Last month, cycling advocates across Missouri began spreading the word about a possible "bicycle ban" bill that Republican lawmakers would be promoting this legislative session -- in hopes of squashing it before it was even introduced.
Despite the preemptive push-back, Representative Bart Korman, of High Hill, introduced the legislation last week, which would prohibit cyclists from riding on certain state roads.
"I do not want to ban little Johnny from riding his bike to school," Korman tells Daily RFT, arguing that some of the backlash is misunderstood. "I want to avoid someone getting hit or killed."
How would his bill impact cyclists?
House Bill 672, officially introduced last week -- though advocates leaked a version a week earlier -- would change the law to prohibit "bicycle operation on state roadways when there is a state bicycle path or trail running generally parallel and within two miles of a roadway, with an exception for certain bicycle travel."
That "exception" part is key, Korman says. The language of the bill, full version on view below, says the ban would apply to those state roads near parallel bike paths or trails:
except a bicycle may operate on the shoulder of a state roadway when the bicycle is operated as a means to ride to or from the operator's home to another residence, to a place of business, to a school, or to any public facility.
In other words, if the cyclist needs to be on that state road to get to a specific place on that road, then it wouldn't be a violation.
"The purpose of the bill is to encourage people to use the bicycle trails that are for the bicycles and pedestrians and not for motor vehicles," he explains, "to relieve some congestion."
Continue for more of our interview with Bart Korman and response from bike advocates.
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