On February 8th, the first Springfield Area Bicycle Summit was held in Springfield, Missouri. The event, organized by Ozark Greenways, the Ozarks Transportation Organization and the Advocacy Committee of Springbike Bicycle Club, brought together area business leaders, transportation planners, and bicycling and pedestrian advocates to discuss how the Springfield area might become a more bicycle-friendly community.
The goal of the summit was to build interest and support for developing the Springfield area as a bicycle-friendly community through public policy, community involvement and agency partnerships, which encourage both public and private investments.
The keynote address at the summit was given by Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission Chair James Anderson.
Springfield is also discussing a proposal for a network of bicycle paths, bike lanes, and bike routes throughout the city. Today, the city has about three miles of marked bike lanes and about 57 miles of marked bike routes. The plan would add 130 miles of marked lanes and 100 miles of signed routes. Many of the proposed bike lanes and paths are envisioned on roads that are currently too narrow to accommodate them. Widening the roads is a process that may take 50 years and over $50 million dollars, although advocates say that federal matching funds and grants to encourage sustainable transportation are available that would significantly reduce the size of the local investment.