Mo. Dept. of Conservation looks to open service roads to bicyclists

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 5:44 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:20 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Area bicyclists could have a larger cycling area through more Missouri parks.

That’s according to the Missouri Department of Conservation, who is currently entertaining a new proposal to open private service roads.

“I think it’s an awesome option to keep people safer,” said bicycle mechanic Mark Medlin.

He currently rides his bike on city streets and bike trails. The problem is, it’s just not safe.

“The dangers can be people not giving you enough space. People passing to closely. People don’t realize how much space you need for a bike,” he said.

Which is why the Missouri Department of Conservation proposed regulations that would allow the expanded use of bicycles and electric bicycles on department area service roads.

“Service roads are roads that are in our area that our staff are able to use for management purposes. They’re closed to public vehicles,” said MDC recreation program lead Amy Buechler.

She said the public made a plea to utilize those areas for recreation.

“And we were finding in some cases that people were already riding bikes on these service road networks,” she said. “They didn’t realize it wasn’t allowed.”

The MDC will host a public comment period during October in consideration for the December 10 regulation meeting.

“This is a way, maybe people who have not been to our conservation areas maybe able to connect and get outside to enjoy nature.” Medlin said. “More trails mean more options for people to ride which means bigger community. The more community grows, the more options there could be.”

Conservation areas with service roads in the Heartland include Apple Creek in Cape Girardeau County, General Watkins in Scott County and Red Rock Landing in Perry County.

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