It looks like Missouri’s “Complete Streets” bill is dead.
Despite being passed by the Missouri House by a vote of 139-9, and being poised to pass the Senate Transportation Committee this week, the bill, which would have required the Department of Transportation “to provide full consideration for bicyclists, pedestrians, disabled persons, and transit users in its plans, programs, and projects”, stalled when MoDOT Director Pete Rahn voiced opposition to the measure.
Although MoDOT’s research group had returned a fiscal note indicating the impact of the bill on MoDOT’s budget would be $0, Rahn apparently became concerned that the bill would require MoDOT to pay more attention to the needs and safety of bicyclists and pedestrians than it wishes to. The agency could face real consequences for failure to safely accommodate for pedestrians, bicyclists, and people with disabilities, where now it faces none.
Rahn subsequently met with the bill’s sponsor, Representative Mike Sutherland, and personally promised that MoDOT would implement internal policy changes to make the Complete Streets bill unnecessary.
Sutherland then then stated that he will monitor the situation and can re-introduce the needed legislation if progress as promised does not materialize.
This is a discouraging development, especially after the original version of the bill had been watered down to appease MoDOT concerns.
For more detailed information read the Missouri Bicycle Federation’s coverage of the issue: MoDOT halts Complete Streets bill; promises to implement it via internal policy