The Missouri Department of Transportation's listening tour stopped in KC for three nights recently, and KC area residents were very clear in their preferences for the future of the state's transportation system. MoDOT was seeking input on how spend a possible new state-wide transportation sales tax. Citizens at all three KC sessions said loud and clear that MoDOT should use any new funding to improve transportation choices for Missourians.
Audiences expressed strong support for increasing state funding public transit, passenger rail, bicycling, and walking. And it wasn't just a desire for more choices. There was also a significant discussion about limiting highway construction. MoDOT often talks about how they have one of the largest state highway systems in the country, and participants wisely started questioning the need for new or expanded highways. More than one person used the phrase "no new lane miles".
It was very encouraging to hear such a strong public consensus that it was time for Missouri slow down highway building and start making meaningful investments in transit, rail, walking, and biking. Later this year MoDOT will released its list of projects that would be funded by a new sales tax, and we will see if they really listened.
We want to say thank you to the BikeWalkKC members and allies who took the time to attend one of the sessions and speak up for transportation choices.