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Old 02-22-13, 10:19 AM   #1
DirtRoadRunner
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Missouri bicycle ban bill introduced

House Bill 672, attempting to ban recreational cycling on any state highways within 2 miles of a state-owned bicycle trail, has been introduced into the Missouri House:

http://mobikefed.org/2013/02/rep-kor...missouri-house

It was not introduced by Rep. Rick Brattin, but by Rep. Bart Korman. Rep. Rick Brattin is, however, sponsoring the bill, along with Reps. Jay Houghton and David Wood. All of the sponsoring Representatives are Republicans. All are from rural or exurban districts.

Here is the actual text of the proposed law:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missouri House Bill 672
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.
This law is primarily due to complaints of cyclists in Missouri Route 94, which runs generally parallel to our famous Katy Trail, on the north side of the Missouri River. Some citizens likely feel that cyclists should be forced to ride the Katy trail, rather than state highways. These citizens likely aired their grievances to their local Representatives, who introduced the bill.

The bill is unique because it would ban travel by bike based on your location, destination, and where you live. It would be all but unenforceable (officer, I was just going to stop at that church down the road!). Also, some roads SOUTH of the Missouri River would now be illegal to ride on where they fall in the 2-mile buffer zone, despite the fact that cyclists would have to ride dozens of miles out of their way to avoid random patches of highway within this buffer zone (bridges across the Missouri River are few and far between).

The law also lacks any provision for riding on a state highway due to a state-owned trail being muddy, icy, too rough for a skinny-tired bike, or full of pedestrians (which it often is near St. Charles).

Last edited by DirtRoadRunner; 02-22-13 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 02-22-13, 10:28 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by DirtRoadRunner View Post
House Bill 672, attempting to ban recreational cycling on any state highways within 2 miles of a state-owned bicycle trail, has been introduced into the Missouri House:

http://mobikefed.org/2013/02/rep-kor...missouri-house

.......... It would be all but unenforceable...........

The law also lacks any provision for riding on a state highway due to a state-owned trail being muddy, icy, too rough for a skinny-tired bike, or full of pedestrians (which it often is near St. Charles).
Enforceability was my first thought. Cops are not going to enforce a law as badly written as this one.
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Old 02-22-13, 11:01 AM   #3
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What a stupidly written law. Badly conceived in the first place, but even worse as written.
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Old 02-22-13, 11:01 AM   #4
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************307.190.*1.*Every person operating a bicycle or motorized bicycle at less than the posted speed...

Isnt the "posted speed" called the speed LIMIT? Do they know what the word LIMIT means?
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Old 02-22-13, 11:04 AM   #5
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************307.190.*1.*Every person operating a bicycle or motorized bicycle at less than the posted speed...

Isnt the "posted speed" called the speed LIMIT? Do they know what the word LIMIT means?
I hope the highway doesn't have corners or intersections!
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Old 02-22-13, 11:12 AM   #6
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There is no limit to the amount of public money and time legislators will waste with dumb crapola like this.
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Old 02-22-13, 11:17 AM   #7
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And to think I used to like Missouri.
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Old 02-22-13, 11:45 AM   #8
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Unfortunately this law is the predictable result of modern bicycle advocacy. I predicted that similar legislation would happen when bicycle advocates started demanding bike paths, tracks, or other segregated bicycle roadways because shared use of roads was dangerous.

It's that concept extended to it's logical conclusion. If shared use is so dangerous that the government needs to provide exclusive rights of way for cyclists, then the state must likewise keep cyclists off busy roads ---- for our own good.

Cyclists who prefer access to shared public roads must speak up, challenge the notion that shared roads are dangerous (to cyclists) and say clearly that self-proclaimed bicycle advocates don't speak for all cyclists.
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Old 02-22-13, 11:49 AM   #9
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This will require a new category of LEO in order to "pull over" and cite the true lawbreakers... Thought Police!
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Old 02-22-13, 12:01 PM   #10
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When I looked at images of Rt. 94, my first thought was, regardless of how badly the bill is written, is that if they wanted something like this gibberish to pass, they need to present alternatives, which they haven't done.
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Old 02-22-13, 12:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Unfortunately this law is the predictable result of modern bicycle advocacy. I predicted that similar legislation would happen when bicycle advocates started demanding bike paths, tracks, or other segregated bicycle roadways because shared use of roads was dangerous.

It's that concept extended to it's logical conclusion. If shared use is so dangerous that the government needs to provide exclusive rights of way for cyclists, then the state must likewise keep cyclists off busy roads ---- for our own good.

Cyclists who prefer access to shared public roads must speak up, challenge the notion that shared roads are dangerous (to cyclists) and say clearly that self-proclaimed bicycle advocates don't speak for all cyclists.
I disagree. The bill is a product of the "get out of my way" car culture. Some motorists want to be able to drive as fast as they want, wherever they want, and want cyclists off the road so they don't have to worry about hitting us.

Those on the bike are viewed as an annoyance or a hindrance, so they try to ban us from roads saying it is for our "safety", despite the fact that cars far more dangerous than bicycles.

The Katy trail provides a convenient excuse to ban cyclists from the roadway. A bill banning all bicycle use on state highways in Missouri was proposed last year, then reduced to a bill requiring us to wear reflective vests, and was finally defeated (the originator talked to a lot of cyclists, realized how silly the bill was and dropped his own support for it!). Perhaps the anti-bike legislators in Missouri think this watered-down, unenforceable ban will pass.

Some people here think Rep. Korman has no intention of actually passing the bill, and has only filed it to appease his complaining constituents. That could be why it is so poorly written.

I would like to take all of the supporting reps on a hilly, 2-mile detour ride to show them the effects of their law. I bet most of them would be walking their bikes uphill.
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Old 02-22-13, 12:10 PM   #12
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Bike infrastructure is good. Being required to use it, especially when the distance requirement is 2 miles, is ridiculous.
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Old 02-22-13, 12:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtRoadRunner View Post
House Bill 672, attempting to ban recreational cycling on any state highways within 2 miles of a state-owned bicycle trail, has been introduced into the Missouri House:

http://mobikefed.org/2013/02/rep-kor...missouri-house
Um. How are people supposed to get from their house to the trail?
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Old 02-22-13, 12:37 PM   #14
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I disagree. The bill is a product of the "get out of my way" car culture.
Totally agree with you.
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Old 02-22-13, 12:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtRoadRunner View Post
House Bill 672, attempting to ban recreational cycling on any state highways within 2 miles of a state-owned bicycle trail, has been introduced into the Missouri House:
Well there you go: if it passes and you do get pulled over, you were commuting or running an errand on a bike instead of using a car, walking, or public transportation. Hardly 'recreational' at that point.

But seriously:

There will be a public hearing, open for comment about the bill in question. Track the bill on your state website and find out when that hearing will be. Do some research, get your argument against down pat, summarize it with any citations needed in a written statement, and show up with enough copies + extras for the whole committee who will be examining the bill.

And then show up and speak out against it at that hearing.

Find out what the rules for testifying at a public hearing are before getting there. Expect to be at the capital all day -- a session when something will be discussed is not an appointment; this bill might not be the first one up for consideration and comment.

Voting is bare minimum democracy; public hearings for bills are where you actually get to have a voice and share your opinion regarding pending legislation.

If this passes in your state and you didn't show up to speak out against it, you're part of the problem...
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Old 02-22-13, 12:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtRoadRunner View Post
This law is primarily due to complaints of cyclists in Missouri Route 94, which runs generally parallel to our famous Katy Trail, on the north side of the Missouri River. Some citizens likely feel that cyclists should be forced to ride the Katy trail, rather than state highways. These citizens likely aired their grievances to their local Representatives, who introduced the bill.
Given the exceptions listed, I suspect the citizens' complaints are/may be the result of encounters with cycling club group activity/"training" rides. A similar proposal was made several years ago in Iowa because of a state legislator's personal unpleasant encounter with members of a cycling club on the highway near Ames. I believe it was never passed.
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Old 02-22-13, 12:50 PM   #17
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Um. How are people supposed to get from their house to the trail?
Good point. Lets say I live on Highway 94, within 2 miles as a crow flies from the Katy Trail. It would be illegal for me to go on a recreational ride starting from my own residence, since the ride would entail riding on some distance of the banned highway. It would also be illegal to go on a recreational ride from somewhere else, and end up at my own residence, since I would not be riding to/from "another residence, to a place of business, to a school, or to any public facility", but to my own residence. I could go somewhere on my bike, but it would be illegal for me to go nowhere in particular.

Following the law, I could legally carry my bicycle on my shoulder, walking down the highway, until leaving the 2-mile buffer zone, then start riding. Or, it would be perfectly legal to cycle on Highway 94 in these 2-mile buffer zones, as long as I was going to grab a gallon of milk or see a neighbor.

However, if I lived on say Highway 47 instead, which runs north-south (therefore NOT "generally parallel" to the Katy Trail), I could cycle it legally for miles on end, up to and including the trail.

The more these scenarios are brought up and examined, the more I believe this bill to be a joke, or the legislators proposing it to be very dumb.
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Old 02-22-13, 12:51 PM   #18
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I like that they made allowance for commuters
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Old 02-22-13, 12:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
But seriously:

There will be a public hearing, open for comment about the bill in question. Track the bill on your state website and find out when that hearing will be. Do some research, get your argument against down pat, summarize it with any citations needed in a written statement, and show up with enough copies + extras for the whole committee who will be examining the bill.

And then show up and speak out against it at that hearing.

Find out what the rules for testifying at a public hearing are before getting there. Expect to be at the capital all day -- a session when something will be discussed is not an appointment; this bill might not be the first one up for consideration and comment.

Voting is bare minimum democracy; public hearings for bills are where you actually get to have a voice and share your opinion regarding pending legislation.

If this passes in your state and you didn't show up to speak out against it, you're part of the problem...
I've already contacted my own state Rep. I also contacted Rep. Brattin when this whole thing first started. I'll be drafting emails for my bike-friendly friends & family who live in different districts to send to their own representatives, and when there is a public hearing, I'll try very hard to attend it.
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Old 02-22-13, 01:29 PM   #20
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I like that they made allowance for commuters
Except they say that you have to ride on the shoulder of the road. I have been on highway 94 headed towards Hermann when a veritable monsoon (the hurricane aftermath last Sept) blew through and made the Katy exceedingly difficult to ride on. There was no real rideable shoulder that I recall. Definitely nothing paved.
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Old 02-22-13, 01:48 PM   #21
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got a google maps link?
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Old 02-22-13, 02:11 PM   #22
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Bike infrastructure is good. Being required to use it, especially when the distance requirement is 2 miles, is ridiculous.
Not only that. If they are so adamant about cyclists' using it, they need to keep the path clear of debris. Not keeping the path clear of debris, regardless of the bill, is not good.
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Old 02-22-13, 02:16 PM   #23
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I've already contacted my own state Rep. I also contacted Rep. Brattin when this whole thing first started. I'll be drafting emails for my bike-friendly friends & family who live in different districts to send to their own representatives, and when there is a public hearing, I'll try very hard to attend it.
That is, if your family cares about cycling infrastructure. I am not attacking your family. Just indirectly indicating, how I am the only 'true' cyclist in my family. All my relatives are car-centric. So they won't attend any bike advocacy functions with, for, or on behalf of, me.
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Old 02-22-13, 02:21 PM   #24
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That is, if your family cares about cycling infrastructure. I am not attacking your family. Just indirectly indicating, how I am the only 'true' cyclist in my family. All my relatives are car-centric. So they won't attend any bike advocacy functions with, for, or on behalf of, me.
They care enough to send an email to their local rep for me. I will type the email for them. I'll be able to reach out to a few other representatives that way, beyond my own district. No one else in my family is really cycles, so I'll be the one attending any open hearings in Jefferson City.
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Old 02-22-13, 02:29 PM   #25
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I almost said that "well, the trail is a public facility, so riding on the road to get to the trail counts, right?" But, let's get a little more creative.

A road is a public facility in Missouri: http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/c100-199/1070000170.htm

You're riding on the road to get to the point on the road that's 100 feet ahead. Your next destination is 100 feet ahead of that, on the road. Repeat ad nauseum or until you're to your destination.
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