Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

Bicycle & Pedestrian Day at the Capitol April 10th - Join us!

Bicycle & Pedestrian Day at the Capitol in Jefferson City is April 10th--coming up soon.

>>> Register - volunteer - and/or bring a display for your business or organization at Capitol Day here

This year we have a new governor, new administration, and many new legislators who need to be educated about the importance of bicycling, walking, and trails to Missouri.  Your personal visits at Capitol Day are by far the best way to do this.

We and our partners across Missouri are working on many important legislative issues this year, including:

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ALERT: Contact Congress to support 2017 National Bike Summit Congressional visits this week

Every March a delegation of bicycle and pedestrian advocates from across Missouri go to Washington, DC, for the National Bike Summit.  We spend a couple of days meeting with other advocates from around the country and sharing ideas and best practices.

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Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Trails plan coming together for rural southwest Missouri - extension of Razorback Trail to SW MO possible - public meeting Mar 6th

A very important development this month in southwest Missouri: Local communities and regional planning organizations are working together to create a regional bicycle and pedestrian plan. If you live in the area, you can join a public meeting in Pineville Monday, March 6th (details below).

If you live outside the area but have an interest in the regional bicycle & pedestrian plan, please complete the online survey.

What are the possibilities?

The most immediate and exciting possibility is to extend the Razorback Trail north to Jane and Pineville. However, regional planners are using the opportunity to create a truly regional bicycle, pedestrian, and trails plan. 

Will it be possible to continue the Razorback Trail connection up north through Anderson and potentially the Neosho and Joplin areas?

Can existing area trails be connecting into a single seamless network? Are regional, statewide, and national bicycle touring routes through the area possible? Is it possible to connect trails and routes in the four-county area to planned and existing trails and routes in surrounding areas--such as those in Nevada and Springfield.

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New Bike/Ped Crossing of Missouri River underway: Missouri 370 Discovery Bridge at St. Charles/Bridgeton

A new bicycle and pedestrian crossing of the Missouri River--long under discussion and study--is finally underway in St. Charles and St. Louis Counties.  Engineering and design is now moving forward on the project, which is fully funded.

The project is a collaboration between the cities of St. Charles and Bridgeton, MoDOT (which owns/operates the bridge), Great Rivers Greenway, and others.

The Discovery Bridge carries Missouri 370 across the Missouri River between St. Charles and Bridgeton. It is one of six Missouri River Bridges in the greater St. Louis region. As one of the most logical and direct connections between two highly populated counties, bicycle and pedestrian access across the Discovery Bridge has long been under discussion.

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ALERT: Key Mississippi Greenway Trail Connection in St. Louis County needs your support today

UPDATE 16 February 2017: Success!  Great Rivers Greenway and County Councilman Ernie Trakas continued discussions about the trail--spurred on by the many messages and phone calls St Louis County officials received in support of it.

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Kansas City's Riverfront Heritage Trail marks major milestone - connecting KCMO, KCK, and historic Kaw Point

Kansas City's Riverfront Heritage Trail recently reached a major milestone and completed the vision for that trail that was set out in the late 1990s.

The trail, which has been under development for two decades now, has finally created a seamless connection between downtown Kansas City, Missouri, downtown Kansas City, Kansas, and historic Kaw Point, where the Kansas and Missouri Rivers converge, and where Lewis and Clark camped in 1804.

The trail bridges two states, three counties, three cities, and two major rivers.

The trail takes pedestrians and cyclists across numerous difficult barriers, including cliffs, many sets of railroad tracks, multiple complex interstate freeway interchanges, local roads, and the Kansas River.  The trail links to Berkeley Riverfront Park and the Bob Watts Memorial Bike/Ped Path on the Heart of America Bridge, which crosses the Missouri River to give North Kansas City a connection to the trail, as well.

The trail includes numerous park areas, works of art, light fixtures, and other amenities designed to improve both the trail and the neighborhoods it passes through.

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2017 Legislative Session: Summary of bills affecting bicycling, walking, and trails

We are just in the third week of Missouri's 2017 legislative session, and already we have seen a number of bills introduced that are important to people in Missouri who walk, bicycle, and use trails.

Another major issue, returning for 2017, is state transportation funding. Missouri's dramatic underinvestment in transit, walking, and bicycling harms the ability of our communities, large and small, to compete in today's global marketplace--but all proposed solutions address highway funding only.

Summary of 2017 pedestrian, bicycle, and trails-related bills

Below is a summary of all pedestrian bicycle, and trails-related bills currently in play in the Missouri House and Senate. Bookmark this page--it will be continually updated as the 2017 Legislative Session progresses.

Statewide Funding for Walking, Bicycling, and Transit

A major issue in 2017, and a major concern of our members, is state transportation funding. In the news we hear about a chronic shortfall in road and highway funds for MoDOT.

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Major national win for bicycling and walking in new federal Performance Measures

The Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation has been part of a national coalition of groups that have been working to ensure that walking and bicycling were included in proposed Performance Measures for our national transportation system.

The danger was that the measures would focus on, and support, only motorized transportation. That would mean that federal policy and funding would all move in that direction--towards support of motorized automobile travel only, neglecting public transit, walking, bicycling, trails, and other transportation options.

The end result would be to deny these legitimate transportation modes their fair share of federal transportation funding. Federal policy sets the standard for state and local spending, so the effects of the new policy will cascade down to affect nearly every transportation project in the country, for multi-lane high-speed freeways to neighborhood sidewalks.

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"Scathing" KCMO Auditor report recommends major upgrades & changes to city's bicycle plan

A major new development in the ongoing effort to make Kansas City a bicycle friendly community: The KCMO City Auditor's Office has released an audit of the current Bike KC plan that the Kansas City Star called "scathing".

BikeWalkKC, the lead local advocacy group in the Kansas City region, said that the report "summarizes much of the community’s frustration at Kansas City’s progress.  It also provides a much-needed wake-up call and an opportunity start anew with a clear vision, a well-designed strategy, and a modern master plan."

The auditor's summary of the report reads:

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Rock Island Trail Update: Connections for Springfield, St Louis? And more from MoRIT . . .

Greg Harris, Executive Director of the Missouri Rock Island Trail, Inc. (MoRIT) just sent the latest version of the Rock Island Trail Update.

Rock Island Trail Update

January 11, 2017

Hundreds attended the dedication of the first 47 miles of the Rock Island Trail on December 10, 2016. The Pleasant Hill to Windsor segment connects greater Kansas City to the 240 mile Katy Trail. Ameren will give an additional 144 miles to the State of Missouri in late 2017 after salvage of the rails and ties is completed. Salvage status is posted at https://www.powerforwardmo.com/rockisland.

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Governor Nixon and Ameren announce that 144-mile Rock Island Trail is on track for 2017 transfer to State Parks

Today officials from Ameren joined with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and State Parks Director Bill Bryan to announce that the work to salvage track and equipment from the 144-mile Rock Island railroad line and transfer the corridor to Missouri State Parks in 2017 for use as the Rock Island Trail State Park is in progress and on track.

Earlier in December, Governor Nixon cut the ribbon to officially open the 47.5-mile Rock Island Trail section that connects the Katy Trail to the outskirts of the Kansas City metro area in Pleasant Hill. The announcement today concerns the continuation of the Rock Island corridor from Windsor to Beaufort, MO, near Washington.

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Missouri's "internationally significant" Rock Island Trail is now open! Photos and a new major article by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy about trail's history--and future

In celebration of the Grand Opening Saturday of the first 47.5 miles of the Rock Island Trail State Park, connecting the Katy Trail to the Kansas City metro area, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has published a major article about the Rock Island Trail, with many details about its history and future:

Just in time for the holidays, a stunning new rail-trail has arrived in Missouri. Opening Dec. 10, the 47.5-mile Rock Island Trail State Park is notable for its length—and its connection to an even longer trail: the renowned Katy Trail State Park, which, at 237.7 miles, nearly crosses the entire state. While the Katy Trail stops short of Kansas City, a forthcoming extension of the Rock Island Trail will march right to the city’s doorstep, making it possible to utilize both trails to travel between the state’s two largest cities, Kansas City and St. Louis, without a car.

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