My bicycle is our second car. I love to bicycle in all weather, for all distances, and on all routes. Bicycling has brought so much joy to my life, and I want to share it with anyone who is interested. I will use my soapbox to tell you about the ...
My bicycle is our second car. I love to bicycle in all weather, for all distances, and on all routes. Bicycling has brought so much joy to my life, and I want to share it with anyone who is interested. I will use my soapbox to tell you about the joys, the freedom, the benefits, and, yes, the challenges of bicycling and walking for transportation.
You may remember last year when the federal transportation bill was up for renewal (again) and this time, Congress finally passed a new one. It seemed like every other day brought a new attack on bike/ped funding. I sent letter after letter urging senators and representatives to oppose this amendment or support that one. For a while there it looked like bike/ped funding might be eliminated entirely—saving almost nothing, since bike/ped was less than 2% of the entire transportation budget. Despite our efforts, MAP-21 was a disappointment with bike/ped funding slashed about 50%. But without fighting we could easily have seen it gone entirely.
This year, we’ve got a similar fight ahead of us in the state legislature. MoDOT is broke. As cars get more efficient the fuel tax brings in less revenue. MoDOT shut down several offices and eliminated hundreds of jobs, but even with these cutbacks it does not have the resources to maintain Missouri highways.
MoDOT proposes a 1% sales tax to pay for our highways. A new tax is never popular and it’s going to be a hard sell. MoDOT needs supporters. This is an opportunity to make our voice heard, to tell MoDOT that we will support a 1% sales tax if we have some assurance that the transportation needs of all highway users will be met. Thus, the Transportation for Missouri coalition. From their website:
Transportation for Missouri is a coalition of Missouri organizations, agencies, municipalities, businesses, and elected officials who support a modern, multimodal, complete transportation system that will meet the needs of strong, healthy, vibrant, livable communities for all Missouri citizens.