Archive for February, 2012

The Missoula Metropolitan Planning Organization invites the community to a Kick-Off Public Workshop on Thursday, March 8, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Parkside to participate and comment on the 2012 update of the Missoula Long Range Transportation Plan.

Do you have an idea for a new bike trail or sidewalk project?  Do you see the need for better bus service in your neighborhood?  Please bring your ideas to the workshop where your input can have an impact on what projects are constructed in the future. 

The 2012 Long Range Transportation Plan Update takes a comprehensive look at Missoula’s transportation system: sidewalks, bike lanes, trails, transit and vehicular transportation with the intended goal to identify transportation needs and lay out a plan on how to match these needs with available funding.  Read the rest of this entry »

The new website for the Open Streets Project includes Missoula as one of 65 sites around the US setting aside time for citizens to enjoy their streets. Thanks to Missoula in Motion for being the prime organizer for this event in Missoula.

“Open streets initiatives temporarily close streets to automobiles, allowing residents to walk, bike, skate, dance and utilize the roadways in countless creative and active ways. From Los Angeles to Ottawa, and Missoula to Miami, open streets have become a way for cities to build community, promote active transportation and reconnect neighborhoods divided by traffic.

“The website, www.OpenStreetsProject.org, showcases dozens of current initiatives across the continent and allows municipalities and advocacy organizations to share information and resources on their open streets initiatives as they evolve and expand.”

Read the full press release here.

Montanans delivered a petition with more than 1,000 signatures (gathered in less than a week – petition text) to Montana’s federal elected representatives, urging them to support the continued and dedicated funding of biking, walking, trail and transit programs. All of these programs are at risk of total elimination or severe cutbacks in legislation that will be considered this week in Congress.

“At a time when Montanans are biking, walking and taking transit more than ever, it’s vital that Congress maintain the current modest level of support for these transportation choices,” said Jim Sayer, executive director of Adventure Cycling Association, based in Missoula, Montana and the largest cycling membership group in North America. “Many Montanans are alarmed that after 20 years of bipartisan support, Congress is on the verge of eliminating inexpensive and effective programs like safe routes to school, recreational trails, and transportation enhancements.” Read the rest of this entry »

To improve the bad Senate Transportation Bill, Safe Routes to Schools is asking senators to vote for the Cardin-Cochran amendment which would guarantee local governments a voice in transportation decisions, allowing them to build sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways that keep people safe. This vote will take place early next week, so please take action now! Call or e-mail your Senators, or take the easy way by linking to Democracy In Action to sign on to prepared letters to your congressmen. Check back for other developments, including better amendments, and keep up-to-date with what’s happening on these bills, go to the America Bikes website.

All hands on deck — all feet on the sidewalks, trails, and pedals — please do your part to help save funding for bike, ped, transit, and Safe Routes to Schools!  Tell your friends & family in other states to contact their Representatives to oppose HR 7 or support amendments restoring funding to support active and public transportation choices.  For Montanans, an easy step to take is to sign on to Adventure Cycling Association’s letter to Montana’s Representative Rehberg and Senators Baucus and Tester(the Senate bill is coming soon).

The full text of the letter follows:

The Honorable Max Baucus
The Honorable Jon Tester
The Honorable Denny Rehberg
United States Congress
Washington, DC

Dear Senator Baucus, Senator Tester, and Representative Rehberg,

As Montanans, we are writing to urge your strong support for federal funding for biking, walking, and transit programs in the next long-range transportation bill.   We are alarmed by recent actions in Congressional committees to eliminate dedicated funding for biking, walking and transit or to make it optional on a state-by-state basis for biking and walking.  If these actions are affirmed in final long-term transportation legislation, they will undercut the enormous progress being made to enable more Americans to travel by bike, foot or transit.  They will also severely curtail or eliminate the opportunity for Montana communities to directly access federal funds to invest in (and leverage local resources for) bike, walk, and transit projects.

This is especially cause for concern in Montana, where more people than ever are using these transportation modes for work or other purposes. Transit systems are experiencing record demand. Montanans are riding and walking in growing numbers year around (and in a new report, Montana has been found to be one of the highest per capita walking and biking states in the nation). It does not make sense for the Congress to eliminate the most cost-effective transportation investment available (and at only 1.5% of transport spending, one of the smallest investments) at a time when Montanans in cities large and small are seeking more affordable and healthier transportation options.   Moreover, new research from AASHTO shows that recent bike and pedestrian improvement projects create substantially more jobs per million-dollars spent than other kinds of highway investment.

We urge you to support federal transportation legislation with the strongest possible funding and policy support for biking, walking and transit programs. We also urge you to ensure that Montana communities have continued direct access to these programs to invest in complete transportation systems.

Sincerely,

End of letter
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