Complete Streets in Rural Missouri

Since the summer of 2019, BikeWalkKC has been working with our partners at Missourians for Responsible Transportation (MRT) to provide technical assistance to a number of rural communities working to improve elements of active transportation on their streets and trail systems.

A key focus of that assistance has been with policy. At the request of stakeholders in a number of these places, we developed a model Complete Streets ordinance template to help these communities take an important step in their commitments to better streets for everyone. 

Though the efforts in some municipalities were slowed by the pandemic, we are starting to see real progress. As of this writing, Lincoln, Rogersville, and Osceola  have adopted Complete Streets legislation using our template as a guide

Alderwoman Marjorie Gelz of Rogersville noted, “People are drawn to trails and safe, paved surfaces. When kids have a safe surface to play, scooter, and bike on, they don’t even know that they’re really exercising. Trails are a great investment for the health of all ages, kids included.”

“Towns that pass Complete Streets policies are betting on the future of their communities,” said Ron Bentch, project coordinator for MRT. “To see this happen across the region shows that these places value what they have and recognize the strength which comes through building connections. They are creating a model for how other rural parts of the state can grow and thrive.”

BikeWalkKC, along with our partners at MRT, commends these communities for making multimodal transportation a priority, especially in the midst of COVID-19. Beyond the example they are setting for other communities throughout the state, we believe that champions like these will be at the forefront of projects that make it easier to walk, bike, and roll in rural Missouri.

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