Missouri Rep. Bart Korman has gone ahead and filed his bicycle ban bill that we wrote about earlier this week: “Proposal for bicycle ban raised in Missouri.”
Korman filed House Bill 672 on Wednesday. It prohibits bicycle use on state roads when there is a state-operated bike path or trail running generally parallel and within two miles of the roadway, with some exceptions.
Missouri residents should check in with MoBikeFed to find their course of action. Bicyclists from outside Missouri might want to offer their two-cents to the Missouri Division of Tourism — check here for contact information.
Even before it was filed, the proposed bill came under fire from the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation (MoBikeFed) when news first leaked that Korman was seeking co-sponsors.
MoBikeFed director Brent Hugh issued an “advocacy alert” for members to contact their legislators to prevent them from signing on as co-sponsors. He hoped to nip this bad bill before it could be filed.
The bill reads:
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 state 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.
Hugh explained the motivation for Korman and Brattin sponsoring such a bill:
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.
Of course, bicycle paths aren’t always the perfect transportation solution for bicyclists. The surfaces often aren’t conducive for narrow-tired bicycles, and riding them is often difficult because there are so many different users.
Many bicyclists would rather take their chances riding on a smooth road than negotiating past pedestrians with strollers or dogs, equestrians, or families with small children on bikes. Plus, the trails are often former railroad beds that just don’t go where they want to go.
MoBikeFed argues that a better idea is improving the state roadways for bicycle use.
I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll hear of this bad bill.