Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

Last day of 2018 Missouri Legislative Session: No bad bills, progress on Rock Island Trail, distracted driving, transportation funding - important issues decided today!

The 2018 Missouri legislative session ends Friday at 6:00pm.

What is happening on issues we have been working on this year? What effect have our advocacy work, messages and phone calls, visits to Jefferson City for Capitol Day, and all the rest had?

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Diverse Coalition--including MoBikeFed, League, many bike/ped organizations across the U.S.--asks Senate to hit pause on Driverless Car Bill until NTSB completes critical Uber, Tesla crash investigations

Leading state and national stakeholders representing safety, public health, bicyclists, pedestrians, smart growth, consumer and environmental organizations, law enforcement and first responders, disability communities, and individuals affected by motor vehicle crashes asked the U.S. Senate to back off plans to move the AV START Act (S. 1885) that could set driverless car policy for decades to come until the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) completes important investigations into recent crashes involving automated driving systems that have killed at least two people – including a pedestrian walking a bicycle.  NTSB’s expert analysis of the recent crashes and the agency’s subsequent recommendations will likely have a direct bearing on issues included in the AV START Act.

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Missouri Life releases first-ever Missouri Trails Guide - now available online

Missouri Life magazine has released its first-ever statewide guide to Missouri trails and bicycling destinations.

The idea for the Missouri Biking Trails guide started when Joplin Convention & Visitor Bureau Director Patrick Tuttle and MoBikeFed Executive Director Brent Hugh gave a presentation at the Missouri Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus annual Conference in 2016. Greg Wood, owner and publisher of Missouri Life attended the presentation.  We presented a list of needs for bicycle & trails tourism in Missouri--and one of those was a statewide guide to our trails and destinations for bicycling, walking, hiking, and trails.

After the presentation, Greg said, "I think that is something Missouri Life can do." Two years later, this beautiful publication is the result:

Missouri Life plans to issue a updated Missouri Trail Guide annually.

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Capitol Day Monday April 30th issues: Transportation Funding, Rock Island Trail, dangerous dogs, texting while driving

Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Day at the Capitol in Jefferson City is coming soon--Monday April 30th. State transportation funding, the future of the Rock Island Trail, stopping dangerous dogs, texting while driving, and safety of self-driving cars are among the issues we'll be talking about with legislators Monday.

We'll also enjoy a Ride with Legislators from the Capitol to the Katy Trail and back.

Join us April 30th in Jefferson City--when you take the time to make those personal visits to legislators, it really makes a difference!

If you can't join us in person, please take a moment to call or email your Missouri Senator and Representative in support of our message (sample message below).

2018 Capitol Day Issues and Priorities

A summary of our priorities for the 2018 Missouri legislative session:

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

Note--this resource was updated.  New version here.

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.

Here are many of the available funding sources in Missouri:

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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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