Today’s Headlines

  • Study: Bike-Share Would Work in St. Louis (Post-Dispatch)
  • One of the Four Teens Struck by Motorist in Kansas City Friday Has Died (Fox4KC)
  • Man in Lee’s Summit Struck, Killed by Semi Truck Driver (KMBC, KSHB)
  • High-Speed Rail Improvements Between St. Louis and Chicago in the Works (StateJrnlReg)
  • Bike Lanes/Routes Being Encouraged in Eastern Jackson County, MO (Examiner)
  • Dave Nichols Tells KC Biz Journal What He Thinks MoDOT Needs to Keep Roads in Shape
  • MoDOT Hopes to Transfer More Freight Shipping to Waterways (ConnectMO)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Today’s Headlines

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Call-A-Ride Driver Strikes, Injures Washington University Faculty Member on Bicycle in Crosswalk (AP) More Pedestrians Struck, One Killed by Motorist Tuesday Night (Post-Dispatch) 55-Year-Old Woman Struck, Injured by Motorist in Joplin Sunday Evening (Joplin Globe) Did Lack of Transit in Remote Parts of Region Contribute to Two Pedestrian Deaths? (Post-Dispatch) Corporate Tax Reform to Fund Transportation Appears to Have Growing Bipartisan Support […]
via MoBikeFed Cycling News, Tips, Advocacy Alerts

Charges Against Sunset Hills Mayor Who Struck Cyclist Dropped

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In another startling development in the case of Sunset HIlls Mayor Mark Furrer, charged with intentionally striking cyclist Randy Murdick with his vehicle, then fleeing the scene, the St. Louis County prosecutor announced yesterday that charges against Furrer are being dropped.  Murdick's lawyer announced that the civil case against Furrer was also simultaneously droppedThe Webster-Kirkwood Times gives the background on the case: Randy MurdickFurrer had been charged with felonies of assault and property damage stemming from a confrontation with cyclist Randy Murdick along Old Gravois Road on July 29, 2014. Murdick testified that after the two exchanged profanities, the mayor intentionally swerved his convertible Mercedes-Benz into him, knocking him off his bike and badly damaging his $12,000 racing bicycle.The St. Louis Post-Dispatch summarizes the reasons the case was dropped:St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said Wednesday that the victim in the crash “significantly embellished” his testimony at a trial last month, dealing a fatal blow to the case. . . .Asked about the embellishments in a news conference Wednesday afternoon, McCulloch mentioned Murdick’s claims about the extent of damage to his bicycle, as well as his claim that he was unable to ride it after the crash.McCulloch said the “real tragedy” was that the embellishments were not about facts material to the case. He said that he believes the two independent witnesses who said that Furrer “turned into (Murdick) intentionally, intending to cause physical injury.”The Times quotes McCulloch:"The testimony of the two independent witnesses was unassailable and made it abundantly clear that the defendant did, in fact, turn his vehicle into the victim causing physical injury to the victim and damage to his bike," McCulloch said at Wednesday's press conference. . . . "The charges against Furrer are well-founded by the independent witnesses, but the victim has no credibility so I couldn't put him back on the stand. The real tragedy is the embellishment."This is a very disappointing development in this case. As McCulloch makes very clear, testimony from several credible independent witnesses all showed that Furrer deliberately struck Murdick, then sped away.We thank the police and prosecutors in this case for taking the incident seriously, for investigating it thoroughly, and for bringing appropriate charges given the severity of the action.  We thank the many cyclists and bicycle organizations, and many staff and elected officials in the city of Sunset Hills, who have helped to turn this situation to a positive by using the opportunity to educate the public and about making our roads safer for everyone and making Sunset Hills and the region a better place for bicycling.In related news. Furrer has announced that he is not seeking re-election as mayor of Sunset Hills.Previously:St Louis area cyclist threatened, hit, and run off the road by Sunset Hills MayorWitnesses confirm that Sunset Hills Mayor deliberately struck cyclist | The CallListen to 911 tapes as Mayor hits cyclist Randy Murdick then flees the sceneSunset Hills Mayor who struck cyclist & fled scene had previous police run-ins; Charges may be filed soonSunset Hills Mayor charged with felony assault for striking cyclist Randy Murdick, fleeing sceneSunset Hills meeting Dec 9th to approve process to impeach Mayor who threatened, struck cyclistMoBikeFed asks supporters to sign a petition: Sunset Hills should become a Bicycle Friendly City (the petition with hundreds of signatures was delivered to city leaders later that year)Trial of Sunset Hills Mayor; Witness: "Mayor 'attacked the bicycle rider' then 'floored it and took off' Link:  Charges against Sunset Hills Mayor who struck cyclist dropped
via MoBikeFed Cycling News, Tips, Advocacy Alerts

Road Diet, Bike Lanes Make Morganford Rd More Walk & Bike Friendly

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Morganford Road in St Louis has recently received a bike and walk friendly update as part of Phase III of the Bike St. Louis project, funded by Great Rivers Greenway in cooperation with the cities of St Louis, Clayton, Maplewood, and Kirkwood. The Road Diet on Morganford takes a four-lane road, which previously dedicated all available roadway space to motor vehicles, and turns it into a more inviting space for walking and bicycling.KSDK News covered the project:Once the striping is completed, drivers and cyclists will have clear, designated lanes to help safely share the road. The hope is to decrease the risk of crashes and serious injuries for pedestrians."While the changes to the roadway will take some getting used to, road diets offer benefits for everyone - people riding bikes, people driving cars and people on foot," says Elizabeth Simons, Great Rivers Greenway Community Program Manager. "There is clear evidence from cities across the nation that show road diets reduce rear–end collisions and sideswipe crashes by slowing vehicle speeds by just three to five miles per hour."The relatively small amount of traffic on this section of road made it a great candidate for the diet. The street was chosen thrRoad diets improve safety for all roads users--including drivers, pedestrians, and cyclistsough feedback from St. Louis City residents.Patch.com adds more details: “With fewer than 15,000 vehicles per day on this section of Morgan Ford, the new road configuration will easily accommodate this traffic volume,” says Deanna Venker, City of St. Louis Traffic Commissioner. “The City of St. Louis is also improving the signal time on Morgan Ford Road to reduce traffic backup from intersections accommodated by the road diet.”Once the changes on Morgan Ford are finished, Bike St. Louis Phase III will have completed 100 miles of street routes for bikes, with signage to guide and connect people to destinations across the City of St. Louis. Projects of this sort are becoming more and more common around Missouri, as communities realize the benefits of making their communities friendlier for walking and biking. Building a world-class network for bicycling and walking in Missouri is one of the four major objectives of MoBikeFed's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri. Road diets help improve the vibrance and livability of nearby areas by making the public road more people-oriented rather than solely automobile-oriented Sharing successes statewide and encouraging projects like Bike St. Louis and the Morganford road diet--which help encourage more walking and cycling and improve safety for all road users, including drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists, is an important part of our work.Your ongoing membership and generous financial support help turn out statewide Vision into reality! Photo credits: Paul Wojciechowski, Alta Planning & Design Link:  Bike St. Louis moves forward: Road diet & bike lanes make Morganford Rd more walk & bike friendly
via MoBikeFed Cycling News, Tips, Advocacy Alerts

At Long Last, St. Louis to Hire Dedicated Bike/Ped Coordinator

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At long last, St. Louis City is hiring a dedicated bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.  For over a decade advocates have called for the city to budget for and hire a dedicated bicycle/pedestrian coordinator.  Recently the pressure has mounted because the response to the St Louis City bicycle friendly Community application called for the city to hire a dedicated, professional bike/ped coordinator, and St. Louis-based advocacy group Trailnet has ratcheted up the pressure for the city to improve bike/ped safety and hire the coordinator soon. St. Louis Mayor Slay and Alderman Scott Ogilvie are two of the major supporters of improvements for bicycling and walking in St. Louis City governmentThe St Louis Post-Dispatch wrote:The city is looking to hire a bike/pedestrian coordinator to plan for and respond to the needs of cyclists and pedestrians.The salary range for the job is $47,814 to $73,788, the city said in a job post, for what is described as a “professional traffic engineering position.”Job duties will include coordinating bicycle and pedestrian projects; being a point of contact for bike- and pedestrian-related grants, awards and the bike share program; and implementing bike lanes, shared lane markings, signs, bike racks, bike corrals, better crosswalks and pedestrian signals.A bachelor’s degree in urban planning or transportation planning, or in traffic or civil engineering or a directly related field, is required. The city also wants five years’ experience in transportation planning, land use planning and in urban planning and design.“Our new bike/pedestrian coordinator will help make St. Louis a more bikable, walkable place to live, work, and explore by considering everyone — not just those behind the wheel — when it comes to designing and maintaining our streets,” Mayor Francis Slay said in a statement Friday.The deadline to apply is Aug. 7.St. Louis city has gradually moved towards becoming more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.  But part of that process is following national standards and recommendations, including the recommendation to have a full-time, dedicated, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.  We congratulate St. Louis City and the local advocates who have helped make this happen.Link to the bike/ped coordinator job posting is here. Working for more, better, safer bicycling and walking across Missouri is our goal.  You can find all the details in our Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri. Spreading the word about progress and good news about bicycling and walking across Missouri is an important part of our mission.  Supporting local advocacy groups who work hard for advances like this is an important part of our mission as well.Your ongoing membership and generous financial support helps our Vision become reality! Link:  At long last, St Louis to hire dedicated bike/ped coordinator; Application deadline August 7th