Ditch this Missouri bike ban
The Kansas City Star
The Missouri legislature goes on spring break in a couple of weeks. For a leisurely activity, I recommend a bike ride.
Perhaps with a little fresh air, lawmakers will realize what a dumb and backward piece of legislation they have in House Bill 672.
That’s a proposal sponsored by GOP Rep. Bart Korman of High Hill, which seeks to outlaw cycling on state roads if there is a trail within two miles. Exceptions would be made for people riding from their own homes to another residence, school, work or a public function.
As the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation has pointed out, that would outlaw biking on hundreds of miles of roads within a two-mile radius of the Katy Trail.
In the Kansas City region, Highway 150 near Longview Lake would be affected, as a parallel trail was built along parts of it. Rep. Rick Brattin, a Republican from Harrisonville, has complained about cycling along Highway 150 and is one of three co-sponsors to House Bill 672.
The problems with this overbearing bill could fill volumes. To save time and space, let me just say this: It won’t work.
If legislators spent any time on a bike, they would quickly learn the problems with ordering all traffic onto trails. Trails get crowded. You have walkers and dogs and small children weaving all over. Most cyclists would prefer to take their chances with the SUV’s on the highway.
A Missouri statute isn’t likely to stop them, and cops and troopers do not have time to stop people in bike shorts and interrogate them about whether they’re driving to their mother-in-law’s house as opposed to training for the MS 150 bike ride.
If Korman, Brattin et al are worried about cyclists, how about joining the 21st Century and seeing that proper shoulders and bike lanes are added to Missouri highways?