April 4, 2014— Jefferson City, MO. A proposal to eliminate bicycling from a major transportation funding proposal before the Missouri House, HJR, caused a commotion in Missouri’s bicycling community Thursday.

“We couldn’t believe it,” said Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation Executive Director Brent Hugh. “We have been working with MoDOT and members of the Missouri House and Senate on this issue for more than five years. There is widespread consensus that Missourians want options like bicycling and walking in their communities.”

Representative Paul Curtman, Pacific, introduced the anti-bicycle language as a last minute change to an unrelated amendment that had already been vetted by bill supporters. Only a parliamentary maneuver by bicycle supporter Representative Chris Kelly, Columbia, delayed the vote until early next week, giving bicycle supporters an opportunity to examine the proposal and respond.

“It is hard to believe that there are short sighted politicians that are willing to try and sneak amendments through elected bodies that disrespect public opinion and state agencies working to make Missouri a better state and economically vibrant,” said Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation President Paul Wojciechowski. “Focus on a complete transportation system includes biking as more than just recreation.”

Representatives of the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation and other bicycling, walking, running, and trails groups across Missouri have been working with Missouri legislators, MoDOT, and MoDOT’s planning partners across Missouri on this issue for years.

“MoDOT’s recent long-range plan, the result of hundreds of public meetings and public input sessions in every county in Missouri, made a strong endorsement of including bicycling and walking in Missouri’s transportation future. The public is asking for it–and it just shows how desperate opponents are, that they are forced to resort to underhanded legislative tricks,” said Hugh.”In the full light of day, bicycling and walking have strong bipartisan support across Missouri.”

The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation and allied bicycling, walking, and running groups across Missouri are asking citizens to contact their representatives in support of bicycling and use social media to show their support.

“Making our communities safe and inviting for bicycling and walking just makes sense,” said Hugh.

More information
Advocacy alert and links to more information about the bills, amendments and more.

US Department of Transportation Secretary Foxx endorses bicycle transportation.

Bicycling has a big economic impact on Missouri.

People who bike/walk support local businesses.

MoDOT visited 232 communities, traveled 25,225 miles, and received over 12,000 citizen suggestions.  One of the things they heard around the state was, “Missourians want options when deciding how to travel. They don’t want to have to drive a car for every trip they take. They want to be able to bike and walk to work, and then take a bus to a doctor’s appointment or to go shopping.”

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