Proposal for bicycle ban raised in Missouri

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See update: Feb. 21, 2013 — Missouri legislator goes ahead and files bike ban bill

Here we are, less than two weeks after the Colorado Supreme Court overturned a bicycle ban in the town of Black Hawk, and the issue of banning bicycles from the roadway is back again — this time in Missouri.

Bike banThe Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation (MoBikeFed) says a state legislator is circulating a draft bill that would ban bicycles on any state road within two miles of a state-owned bike path or trail.

This so-called “side-path law” probably makes a lot of sense to motorists and legislators who don’t ride bicycles. I’m sure they look at the perfectly good gravel path they made for bicycles and can’t understand why a bicyclist would opt for the road instead.

To anyone who rides a bike, the proposed law makes no sense at all.

Brent Hugh, executive director of MoBikeFed is quoted in the Riverfront Times:

“Missouri should be the most outstanding state in the nation for biking — it’s a huge economic draw. This is completely impractical.”

Republican Rep. Bart Korman, from High Hill, Missouri, is passing the proposed legislation around among his colleagues to find co-signers. The side-path law 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.”

There are so many ways that is messed up.

Here’s one that would have been relevant to my friend and myself when we rode our bicycles across Missouri on our TransAmerica Bicycle Route travels — How in the heck would we know when we were riding within two miles of a “state-owned bicycle path or trail” or whether we were on a “state-maintained roadway?”

Most of the time we didn’t know whether we were riding on a federal, state or a county road, or who was responsible for maintaining such a road. About all we knew is that we were generally heading in a westerly direction and the roads has no shoulders.

As bicycle advocates in Missouri say, it’s a far better idea to improve the roads in Missouri so that they can safely handle bicycles as well as motor vehicles, instead of create a law limiting where bicyclists can travel.

In an advocacy alert put out by MoBikeFed, Hugh is asking bicyclists to contact their representatives by email, phone or snail mail and ask them not to co-sponsor this very bad bill.

The advocacy alert tells how to identify and contact your local reps in Missouri, as well as suggests some talking points.

A coordinated effort can prevent this bill from ever getting filed.

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    • Charlie on February 19, 2013 at 2:37 pm
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    And where/who can those of us that live outside Missouri write to to let them know how this will impact bicycle tourism??

    1. Good idea… Here’s the contact information for the state Tourism Bureau —

  1. I often travel from CO to either KS or IN to see relatives. I often take the scenic route and spend some time in the MO, Ozarks cruising the roads and gentle hills on my bicycle. I guess if the closed minded, backward, redneck, populace of that state don’t want me I’ll just go a little farther south to AR.

    • Steve on February 20, 2013 at 12:10 am
    • Reply

    How about a bill # so we can contact our legislators on this.

    1. It was just filed on Wednesday. House Bill 672 —

    • KC on February 20, 2013 at 5:45 am
    • Reply

    Steve, here is the rockstart who introduced it:

    • BP on February 20, 2013 at 5:13 pm
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    How do they propose bicyclists get to said bike paths if they can’t go on the road? This makes no sense. It considers biking only as recreation, not as a type of transportation (I’m assuming they think the bicyclist will drive to the bike path and bike for fun?). Also, how does the cop pulling the bike over prove that the bicyclist is not going home, to a friend’s house, to a store, or to school/work? Even if you’re cycling across the country surely you are going to/from some residence or commercial establishment.

    • Joe on February 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm
    • Reply

    I propose no automobile be allowed to utilize a state road within 2 miles of an interstate. All’s fair.

      • Andrew Kyllonen on March 14, 2013 at 12:23 pm
      • Reply

      Lol totally agree. I’m from WI and they know better not to try and pull that BS up here. I hope this doesn’t past. Keep fighting you guys.

  1. […] 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.” […]

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