Active transportation organization pushes for state trail expansion

1 year 5 months 2 weeks ago Monday, April 10 2017 Apr 10, 2017 Monday, April 10, 2017 7:29:00 PM CDT April 10, 2017 in News
By: Joey Schneider, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation hosted its 14th annual Capitol Day to discuss trail expansion with state legislators on Monday.

“Advocating for bicycle and pedestrian trails is not necessarily the first thing your elected representative would likely consider,” Brent Hugh, Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation executive director, said. “Unless citizens come and talk to them about what’s important in their own communities, they are not mind readers.”

The organization advocated for expansion of the Rock Island Trail, a route that stretches 47 miles and intersects with the Katy Trail in Windsor, Missouri.

Ameren owns 144 miles of land that Missouri Department of Natural Resources could use to expand the trail from Kansas City to St. Louis. 

Hugh thinks extending the trail could generate more economic and social value to mid-Missouri and attract more tourists both within and outside the state.

“If we want our community to thrive, we have to have to invest in it first,” Hugh said. “This is some kind of investment that pays back so many dividends, and even pays for itself in its economic returns." 

A bill sponsored by Rep. Randy Pietzman, R-Troy, could prevent expansion of the Rock Island Trail. Pietzman introduced HB 698 to the House of Representatives in January, which would prohibit further land acquisition until all other state parks are restored as necessary.

Missouri has 56 state parks, including the Katy Trail, which would follow these conditions before the Department of Resources could acquire additional land. Pietzman said he was concerned about more than $200 million in deferred maintenance to the state’s parks system.

“The parks keep wanting to expand, but the problem is it looks like they have outgrown their revenue strength with the tax,” Pietzman said. "I’m not against the Rock Island Trail, I’m really just trying to bring some accountability back to a government agency that I think has been lacking for quite awhile.”

Greg Harris, executive director of the Rock Island Trail, said he understands Pietzman’s focus to maintain structure in existing state parks, but thinks new outdoor facilities could stimulate development for some mid-Missouri communities.

“When a community is all about better economic development, tourism, and transportation, people want to live there,” Harris said. “With all non-motorized transportation, people are outside and improving the quality of life.”

The bill reached floor action last month, but has not had a hearing since March 13. The bill is on the House calendar for perfection but does not have a timetable for discussion.

If the bill is not passed in its current session, expansion on the Rock Island Trail could start as soon as the Department of Natural Resources approves Ameren’s offer.

If the bill passes, Hugh thinks Pietzman would support an amendment to HB 698 that allows for expansion of Rock Island Park within the terms to improve other state parks since it would be acquired from a donation from Ameren.

“Sponsors of this park's bill have been open to the idea of amending the bill so it won’t prevent the state from acquiring the property," Hugh said. “We’re very optimistic that once we get the word out to our senators and representatives, they are going to be very receptive to the Rock Island Trail.”

Members from the federation also spoke with state legislators regarding state funding for bicycle and pedestrian trails.

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - After cross examination Tuesday, the defense in the Missouri Voter ID trial presented their first witness in... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 7:08:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hundreds of students registered to vote on the University of Missouri campus Tuesday. The Associated Students of... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 6:13:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
CANTON, MA (CNN) - Starting in January, Dunkin' Donuts will drop the "Donuts" from ads, packages and signage at new... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 5:39:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A police officer hurt his leg while trying to stop a man he caught breaking into a... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 5:31:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Screenshots of text messages show former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' staff used a message-deleting app on... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 4:33:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Taxes on Chinese imported goods could make home building and renovating more expensive. According to CNBC ,... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 3:44:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - A tri-state drug deal operation led to a murder in Miller County in June, according to the... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 3:09:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A historic building in Jefferson City continues to collapse, with another piece breaking off Monday morning. ... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 2:42:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The plaintiff in the Missouri voter ID case presented a witness and expert Tuesday who said the... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 2:25:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A teenager pleaded guilty in connection with a 2016 homicide on Claudell Lane, but prosecutors dropped a murder... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 11:52:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
CHILICOTHE - A Holts Summit woman convicted of murdering her husband died in prison, according to an obituary published by... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 11:36:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump stepped up to the iconic dais at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday on... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 11:17:14 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says state tax credits for low-income housing won't be issued until... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 10:36:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Matthias Katsch says he was 13 years old when a priest at his Jesuit school in Berlin first... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 10:29:43 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
MARIES COUNTY - A K-9 unit found a large amount of drugs in a truck caught speeding in Vichy, the... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 9:35:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - 'Welcome Home' and 'Cars4Heroes' gave a new car to an Army veteran who now makes a living out... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 8:03:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - In the past the the Roots N Blues N BBQ festival has consisted of three days of music,... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 7:32:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - JEFFTRAN will host an open house Tuesday to discuss proposed changes to the city’s existing bus routes. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 2:03:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 57°
3am 54°
4am 51°
5am 49°
6am 48°