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April 4, 2012

Advocacy works: Missouri scraps reflective vest proposal

Filed under: bicycling,Missouri — Tags: , — Roger @ 10:55 am

The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation won the battle to kill a proposal to require Missouri bicyclists to wear reflective vests while cycling on state roads and highways.

During a Missouri House Transportation Committee hearing Tuesday, State Rep. John Cauthorn, R-Mexico, said he received 10,000 messages about the bill, mostly from bicyclists, about the bill, plus MoBikeFed and other cyclists lobbied lawmakers Monday and Tuesday to ask them to oppose the reflective vest plan.

MoBikeFed said the group and Cauthorn have agreed to look at other options for improving bicycle safety on Missouri roads, including improvements in the state’s reflector and lighting requirements.

For the full story, go to MoBikeFed’s website.

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April 2, 2012

Missouri bill would require reflective vests for cyclists

Filed under: bicycling,Missouri — Tags: , — Roger @ 11:30 am

A Missouri House committee will be considering a bill that would require cyclists to wear reflective vests on state highways and roads.

The Transportation Committee will conduct a hearing on the bill Tuesday after its morning recess. The bill is sponsored by state Rep. John Cauthorn, R-Mexico.

The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation is oppsoing the bill. The organization contends the bill would discourage bicycling and reduce, rather than improve, bicycle safety.

“It will have a discouraging effect on bicycling across Missouri — for individuals, for group rides, for fundraising rides, for races, for training and for transportational bicycling and commuting,” Executive Director Brett Hugh wrote in the post.

The group is encouraging bike shop owners and bicycling organizations to attend Tuesday’s hearing and bicyclists to contact their legislators to express their opposition.

MoBikeFed has created a list of reasons (PDF file) to oppose the bill. Here’s a quick summary:

  • Seven nationally recognized cross-country bicycle routes, used by thousands of cross-country bicyclists each year, pass through Missouri, putting $7 million annually into Missouri’s economy. … Will it brand Missouri as an anti-bicycling state which they will choose to avoid entirely?
  • The terms “reflectivity” and “vest” are not defined in HB 1937. Reflective vests could be worn that will meet the letter of the law yet not increase visibility in any way.
  • Current Missouri requirements for reflectors and lighting are similar to laws in all 50 states and most cities and counties. They are standard, proven, and easily complied with by all bicyclists and bicycles.  The reflective vest is not required anywhere in the U.S.



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February 28, 2012

Missouri bicycle plates now available

Filed under: bicycling,Missouri — Tags: — Roger @ 12:43 pm

The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation has worked for five years to get a Bicycle Missouri license. Today, it’s a reality.

Missouri drivers can order their plates through the organization. Once 200 orders are filled, they will be made and distributed.

The cost of a one-year plate is $45 per vehicle. The cost of a two-year plate is $70 plus a $15 speciality plate fee for the second year that is paid when you pick up the plate. You can order your plate online through the federation.

Proceeds from the specialty plates will be spent on the federation’s efforts to work for better, safer bicycling in Missouri.

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September 2, 2011

Missouri bicycle license plates

Filed under: Missouri — Tags: , — Roger @ 10:47 am

Just like in Illinois, bicycling advocates in Missouri are striving to get a specialty automobile license plate out on the roads of the Show-Me State.

Earlier this year, the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation got legislative approval for the new plate. MoBikeFed is now is working on the final design for the plate and wants your help.

MoBikeFed has narrowed the field to three potential designs. You have five choices, ranging from “I hate it!” to “I love it!” You also can add your comments about the designs.

As for Illinois’ “Share the Road” plate, the League of Illinois Bicyclists still needs 181 more people to sign up for the plate to begin production of that plate.

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January 23, 2011

Help Ryan Metcalf fight his bicycle rack ticket

Filed under: Missouri — Tags: , , — Roger @ 2:43 pm

The Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation has joined Ryan Metcalf’s fight against a traffic ticket issued by Creve Couer, Mo., police because his bicycle rack obscured his rear license plate.

On Dec. 21, Ryan was driving on Interstate 270 through the St. Louis suburb when a police officer pulled him over and gave him a $70 ticket for obstructing a license plate.

“Since this is an issue that potentially affects everyone in Missouri who transports a bicycle on a rear-mounted bicycle carrier, and Ryan’s case could set a precedent affecting bicycle rack use that could then be used statewide, he is asking for help in paying the legal bills of the case,” MoBikeFed Executive Director Brent Hugh said in his post.

The MoBikeFed so far has raised $237 of its $2,500 goal to cover Ryan’s legal fees. If you want to donate, you can go directly to the donation page and make your contribution online.

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December 16, 2010

Route 66 bike route in Missouri

Last month, the Adventure Cycling Association announced plans to create Bicycle Route 66, which will generally follow the historic Route 66. About the same time, I wrote about how Illinois has a bit of a head start with the Route 66 Trail Concept Plan.

The Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation has been working on a potential Route 66 route through the Show-Me State. The MoBikeFed has posted the proposal as a Google map.

Let’s take a look at Missouri’s from east to west. Missouri’s Route 66 would tie into Illinois’ section at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge that crosses the Mississippi River.

MoBikeFed is considering at least two options for navigating through the St. Louis. the largest city on Route 66 between Chicago and Los Angeles, and the rest of the metropolitan area.

The first plan would take the Riverfront Trail to downtown St. Louis, pass the Gateway Arch, then take Manchester Road (Missouri Highway 100) to Gray Summit, where it would connect with Route 66 alignments than generally align with Interstate 44. One major issue with that proposal is that Highway 100 — an early alignment of Route 66 — is a busy road in St. Louis city and St. Louis County.

Another proposal would bypass the busy section of Highway 100 in St. Louis. It would use Hampton Avenue, Clayton Road and Clarkson Road  to navigate through much of the St. Louis area before rejoining Highway 100 in Ellisville.

Personally, I’m disappointed the St. Louis options under consideration so far bypass my favorite Route 66 attraction,  Ted Drewes Frozen Custard on Chippewa Avenue in St. Louis. Chippewa also was on an old Route 66 alignment the remains a busy thoroughfare (Missouri Highway 366).

The MoBikeFed also is concerned the safety of Highway 96 between Halltown and Webb City, a suburb of Joplin,  in southwest Missouri and is looking at nearby country roads to bypass that highway.

Much of historic Route 66 in Missouri has been preserved as frontage roads to I-44. Many bear the ubiquitous letter names, such as Highway T, that are common in Missouri.

No matter what, you will get your kicks on Route 66 attractions that are kitschy, like the Precious Moments Inspiration Park in Carthage; scenic, such as the Devil’s Elbow Bridge near Fort Leonard Wood; or both, such as Meramec Caverns near Stanton.

Note: On the MoBikeFed’s Facebook page, the organization thanked the Gateway Council of Hostelling International for allowing the MoBikeFed to use its maps for Route 66 rides. Tim Almstadt and Mark Cockson did the bulk  of the scouting work for those rides, and I used their notes to draw the maps for the ride. I’m happy I’ve indirectly played a role in the development of Missouri routes.

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November 20, 2010

Missouri Share the Road license plates

Filed under: Missouri — Tags: , — Roger @ 1:31 pm

Missouri bicycle advocates are hoping that the Show-Me State will join Illinois and at least 12 other states in issuing permanent Share the Road license plates.

For the past five years, the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation has been trying to get Missouri to issue Share the Road plates. MoBikeFed says in a recent article that the group has submitted an application — and a $5,000 deposit — for the specialty plate.

Now, MoBikeFed is asking for help from Missouri cyclists to seal the deal. People have until Nov. 30 to express support to the Joint Transportation Committee of the Missouri General Assembly, and you can do so by filling out this form. MoBikeFed wants at least 500 people to write notes to the panel.

MoBikeFed hopes the General Assembly will approve the plate during the 2011 session and begin taking applications in late 2011.

Proceeds from the plates would be used to support bicycle advocacy and education projects in Missouri.

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