Our mission is to be the leader in fostering strong communities by aligning advocacy efforts for streets, roads, and trails that work for all Missourians.
Missourians for Responsible Transportation [MRT] is a statewide partnership led by four transportation advocacy organizations (BikeWalkKC in Kansas City, Local Motion in Columbia, Ozark Greenways in Springfield, and Trailnet in St. Louis) that is raising the voices of Missourians to state legislators and policymakers. Founded in 2018, MRT serves as an umbrella partnership that brings together communities and grassroots organizations from urban and rural areas to advocate with one voice at the state level for a fiscally responsible, safe, and equitable transportation system. MRT represents 35,000 members across Missouri. Local Motion houses and is the fiscal agent for MRT.
How We're Accomplishing This
We're finding local champions – communities, organizations, and people who want their towns to grow and prosper and care about the growing need to help people move around safely and responsibly. They will act as a resource for information, strategies, and solutions.
We're connecting communities so they can share ideas and collaborate on common goals. When Missourians work with one another to demand systems that works for their communities, we all win.
We're amplifying the voices of communities to lawmakers, regional planning commissions, and the Missouri Department of Transportation. MODOT surveys show voters already want fair and responsible transportation options in their communities.
We're acting as a resource for towns and communities that want to be more bikeable and walkable.
Never has it been more important to prioritize outdoor space for our communities. Providing space for people to move, to gather, and to get to everyday destinations is essential for keeping our Missouri communities strong. Local communities continue to be a source of economic and social strength for Missouri, whether a towns has 400 residents or is a community that's part of a large metropolitan area.
Missouri's trail towns enjoy the benefits of community-focused initiatives. Katy Trail State Park alone brought in more than 700,000 visitors each in 2020 and 2021, and the towns along the future Rock Island Trail State Park are set to add to that success. Pleasant Hill, on the Rock Island corridor, is an example of a town that recognized the importance of improving trail accessibility not only for visitors, but especially for community members to utilize.
Many older Missourians remember a time when the streets were a safe, shared space to occupy. We often hear, “When I was a kid, we played baseball in the street.” Our streets should be a safe place--Safe if you are a kid riding their bike, or safe if you are someone with mobility challenges. We strive to work towards people-centric communities, rather than car-centric communities.
Stockton, MO saw the need for a safe transportation network for their community. They invested in a shared streets route to allow walkers, bike riders, wheelchair users, and golf carts for people to safely get around their community.
1/3 of Missourians do not have a driver’s license. This means a large number of our Missouri’s population is reliant on someone else to get them to their destinations. Even then, the average cost of owning a new car per year is more than $12,000. For a one-car family that makes a combined $30,000, this is 1/3 of their income just for transportation. Do we need to say more? Most people are unaware of the hidden costs of personal transportation, and those inefficiencies hurt our local economies. A good transportation network lowers car costs, boost businesses, lowers health care costs, and retains talent--All the elements of a thriving community.
Osceola is working to break these barriers by investing in accessible streetscapes throughout the city. Osceola took a step toward "Complete Streets" in 2020 with their adoption of the City of Osceola Livable Streets Plan.
West Plains and Versailles, MO saw the need for safe crossing for their children to get to school. Both towns made the right infrastructure investments that will ensure future generations have safe and responsible ways to move within their communities. We are excited to see these towns continue investing in infrastructure that supports the community members that use it the most.
Missouri Cities Know This Works
Voters expect to see the return on their infrastructure investments.
Located in northwestern Missouri, Bethany worked with partners to develop a trails plan that will inform future community connections to ensure everyday destinations are accessible to all.
Known for its active lifestyle community, Versailles is working to complete a biking/walking plan to make the town accessible to the Rock Island Trail which intersects its downtown.
A revitalized downtown and waterfront area cemented Warsaw as a tourist destination for mountain biking and increased outdoor activity among the retired community.
West Plains, MO
Infrastructure improvements such as crosswalks are visible in West Plains, and a complete streets policy will ensure future infrastructure investment follows the trend to improve active transportation outcomes.
What Other States are Doing
Other states are building small-town values by making towns safer for walking and biking.
In Minnesota, the Twin Cities regional parks system draws more than 58 million visits every year–more than the Mall of America.
Northwest Arkansas has built an impressive network of bicycle infrastructure that is increasingly encouraging people to consider moving there.
California’s Department of Transportation, Caltrans, has a policy where “comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities” must be considered for future projects.