Missouri bike advocates rewarded for their efforts

Ceremony aims to improve links with elected officials

The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation (MBF) has handed out awards to 14 individuals and organisations who have helped create more cycling-friendly streets.

Those singled out for praise at the fourth annual Capitol Day ceremony included Governor Jay Nixon for his support of the Katy Trail and Stacey Blomberg for her efforts to secure the annual Tour of Missouri professional bike race. 

Awards also went to cycling advocates David Fisher of the Great Rivers Greenway, Mike Weiss of the Bike Shark Bicycle Company and Thomas Zoumaras, founder of the Missouri Bicycle Coalition, at the event held in state capital Jefferson City.

“We model Capitol Day on the National Bike Summit and it works similarly,” said MBF executive director Brent Hugh. "Citizens come from all over the state, and we have packets prepared with background and information for every elected official.

"Citizens meet with their own elected officials first, make a personal connection and discuss the issues. Then they visit other nearby legislators. By the end of the day we have made contact with over 200 elected officials in the State Capitol.”

“Capitol Day has proven invaluable over the years in helping us get to know the Missouri legislators better and in familiarising them with our issues,” he added. “Over the past five years, no less than 18 of the specific issues or bills in our legislative platform have been passed into law.”

In 1990, the number of people cycling and walking in Missouri was only half of the national average. Founded in 1993, the MBF’s goal is to create a world-class bicycle and pedestrian network in the state.

Priorities for this year include providing safer streets for cyclists and incorporating Bicycle Month, Bike to Work Week and Walk to School Month, Week and Day into the holiday calendar.

The MBF creates legislative and policy initiatives to engage government officials and builds cycling coalitions that are working to improve cycling infrastructure through the Missouri Priority Bicycle, Pedestrian and ADA Projects with the Missouri Department of Transportation.

It now has a general mission to double the number of trips by bicycle and walking in Missouri by improving bike safety via programs such as Bike Month and Safe Routes to School and drafting a state map of all bike routes.

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