They are at it once again in Missouri. In the last two weeks Missouri has had two separate representatives attempt to introduce legislation to ban bicycles on certain Missouri roads. Previously, we alerted you to  Rep. Brattin‘s attempts at banning bikes from 150 HWY and some other roads. Now, a representative from High Hill, Missouri, is circulating a draft bill to ban bicycles on any state road within two miles of a state-owned path or trail. The sponsor is asking other representatives to co-sponsor his bill, hoping to build support.  We would like to nip this bicycle ban proposal in the bud by keeping him from garnering co-sponsors.

Please contact Brattin and Korman and voice your opinion about their proposed bicycle bans. Emails, calls, and letters go a long way. Get your friends and family members to contact them on your behalf as well. We are sure they would love to hear from as many of you as possible. Take an active role in bicycle advocacy.

The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation as alerted us to the details and requested action:

How you can make a real difference to kill the bicycle ban–in two minutes

At this time, it will help a lot to stop this proposed bicycle ban on certain state highways if you can take the following actions:

Look up your own Missouri State Representative’s contact information here

Send your own Representative a message, or give him/her a brief call, based on our sample message below.  The main point of the message: Please oppose and do not co-sponsor Rep. Bart Korman’s bicycle ban bill

Sample email message to your legislator

Subject: Please oppose Rep. Korman’s bicycle ban bill

Body:

Representative X,

I am a constituent of yours and I live in XXXX.  (I you happen to know your legislator or have met him/her, you might mention that, or any connection you have with your legislator.)

I am writing today about a draft bill the Rep. Bart Korman of High Hill is circulating, calling for bicycles to be banned on state roads when there is a state-owned path or trail within two miles.

Please strongly oppose this bill and please do not co-sponsor it.

[A short message is often most effective–so you don’t need to include anything more unless you want to.  But if you want to expand a little, include a short personal story about why bicycling is important to your, or briefly mention one or two of the talking points mentioned below, in a personal way.]

Thank you for listening–and feel free to contact me if you have any questions about bicycle-related legislation or issues in our district.

Sincerely yours,

XXXXX

Send the message to your own Missouri State Representative and also please CC: or BCC: [email protected] – it really helps us to know how many of our supporters are contacting their legislators.

Possible talking points

Please don’t copy and paste the message below verbatim, but take a point or two that you agree with and use it write a short, polite, personal, and persuasive email message to your own legislator. The issue in almost all cases where legislators have proposed bicycle bans or so-called “mandatory sidepath laws” is this:

There is a trail or path near a road

Many bicyclists use the trail, but many don’t or can’t use it for various reasons (ride much faster than trail traffic, have a skinny-tired road bike, don’t like to compete with strollers and dog leashes, trail doesn’t go where they need or want to go, etc).

Even though there is a lot of bicycle traffic in the area, MoDOT doesn’t include any bicycle accommodations on the road “because there is a trail for bicyclists”

So many bicyclists end up riding on the road, which has no shoulders or bike lanes, and both bicyclists and motorists are uncomfortable.

Rep. Korman is from High Hill, where the Katy Trail parallels Hwy 94–but many bicyclists choose to bicycle Hwy 94 for various reasons.  Rep. Brattin’s problem road was Hwy 150, an area where numerous road riders hold daily and weekly rides, yet MoDOT thought a sidepath trail was the complete solution to the needs of bicyclists in the area.

Given that situation, here are some points you can make to your legislator:

1. There is a real conflict that happens when roads are not built to safely handle all the traffic that uses them, including bicyclists, and bicyclists understand that this is a real problem from both the motorist’s and the bicyclist’s perspective.

– Explain a little about why some bicyclists are always going to choose the road even when there is a trail nearby–what are the disadvantages of trails, why can’t some bicycles ride on trails, and so on.

2. The bicycle ban on certain state highways is a counterproductive way to approach the problem. It won’t be enforceable and won’t solve the underlying problem.

3. The opportunity: With the $8 billion Missouri transportation funding proposal on the table, and with top state leaders already seeing this proposal as moving in the direction of multimodal transportation for Missouri, can we work for solutions that will help both motorists and bicyclists to resolve the ultimate conflict.  These would include:

– Building shoulders on roads like Hwy 94, Hwy 150, and rural St. Charles County, where these conflicts between bicyclists and motorists most often occur.  The places where these conflicts occur are exactly the locations where everyone agrees that MoDOT needs to add shoulders to their highways.  A “more shoulders on state highways” proposal is one we could all get behind.

– A Complete Streets approach, which is flexible in helping MoDOT to understand which roads and highways have these conflicts and applying the fixes needed for those particular places–which might include shoulders and bike lanes on those roads where they are needed–will help resolve the underlying issue.

– Update to MoDOT’s internal bicycle accommodation policy.  This policy is, obviously, not working because these conflicts are coming to the fore again and again. MoDOT hasn’t wanted to build its highways to accommodate bicyclists who use them, but those bicyclists just are not going away.  In fact, the conflicts that we are noting here and that led to this legislation are evidence that the conflicts are increasing and are not going away at all.

MoDOT has recently updated its ADA policy and its pedestrian policy. But its bicycle policy is old , obsolete, and not meeting the needs of state citizens–neither drivers nor bicyclists.  A good internal policy would give MoDOT districts guidance about where on-road bicyclists will be operating and where they must be accommodated.  Without that guidance, we end up with situations like Hwy 150, where a brand-new highway creates conflict between bicyclists and motorists because the brand new highway was not designed with the actual needs and actual usage patterns of the area in mind.

This is a huge opportunity to create safer roads in Missouri for everyone by addressing the underlying problems that are causing the conflict.  You can work with us to help get MoDOT on the path of solving this problem permanently.

MIssouri legislators are working on a plan to put $8 billion in new multi-modal transportation funding on the ballot for Missouri voters. How can we as Missouri voters support this proposal when legislators are working to ban us from state roads?

4. Missouri had a mandatory sidepath law until it was repealed in 1995–because sidepath laws are a bad idea.

5. A town in Colorado recently tried to enact a bicycle ban and it was overturned by the state supreme court.

The full text of the proposed new law

The text below was OCRed from the PDF file provided MoBikeFed by several friendly legislators.  Beware–the OCR may contain a few mistakes. Portions underlined like this are to be added to current law.  Portions not underlined are current Missouri state law.

Download the original PDF file: Bicycle ban draft legislation, 2012/02/10

AN ACT

 To repeal sections 307.190 and 307.191, RSMo, and to

enact in lieu thereof two new sections relating to

bicycle operation on state roadways.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI,

AS FOLLOWS:

Section A. Sections 307.190 and 307.191, RSMo, are repealed

and two new sections enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as

sections 307.190 and 307.191, to read as follows:

307.190. 1. Every person operating a bicycle or motorized

bicycle at less than the posted speed or slower than the flow of

traffic upon a street or highway shall ride as near to the right

side of the roadway as safe, exercising due care when passing a

standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction, except

when making a left turn, when avoi ding hazardous conditions, when

the lane is too narrow to share with another vehicle, or when on

a one-way street. Bicyclists may ride abreast when not impeding

other vehicles.

2. Notwithstanding any provision of this section or any

other law, bicycle operation on a state-maintained roadway is

prohibited when there is a state-owned bicycle path or trail that

runs generally parallel to and within two miles of a state

roadway, except a bicycle may operate on the shoulder of a s tate

roadway when the bicycle is operated as a means to ride to or

from the operator’s home to another residence, to a place of

business, to a school , or to any public facility.

307.191. 1. A person operating a bicycle at less than the

posted speed or slower than the flow of traffic upon a street or

highway may operate as described in section 307.190 or may

operate on the shoulder adjacent to the roadway, except as

provided in subsection 2 of section 307.190.

2. A bicycle operated on a roadway, or on the shoulder

adjacent to a roadway, shall be operated in the same direction as

vehicles are required to be driven upon the roadway.

3. For purposes of this section and section 307.190,

”roadway” is defined as and means that portion of a street or

highway ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the

berm or shoulder.

AN ACT

To repeal sections 307.190 and 307.191, RSMo, and to

enact in lieu thereof two new sections relating to

bicycle operation on state roadways.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI,

AS FOLLOWS:

Section A. Sections 307.190 and 307.191, RSMo, are repealed

and two new sections enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as

sections 307.190 and 307.191, to read as follows:

307.190. 1. Every person operating a bicycle or motorized

bicycle at less than the posted speed or slower than the flow of

traffic upon a street or highway shall ride as near to the right

side of the roadway as safe, exercising due care when passing a

standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction, except

when making a left turn, when avoi ding hazardous conditions, when

the lane is too narrow to share with another vehicle, or when on

a one-way street. Bicyclists may ride abreast when not impeding

other vehicles.

2. Notwithstanding any provision of this section or any

other law, bicycle operation on a state-maintained roadway is

prohibited when there is a state-owned bicycle path or trail that

runs generally parallel to and within two miles of a state

roadway, except a bicycle may operate on the shoulder of a s tate

roadway when the bicycle is operated as a means to ride to or

from the operator’s home to another residence, to a place of

business, to a school , or to any public facility.

307.191. 1. A person operating a bicycle at less than the

posted speed or slower than the flow of traffic upon a street or

highway may operate as described in section 307.190 or may

operate on the shoulder adjacent to the roadway, except as

provided in subsection 2 of section 307.190.

2. A bicycle operated on a roadway, or on the shoulder

adjacent to a roadway, shall be operated in the same direction as

vehicles are required to be driven upon the roadway.

3. For purposes of this section and section 307.190,

”roadway” is defined as and means that portion of a street or

highway ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the

berm or shoulder.

 

Prologue Cycling Mag

Prologue Cycling Magazine is an online cycling news source for all things related to Midwest cycling. PrologueCycling.com provides race reports, reviews, event calendars and much more.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle PlusFlickrYouTube