Advocacy Wins

MRT led monthly discussion meetings for the coalition Hands-Free Missouri, who worked to educate the Missouri legislature on the critical importance of the need for distracted driving legislation in our state. Hands-Free Missouri is a partnership comprising state highway department employees, insurance personnel, safety advocates, victim's advocates, and law enforcement officers that are fighting for safer roads by fighting against distracted driving. These individuals and organizations meet regularly to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in Missouri in hopes of reducing the number of crashes each year attributed to distracted driving.

On June 30th, 2023, Rock Island Trail State Park was named Missouri's 93rd and newest state park! Throughout the last several years, MRT worked alongside many organizations (including Missouri State Parks, Missouri State Parks Foundation, Missouri Parks Association, Friends of Rock Island Trail State Park, and Conservation Federation of Missouri) to grow community support, awareness, and funding for the establishment of the 154-mile Rock Island Trail corridor extension from Windsor to Union. As a result, Missouri established the Rock Island Trail as a state park for all to enjoy, and headway is being made toward trail development.

MRT Advocacy Timeline


  • Stay tuned!

2023 | MRT Annual Update

  • Siddens Bening Hands-Free Law (distracted driving legislation) signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson
  • R0ck Island Trail designated Missouri's 93rd State Park
  • MoDOT Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Scoring Criteria updated
  • Hosted Pop-Up Demonstration in Joplin
  • Hired first Executive Director, Taylor March

2022 | MRT Annual Update

  • Hosted training on Complete Streets for regional planning and MoDOT staff in Southwest Missouri
  • Completed walk audit documents and action plans for ten rural Missouri communities
  • Hired current Project Assistant, Cindy DeBlauw

2021 | MRT Annual Update

  • Hosted community training sessions with our partner organizations through the Active Living Community of Practice program
  • Invited to speak at first National Conference, the League of American Bicyclists' National Bike Summit
  • Hired current Community Engagement Director, Jackson Hotaling


  • Carried out successful technical assistance campaigns with the Active Living Community of Practice program


  • Focused beginnings on connecting with and learning from Missourians' transportation realities and needs


  • MRT formally established as a partnership between BikeWalkKC in Kansas City, PedNet Coalition (now Local Motion) in Columbia, Ozark Greenways in Springfield, and Trailnet in St. Louis
  • Hired first staff member, Ron Bentch, to lead project development

Do you need advocacy support for your initiative?

Reach out to us--we may be able to help.
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