Active transportation organization pushes for state trail expansion

6 months 1 week 6 days 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
COLUMBIA - Due to the growing population in Columbia, the city is hoping to keep up with its expenditures with... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 10:36:56 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A day care with a history of violating state regulations has closed its doors. The facility, Lots... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 10:00:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS - It's not every day you get married, and it's not every day a celebrity crashes your party.... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 9:14:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY- A circuit court did not block a measure which would restrict access to abortions in Missouri starting Tuesday.... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 8:22:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education wants local school districts to implement the Missouri Seal of... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 7:56:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
FULTON - The Callaway County Sheriffs Office is currently looking to expand its domestic violence investigation staff by hiring an... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 7:50:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Jim Marshall says losing a child is never easy. "It hurts. It's just, you gut it out... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 7:48:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
GLASGOW - Chief of Police and City Administrator Kevin Atwood has been suspended with pay for 30 days. This came... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 6:36:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
FT. LEONARD WOOD - A program that brought more than 150 Afghan soldiers to the United States to train currently... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 4:59:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two men, who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in May, were sentenced in federal court Monday.... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 4:04:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – As temperatures begin to cool, it is time for people to prepare their homes for winter. Boone County... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 3:48:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Sheriff's Office is warning of a scam similar to one that has popped up... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 3:05:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
ELLINGTON (AP) — An 86-year-old southeast Missouri man has died, days after a gunman killed his wife. The Missouri... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 2:23:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Two separate crashes on Highway 63 North slowed traffic Monday morning between the Stadium Blvd. and Broadway exits.... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 2:12:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Voters in St. Louis will soon be asked to weigh in on a half-cent sales tax... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 1:32:15 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are asking the public to help find a teenager who reportedly ran away and may be trying... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 12:50:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The average American adult spends 2 hours, 51 minutes on their smartphone every day, according to comScore’s 2017... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 12:49:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department reports it has received 655 calls of car burglaries in 2017. That is 207 more... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 11:56:00 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 52°
2am 48°
3am 46°
4am 44°
5am 43°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:07a
Inside Edition
1:37a
Paid Program
2:07a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
1:00a
Top 30
1:30a
Page Six TV
2:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
This Is Us
9:01p
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld