Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Get Your Bike On This May!

Each May communities across the country mark National Bike Month, a celebration of cycling and its many benefits sponsored by League of American Bicyclists. From Florissant to Columbia, to Kansas City to Springfield, communities across Missouri are gearing up their two-wheelers for a month full of festivities including Bike to Work Week Bike to Work Week (May 12-16) and Bike to Work Day (May 16).

While bicycling in Missouri has increased dramatically since 2000, Missouri ranks 30th as a Bicycle Friendly State and only 7 Missouri communities are recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as Bicycle Friendly, meaning they provide safe, encouraging environments for cycling.

This leaves a lot of room for improvement but don’t let that jam your bike chain. The good news is with a strong presence of bike/ped enthusiasts and growing momentum of Missouri’s Livable Streets efforts, more communities are on their way to becoming not just bicycle friendly, but friendly for all forms of transportation and their users. For example, Ashland,Mo., along with 6 other Missouri communities were recently announced as recipients of Livable Streets trainings and technical assistance.

Livable improvements like bicycle lanes, smooth pavement, and shared-use trails can make a big difference by reducing traffic demands and creating more connected healthier communities whether you travel by bicycle, foot, or wheelchair.

Want your community to get livable and be more bicycle friendly? Learn about the ways you can help at http://livablestreets.missouri.edu/.

Get tools and ideas for celebrating Bike Month from the League of American Cyclists here then head on over to Facebook to follow our cycling celebrations and tell us how you’re celebrating Bike Month.  

Monday, May 12, 2014

On The Road to Livable: Missouri Livable Streets partners with 7 new communities

Missouri Livable Streets is excited to announce partnerships with seven Missouri communities to train and support stakeholders in the planning, design, and advocacy for safer, more accessible transportation systems. The new partnerships include leaders and their organizations from:
·      Ashland
·      Bowling Green
·      Chillicothe
·      McDonald County
·      Perry
·      Potosi
·      Windsor

Each new partner is eligible to receive a tailored training package designed to raise awareness and build support for Livable Streets in its community. Trainings include technical assistance and educational outreach for community members, traffic and law enforcement professionals, as well as civic leaders. Each of the seven partners can opt for the assistance that best fits the needs of its community. The Missouri Livable Streets partnership team, including members of PedNet, University of Missouri School of Journalism and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, will provide the services.

“Local communities know what works well in their towns and these trainings are tailored to their needs and futures,” said Robert Johnson, PedNet director of consulting. “We are energized to be able to work with such a diverse and interested group.”

All around the country, communities are making the move to livable with transportation plans and designs that encourage and provide safe, accessible transportation for all users and modes of travel. In 2013 alone, more than 80 communities adopted Livable or Complete Streets policies, according to Smart Growth America.

Missouri is no exception. Since 2004, a list has grown of communities working to improve their safety, health and economic vitality through transportation policy considerations. To date, Missouri boasts 23 policies and ordinances, and as a result communities are seeing physical improvements to their community, more biking and walking, and great economic development.

Stay tuned to the MO LS blog and livablestreets.missouri.edu for updates on these and other Missouri communities on the road to getting livable.