

Missouri Bicycle Federation, Inc.
Annual Business Meeting and Election of Officers
Minutes for Sunday, November 3, 2002

Attendance: Caryn Giarratano opened the meeting with 23 in attendance: Becky Beach, Morgan Bearden, Elaine Brady, Bill Carlson, Chip Cooper, Max Earl, Dick Elgin, Bob Foster, Caryn Giarratano, Jerry Giger, Greg Harris, Jeff Joiner, Dennis Knudson, Judy Knudson, Mike Murray, Randy Niere, Melanie Robinson, Rob Stitt, Larry Welty, Paul Wojciechowski, Tom Yarbrough, Allan Zafft and Robyn Zafft.

Due to Secretary Art Gough not being in attendance at the meeting, Caryn asked for a volunteer to take notes for this meeting. Paul Wojciechowski volunteered.

Correspondence: Caryn announced that the back table was covered with flyers, handouts and materials that were available for participants to take home.

Minutes: It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes of the November 4, 2001 Annual Business meeting as printed.

Treasurer's Report: Caryn reported that there is $2556.66 in the checking account.

New Business:

Mike Brady Bill by Elaine Brady

Caryn introduced Elaine and provided a brief history of Mike Brady (her husband) who was hit and killed by a motorist while he was riding in the Bike Across Missouri bike race.

Elaine described the problems with traffic laws associated with tragic events like the accident in which her husband was involved. What can be changed? Past driving history must be a part of a case against offenders. As long as an offender doesn't commit an offense during probation (two years), it cannot be used in a separate case. She has taken action through attorney Tim Harlin to find ways to change the current laws. With guns, past offenses are admissible but cars are a different story. Laws throughout the country are very lax on consequences of inappropriate or irresponsible actions. There have been some improvements to traffic laws: the level for intoxication has been lowered to .08 and people involved in a fatal car crash are tested for drugs and alcohol.

She wishes to encourage state reps and senators to introduce legislation for permission to introduce past driving history in traffic accident cases. Elaine stated there is no model legislation language. Caryn thought that an outline would be good for approaching legislators.

MBF can work on legislation itself without the benefit of legislators. Caryn will put out the question on the list serve she is on as the MoDOT bike coordinator, to solicit ideas for legislation.

Larry Welty spoke on the MoDOT Share the Road policy

Larry outlined signing that was available and the uses of these signs. He al so provided a detailed handout of the MoDOT "Share the Road" policy. MoDOT approved the "Share the Road" policy this year, which was attached to the handout. An advocacy group or entity must make a request for "Share the Road" signs. St. Louis has taken great strides, but other areas of the state are a concern due to the attitude that these signs may encourage use on roads that are not safe for all bike users. He suggested that the information in the handout be used to support the use of signs in the state.

Caryn addressed the MoDOT policy and practices changes she has inspired or would like to inspire regarding grates, rumblestrips and bridge access.

Caryn stated that she has received indication of MoDOT's committment to bike-safe grates on roadways. She showed the standard plans for MoDOT's grates. Caryn is rewriting sections on grates in the Project Development Manual (PDM) and standard plans. One concern about the policy language is that is says that grates are required only on roads where bicyclists are expected, which is too vague. She wishes to delete grate choices from the standard plans and PDM that are unsafe for bicyclists.

Bike accommodations on the Missouri River Bridge in Jefferson City:

The restriping of the northbound bridge is planned to allow a three foot wide inside shoulder and seven foot wide outside shoulder with curved vane grates and "Share the Road" signs.

Providing bp accommodations for the southbound bridge is much tougher. A cost estimate for a cantilever bike/ped bridge attachment is needed since there is no room on the bridge deck to allow for restriping. Enhancement funds will be used 80% federal/20% non-federalwith about one million needed for the local match. But an accurate cost is needed. MoDOT has done a feasibility study and is doing the detailed estimate through the(Bridge Division.

Rumble Strips:

Caryn wants to change the MoDOT policy to have the rumble strip right on the edge line and a six inch to one foot wide rumble strip. The goal is to identify an treatment that works for both cars and bikes for a win/win situation.

Paul Wojciewoski from Parsons Brinckerhoff spoke on Bicycle Facilities.

Paul's presentation covered planning to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians on roadways and stressed the need to aim for a win/win situation for all road users.

Allan Zafft from MoDOT spoke on TEA - 21.

Allan provided a brief overview of the enhancement program overseen by MoDOT in the state. Key elements of the presentation included general enhancement program process and definition of bike projects that are eligible.

Bob Foster spoke on America Bikes

Identify projects in your area to get them going.

Caryn touched on Bicycle Level of Service and then explained her vision for National Bike Routes across MO.

BLOS: The bicycle level of service describes the type of facility that is provided for bicyclists: shared lane, bike lane, shoulder or separate path.

Bike interstates: Caryn would like three north/south roadways and three east/west roadways identified to form a bike transportation grid that crosses our state and connects to other states. Then additional roadways will be identified to connect cities to allow bicyclists to get where they want to go. The end result will be a State Bike Map. Three national bike routes cross Missouri: the Lewis and Clark Trail, the Mississippi River Trail (over 10 states) and the TransAmerica Trail.

Caryn asked for volunteers to assist MoDOT district personnel determine which
roads should be identified as bike interstates.

MBF Interstate Committee per MoDOT District: (we need each district
District 1 -
District 2 - Tom Zoumaras, Terry Sandwith
District 3 -
District 4 - Rob Stitt, Randy Niere
District 5 - Chip Cooper, Jeff Joiner, Mary Sloan, Joe Silsby
District 6 - Bob Foster, Bill Carlson, Tom Yarbrough
District 7 -
District 8 -
District 9 - Morgan Bearden, Greg Harris
District 10 -

Election of Officers:

The four elected positions were filled.. Chair - Bob Foster, St. Louis; Vice-Chair - Paul Wojciechowski, St. Louis; Secretary - Jeff Joiner, Jefferson City; and Treasurer - Mike Murray, St. Louis.

Appointment of rest of Board of Directors:

Morgan Bearden volunteered to take over the Motorist Contact Program. Brent Hugh was appointed to be the MBF webmaster and Email News. Jeff Joiner volunteered to be the Newsletter Editor. Caryn was appointed as the MoDOT Liason. It was recommended by Caryn that the Board appoint a Legislative Liason to lead the pursuit of the Mike Brady Bill. Bob Watts will serve on the Board as the Past Chair.

The Annual Business Meeting was adjourned at 4 pm.
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KC is 20th most dangerous city in the U.S. for pedestrians

The Kansas City metropolitan area is the 20th most dangerous place in the country for residents who brave the roads on foot, a report released Thursday said.

The area's sprawling boundaries and high number of big, fast roads contribute to its pedestrian traffic deaths . . .

Kansas City is in the middle of establishing a "Walkability Plan" for the city, a process begun last year. . . .

The project takes to task state transportation departments, because they control how most federal transportation money is spent. The process "often results in wide, high-speed arterials," because that's what the departments are most familiar with, the report said.

Kansas and Missouri highway officials disagreed. Both states' transportation departments have staff members who work with local communities to develop pedestrian and bike paths, spokesmen said.

Read the complete story on the Kansas City Star.
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Article about bike advocacy & trails in St. Louis

St. Louis's West End Word newspaper recently ran a nice article about bicycle advocacy in the St. Louis area.

The article particularly talks about the effort to create a network of walking/biking trails around St. Louis, including the conversion of the old Chain of Rocks bridge (a mile long with a 25-degree turn right in the middle) into a hiking/biking trail.

See the entire article in PDF format on the St. Louis Bikefed site.
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Bike St. Louis up for vote within next few weeks

St. Louis City will be considering implementation of signing and striping the Bike St. Louis project (20 miles, onstreet, downtown) within the next few weeks (late November/early December 2002). You can check out the draft signage at http://www.stlbikefed.org/signs.pdf. Watch the St. Louis Bike Fed site for more details.
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A short time remains in the public comment period for federal TEA-21 re-authorization

The U.S. Department of Transportation is taking public comment on the TEA-21 re-authorization legislation that will be considered by congress starting in January 2003. USDOT will take public comment through December 31st, 2002.

Your comments need not be long or detailed. A simple statement such as "I support the inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian projects and planning in TEA3" says a lot. Click here to leave a comment with USDOT (you must register before commenting).

You can find out more about TEA3 and the issues involved, at the Alliance for a New Transportation Charter website (read also their TEA3 Action Alert).

It is very important that the DOT hear from cyclists writing in support of cycling issues. TEA-21 and ISTEA have done more to improve the bicycle transportation outlook in the United States than any other plan or program in the past 10 years or so. TEA-21 includes incentives to local government bodies to create special bicycle and pedestrian projects, but even more important, to make bicycle and pedestrian planning a regular part of the overall transportation planning picture for every government body across the entire U.S.

When we win the battle for TEA3, we win a thousand battles at one stroke.

We know that the highway lobbyists are mobilizing their supporters to flood the DOT with comments supporting more and bigger construction projects friendly to motor vehicles. Bicycle and pedestrian supporters must provide a balancing back-pressure of public opinion to let our public officials know that Americans support these transportation choices.

The Department of Transportation's TEA3 site has a great deal of information about the legislation and reauthorization timeline.

TEA3 has the potential to do everything TEA21 did and more. Among the proposed TEA3 initiatives is a "Safe Routes to School" proposal. This has the potential to have a positive impact on the health of young people around the country (childhood obesity is at an all-time high, in large part because our children are driven most everywhere previous generations biked and walked) and to dramatically improve the bicycle- and pedestrian-friendliness of communities.

Click here to find out more about the TEA3 Safe Routes to School proposal on the Transact web site.
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IMBA Pleased With New BLM Mountain Biking Plan

Press release from the International Mountain Biking Association" (IMBA):

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a final National Mountain Bicycling Strategic Action Plan for the management of mountain biking on the BLM's 262 million acres of public land. The 31-page document represents the most comprehensive mountain bike management plan created by any land management agency.

The plan was announced yesterday, November 12, at the National Trails Symposium in Orlando, Florida."This is a great plan," said IMBA's executive director Tim Blumenthal. "It addresses the current desires of mountain bikers, leaves most decision making to local managers, and is adaptable as the sport evolves."

The BLM decided to produce a mountain bike-specific plan last year following a flood of comments from IMBA leaders and members on the BLM's Off-Highway Vehicle Strategy. That plan originally proposed to group mountain bike management with that of motorized vehicles. Mountain bikers played a key role in shaping the new plan. The BLM considered thousands of cyclists' comments, sent a team of leaders to the 2002 IMBA Mountain Bike Advocacy Summit, and included long-time IMBA advocate Mark Flint of Tucson, Arizona, as an advisor.The BLM did not adopt suggestions from the American Hiking Society and others that recommended a "closed-unless-open" trail policy and a prohibition of bicycling from national conservation areas.IMBA believes the 10-year plan sets a positive, proactive direction for the BLM. It offers constructive advice to local managers, clearly recognizes changing demographics, identifies emerging bicycle and trailbuilding technologies, and discusses other issues unique to mountain biking.The BLM now faces the challenge of implementing the plan. IMBA will cooperate with the agency by providing volunteer resources and technical assistance. IMBA will also continue to seek adequate recreation management funding from Congress.The plan is available at: https://www.blm.gov/mountain_biking/

Missouri's Marvin Johnson adds: "[BLM has] adopted a mountain bike plan for its immense land holdings that could turn out to be the most positive turn for the sport in the past three years. Access to the back country for mountain biking has been under a high-pressure offensive from passive-use advocates such as the Sierra Club and various Wilderness-related organizations, who campaigned heavily to restrict us from BLM property as the legislation was making its way down the pipe.

"There is no way to stress the importance for all mountain bikers to keep the land access fires blazing by writing and e-mailing politicians, and local, state, and government officials any time an issue surfaces. The best way to celebrate our victory is to send IMBA ten bucks with your thank you note attached. Read the release."
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The Mississippi River Trail (MRT)

From Lake Itasca, MN to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River Trail will be a signed bike route, mostly on the roads, that gives cyclists a close-up look at America's greatest river.

Missouri has joined the states of Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee as having fully designated and signed its portion of the Mississippi River Trail.

Read more about the MRT on the St. Louis Bike Fed's site.
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Critical Mass bites back . . .

Cartoon strip "Roadkill Bill" found something besides bicycles that has a critical mass out on today's roads . . .
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Join MoBikeFed

The Missouri Bicycle Federation is the only state-wide group advocating for the rights and interests of all types of bicyclists throughout Missouri. Support bicycling in Missouri by joining MoBIkeFed! Now you can pay your membership dues with a credit card, with our brand-new online membership form (you can also join the old fashioned way if you prefer).
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Missouri senator & congressman poised to influence TEA-21 re-authorization

An article in today's St. Joseph News-Press reports on the progress on TEA-21 re-authorization. TEA-21 and its predecessor, ISTEA, have been the main federal funding vehicle for bicycle- and pedestrian-related transportation improvements over the past 10 years or so. Projects include such things as bike/hike trails and comprehensive bicycle transportation plans such as BikeKC, recently passed by Kansas City, MO.

Last year, Missourians paid $757 million in federal fuel taxes and Missouri received only $592 million back. The article explains the reasoning behind the funding formula that makes some states "donor states" and others "recipient states".

According to the article, Missouri Senator Kit Bond "with his 16 years of seniority, serves on the Committee on Environment and Public Works, along with the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, with a chance to play a prominent role in drafting the legislation". (However, with the recent changes in the senate, Mr. Bond may be pegged to chair a different committee.)

Missouri Congressman Sam Graves (6th district, St. Joseph area, Republican) is on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Both would be key players in the TEA-21 re-authorization, and need to hear regularly from Missourians who support bicycle, pedestrian, and mass transit initiatives (click on legislators' names, above, to visit a page with info about how to contact them).

Bob Foster of the Missouri Bicycle Federation is particularly interested in finding any cyclists or cycle-related businesses who have worked with Senator Bond in the past. Read Bob's article to the STLBikeFed email list.

Read the complete St. Joseph News-Press article here.
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Touring the Arkansas Ozarks

By Todd Blackwell, Lake of the Ozarks. Touring by bicycle is not only about pedaling a bicycle around all day… it is about a different and exciting way to experience the many aspects of our world that we take for granted; the everyday places and faces that we speed by without notice. We tend to overlook these ordinary elements due in part to our hectic lifestyle. There is something new and exciting around every bend, over each hill, and in every small town we travel through. One can never fully appreciate the adventure that this method of travel affords unless they experience this for themselves . . .
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Lawsuit threatens St. Joseph riverfront hike-bike trail

Today the St. Joseph News-Press reported that the owner of a nearby riverboat casino plans a lawsuit to clear up disputes over the land a proposed riverfront hike-bike trail would be built on. Casino owner Bill Grace claims that he controls, either through options or leases, land the trail would be constructed on.

Grace called the trail an “absolute waste of money” that would attract “joggers and winos up there, and that is all you are going to get.” People who use the trail will not be “buying anything. They are walking.”

Construction on the trail has been postponed until the legal problems are cleared up.
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