Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

Ken Kifer: How to Avoid Bike-Car Collisions

Ken Kifer writes: For some years, I have been intending to write a page which illustrates (rather than explains) various kinds of traffic situations which can lead to collisions. . . . The new page is http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/traffic/bike-car.htm
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Putting 1 & 2 together . . .

News Item #1: Nearly one-third of adults, close to 59 million people, are considered obese. Moreover, close to two-thirds of adults are either obese or overweight; that is nearly two out of every three Americans.

News Item #2: Researchers in the UK conducted a study in which they asked previously inactive people to start cycling a few miles every day (see p. 318 of this very large PDF file). Distances involved were modest--15-20 miles per week. "[G]reatest relative risk exists in the lowest 20% of the national population distribution of aerobic fitness, and that risk reduces continuously as one's ranking improves. . . . Those completing the whole trial moved from a mean of the 31st percentile to the 48th percentile, i.e. from the bottom third of the national fitness distribution to a near-average position. . . . Body fat was significantly reduced among most of those subjects who were overweight or obese at outset (59% of the participants)." Participants typically lost 5-8 pounds of fat during two-month study period.

Can you put #1 and #2 together to come to a logical conclusion?
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St. Louis County jury awards $3.2 million in cyclist injury case

A jury in St. Louis County Circuit Court has ordered an award of $3,278,000 to a bicycle rider who was delivering newspapers when he was struck by a tractor-trailer truck in Mexico, Mo., on Sept. 15, 1995.

Christian Boggs, then 13 and now 20, sustained substantial injuries in the accident outside the Archer Daniels Midland plant. On Friday, the jury found the company 60 percent at fault because Decatur, Ill.-based ADM knew that traffic congestion on the street outside its plant was a safety hazard.
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ERCC - Equal Rights for Cyclists Campaign - The ERCC is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to publicizing and protecting the fundamental civil right of bicyclists and human-powered-vehicle users to travel freely on public roads.
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Best network of car-free bike trails in KC?

What's the best network of car-free bike trails in the KC metro area? Click for Pitch Weekly's amusing answer . . .
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Important Kansas City MO Bike Trail Meeting Oct 29

Tues Oct 29, 7-9PM
Park Hill Community Education Center
7703 NW Barry Road, KCMO

First foot in the door for mtn biking in KCMO Parks & Rec.

"We MUST impress upon Kansas City Missouri that we are a
legitimate park user group and we represent a large,
professional group of trail building experts from
throughout the Metro area."

If you can't make the meeting-
You can still call or email KCMO Parks dept to register your
Phone: (816) 513-7500
Fax: (816) 513-7719
E-mail: parks@kcmo.org

More details (including driving directions & maps to meeting place) on the Mid-America-Mtb list archives here and here.
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How MoBikeFed got Missouri's mandatory sidepath law repealed

One of MoBikeFed's major accomplishments during the 1990s was the repeal of Missouri's mandatory sidepath law. Here is an outline of how it was done:

Repealing Missouri's mandatory sidepath law took MBF two years. The first year we were unsure of how to approach the task. The second year, we took advantage of our experience to reach success.

1. An attorney, who was a member of MBF, wrote draft legislative changes and asked for additions and corrections from the MBF membership.

2. We identified a Republican Senator who was willing to support our legislative changes as the sponsor.

3. We found a Democrat Representative to sponsor the same bill in the House.

4. We asked bicyclists across the state to call, fax, email or write their legislators regarding this issue.

5. We sent out a newsletter called Legislative Update that told what had happened, what we wanted to happen and what we wanted the bicyclist to do next.

6. We published in the Legislative Update the names, addresses and phone numbers of legislators along with sample letters.

7. We gathered a group of bicylists from across the state to testify at the committee hearings. We divided the testimony topics among the witnesses in order to avoid duplication and to cover all the angles.

8. We gathered input from every cyclist we could in support of our proposed changes with an emphasis on bicyclist safety and community liability in the event of an accident due to inadequate facilities.

9. Our reason for change was based on both common sense and collect statistics of the higher incidence of bike accidents on paths as opposed to roads. We mentioned that it is often inappropriate to mix pedestrians and cyclists on paths, paths do not always go where the cyclist wishes to go and race training must be on the road. The opposition we met was from a group of farmers who were angry about the rails to trails action taken to create the Katy Trail. They were taking their anger out on anyone handy and focused on bicyclists who rode Highway 94 that runs parallel to the Katy Trail. They wanted us off the road. Most of the legislators realized that the legislation we wished to change was largely an update due to equipment change and a safety issue. Few states remain with sidepath law in place.
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A Little Street Magic . . .

Certainly, there's plenty to work on. Could there be a spur to bring, say, a dozen new bike racks to some of Downtown's biggest buildings? Could some more sensible bike lanes be incorporated into and out of Downtown? Could a few of the Downtown gyms be induced to offer a very modest "shower fee" for bikers? . . .

Writer Thomas Crone goes on to argue that cyclists ought to do more riding than grandstanding. They should work for the adoption of simple, mainstream, middle-of-the-road projects rather than taking the extreme anti-car position that says auto=epitome of evil=must be exterminated, and anything short of that is "selling out".

Do you agree or disagree? Click below to leave a comment . . .

Read the rest of the story on St. Louis Today
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Useful links for bicycle advocacy in Missouri

League of American Bicyclists


  • Basic Improvements for Bicyclists by John Williams, Bicycle Forum


  • Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals


  • Bike Plan Source


  • Federal Highway Administration
    https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/02sep/ - Walking the Safety Walk


  • Missouri Department of Transportation


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    Kansas MTB Trails Meeting, Possible 340-mile loop from KC area to Manhattan KS

    Thank you all for attending the Kansas Trails Master Plan last night.
    You were all extremely helpful at the meeting. Thanks to all the MO
    folks who made the trek over as well. It may not have seemed like much,
    but having Scott Capstack, Aaron Browning and Brian Robinson there
    helped out tremendously.

    After the meeting, I spoke with Sid. He was really impressed with the
    mountain biking structure that we have all helped develop in this area.
    He was really impressed with the Trail Watchers program, and the fact
    that we had specific volunteer hours logged through the Trail Watchers program.

    In addition, after the meeting I spoke with the Director of Johnson
    County Parks and Recreation about connecting singletrack from somewhere
    in Johnson County along the KS River to the Levee trails in Lawrence.
    He was extremely enthusiastic about doing this. ERTA will begin working
    closely with JCP&R; to create this ribbon of singletrack.

    In addition, it's feasible that we could connect singletrack,
    doubletrack, roads and levee trails to run a 340 mile loop (170 miles
    each way) from Johnson County to Manhattan KS. We will begin to explore
    the feasibility of this "master" plan with the Kansas Trails Council,
    the Kansas Canoe Council, the State of Kansas, the Kansas Water
    Conservation Department and the various cities and counties that the
    Kansas River runs through. This is a pipe dream at the moment, but this
    idea came from the meeting last night. We'll pursue this as well.

    In addition, after the meeting, Sid indicated to me that there were
    considerably more mountain bike singletrack trails than what will be
    indicated in his study. His biggest challenge for recognizing these
    trails was that there was no "official" group that would assume
    responsibility for maintaining the trails. As such, he couldn't include
    these trails in to the Kansas Master Plan under the guidelines that he
    had established.

    The example that Sid used was the river trails in Manhattan. He can't
    recognize these trails in the Master Plan, because there wasn't any
    group that would assume responsibility for the trails. I told him that
    I would find people for those specific trails. Immediately, the patrol
    branch in Manhattan and our good friend and underground dark side single
    speed freak, Dan-O come to mind as groups or people who would be able to
    help us get these mountain bike trails recognized.

    There was more that went on, but this is the guts. Feel free to fill in
    any gaps that I left out.

    Thanks again for your support. BTW: I estimate that there were about
    60 people at the meeting. 35-40 of them were mountain bikers. Thanks
    again. You folks kick ass!

    Ken Miner
    KS IMBA Representative
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    Blue Springs Approves Bike Lanes/Trails

    Blue Springs approved part of their bicycle plan October 23rd. According to the KCStar, the plan includes "almost four miles of trails and more than nine miles of on-street bike paths are part of a larger project funded mostly by a grant. . . .other parts of the trail project . . . include bike paths along U.S. 40 and Missouri 7".

    "Mayor Greg Grounds talked about the cyclists who have stood before the board passionately lobbying for a more bike-accessible city. Grounds praised the project as one that will have something for serious cyclists on the streets, as well as families, joggers, in-line skaters and others who want off-street pathways."

    Availability of federal funds and very active support of the plan by the local bicycle community were crucial in getting the bike plan passed.

    Followup, 2011: It took many years, but the first phases of the Blue Springs bicycle system is now in place and getting a very positive reception.  Followup article here.

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    Sierra Club Bike News Roundup

    The Sierra Club has a nice roundup of bicycle-related news and trends--commuter bikes, bike sales, Critical Mass--at https://www.sierraclub.org/currents/bike_news.asp
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