Archive for October, 2011

Now is your opportunity to comment on what you think Missoula needs in the way of bus service. I just attended the first of 3 public workshops by Mountain Line. The next two are Wednesday 10/26/11 at 6:00pm in the Southgate Mall Community Room and on Thursday 10/27/11 at 6:00pm in the Holiday Inn Downtown Ballroom. During today’s 12 noon meeting we were informed that Mountain Line has also created an OnLine Survey to reach out to those who may not currently ride the buses. Follow this link to the Mountain Line website to take the survey and let them know what would encourage you to use the bus or use the bus more.

Lots of great suggestions as well as positive affirmation of the successes of Mountain Line in Missoula. This is the data gathering phase leading to a report by the consultant in six to eight months on both short term and long term transit issues for Missoula. Contact them now to help make Missoula’s transit the best it can be.

MISSOULA, MONTANA (October 21, 2011) — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced this week that Mountain Line has been awarded a $133,744 livability grant that will enable the agency to purchase 3-slot bike racks for all Mountain Line buses, install bike racks at 36 bus stop locations, and construct a unique bike station at the Mountain Line Downtown Transfer Center.  The bike station will feature covered, secure parking for bicycles, day use lockers, a self-serve bike repair station, and display cases for maps featuring bike trails, bike lanes, and other helpful information.

“Through the first two months of this fiscal year we have carried 1,170 more bicycles on Mountain Line than over the same period of time the previous year,” says Mountain Line General Manager Michael Tree. “Recognizing the need for a better bicycle facility at the Downtown Transfer Center, the architectural firm of MacArthur, Means, & Wells designed at no cost to the agency a unique bike station that will be a perfect addition to the downtown area.”

Preliminary Bike Shelter 2011

Preliminary Design Bike Shelter 2011

Other recent enhancements to Mountain Line include free Wi-Fi on all buses by Community Medical Center and BusTracker technology that allows customers to interact with their bus in real time on their computers and smartphones.  Looking to the near future, the agency will be conducting a Comprehensive Operational Analysis of its services and creating a Long Range Plan, with three initial public workshops scheduled for October 26th and October 27th.

Mountain Line carried a record 865,601 riders last year, which represents a 9% increase, or 73,948 additional rides over the previous year.  For more information, residents are encouraged to visit the agency’s web-site at

The Milwaukee Trail Extension opening celebration Sunday was a great success in spite of the weather! Many thanks to Jeremy Flesch and all the other neighbors who made it happen and invited the community to share. Thanks especially to those neighbors who worked on the project, and especially to those who granted easements so this connection from Russell to Davis Streets could become a reality after well over a decade of work by Missoula Parks and Recreation staff and others. Many thanks to trails manager Dave Shaw and open space manager Jackie Corday for their tireless work, as well as Donna Gaukler and others at Parks and Recreation. Finally, thanks to the voters of Missoula City and County for passing the 2006 Open Space Bond which supplied the money to buy the easements. This is one of those projects that will positively impact thousands of people in the Missoula area. Included in the project is a safe bike-ped crossing at Russell Street.

Milwaukee Trail CrossingMilwaukee Trail Celebration

Save the Date-Helena Training
Tuesday, November 15, 10:00AM – 2:00 PM
Transportation for Healthier Communities:
Policies to keep Montana Moving and Thriving
A Training Designed for Public Health Practitioners and Healthy Transportation Advocates featuring:
Best Western Great Northern Hotel, 835 Great Northern Blvd., Helena, MT
Note that the training is free and lunch is provided.
Learning objectives for participating public health practitioners are attached.
APHA, in collaboration with T4America and Montana partner groups and allies, is working to ensure that transportation policy at the federal, state and local level supports local transportation systems that benefit all-sized communities by providing reliable, affordable, and sustainable access to healthcare services and healthy and safe transportation options.

This training is intended for those who work in the health field on issues such as the built environment, obesity prevention, nutrition and physical activity promotion, walking and bicycling advocacy and safety promotion, asthma prevention, diabetes prevention, cardiovascular health, air quality improvement, aging, education, social justice, and equity, as well as, community planners and decision makers interested in the health and transportation nexus. The first part of the day is designed to provide an overview of the relationships between health, equity and transportation, to review federal policies that would have an impact on public health and add value to local, state and regional policy efforts, and to train members of the public health community to communicate more effectively with transportation officials, decision-makers, and reporters. Eloisa Raynault and David Goldberg will be providing a communications training during the second part of the day.

We hope you will plan to join us and other Montana healthy community advocates for this training opportunity!

Please RSVP by following this link

or directly contacting:
Elizabeth Andrews, Montana Field Representative
Transportation for America Campaign
Sponsored by American Public Health Association, Transportation for America and Montana Transportation for America Partners including Montana Public Health Association, Association of Montana Public Health Officials, Lewis and Clark City-County Health Department, Montana Independent Living Project, Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities, Area IV Agency on Aging

Congratulations to Missoula on the opening of the new Silver Park Riverfront Trail between Ogren Park and the California Street Bridge.

Official Opening 10/12/2011








Avid trail users and many of those responsible for this accomplishment braved the threatening weather to celebrate the official opening of this great new connection along the Clark Fork River. Missoula Parks and Recreation will be responsible for maintaining this trail year round.

Silver Park OpeningAlex StokmanGathering for Acknowledgements

Looking for a fun activity for Saturday afternoon. The 2nd Annual Missoula Tweed Ride is about to begin – Saturday, October 8th, 2011! Visit the official Missoula Tweed Ride website for more information. BWAM encourages you to join in the fun.

On Thursday 10/6/11 Robin O’Day of KPAX in Missoula reported on the allocation of the $100,000 grant to study the feasibility of the Missoula-Lolo Trail proposal. See this report at KPAX.

Montana Public Radio featured BWAM board member Jean Bellangie-Nye, talking about the Missoula-Lolo Trail project to create a separated, paved trail between Missoula and Lolo. Click on this link and go to the 12 minute mark (approximately 1/3 through the timeline) to hear Jean and the latest on this project to connect the trail from Missoula to Hamilton!