BWAM Annual Members’ Meeting/Dinner Saturday, Jan 24, 2009

Come celebrate the new year with the 2nd Annual Members’ Meeting of the Bike Walk Alliance of Missoula (BWAM) and chili feed. This fun event will be a good time to reflect on last year’s accomplishments, elect new board members, and gear up for activities in 2009. 2009 is the year for change; come help us make positive changes for non-motorized transportation in Missoula.

Feel free to bring a friend!

Dinner from 5:30-6:30 – Business from 6:30-7:30.

Location: Downtown Dance Collective – 121 W. Main St, Missoula

Free Chili feed for members – meat and veggie options. Kids are welcome!

***** $5 FOR NON-MEMBERS *****

Door prizes will be awarded for randomly selected members in attendance. You must be a paid-up member and present at the time of the drawing to win. Not a member — join or renew your membership at the door for a chance to win.

Please RSVP by Thursday 1/15/09

University of Montana is Recognized for Transit

April 2008

The National Wildlife Federation honored UM for its innovative and effective transit system as part of the Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming competition.

UM was one of eight schools recognized from a nationwide pool of entries.

Read all about it in the Missoulian.

 

Earth Day Special on Bikes

April 2008

In the Earth Day (April 22) edition of the Missoulian, the leading op-ed was an excellent piece by Greg Siple entitled “Bicycles an easy part of environmental fix.” Greg is a local cycling luminary; he co-founded Adventure Cycling Association (formerly Bikecentennial) with his wife, June, along with Dan and Lys Burden. Greg still regularly bikes to his art director job at Adventure Cycling and around town for errands. You can see his op-ed here.

 

Bring on the Travelon Gamelon

BWAM partners with Missoula Art Museum for some biking music

April 2008

Travelon GamelonOn Saturday April 19th soundwork performance artist, Richard Lerman, will be leading the Travelon Gamelon: Promenade at 10:30 am at MAM. The Promenade will proceed on a winding route around the town to Bonner Park, stopping at Bernice’s Bakery for treats. When the Promenade reaches the festival of Cycles at Bonner Park, a performance of the Concert version of the Travelon Gamelon, for three amplified bicycles will commence at noon.

E-mail: *protected email* with your name and the number attending

 

Missoula In Motion “Transportation Best Practices” Award Ceremony and Seminar, January 22nd

Please join Missoula In Motion (MIM) and keynote Speaker Todd Alexander Litman, Executive Director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, for the 10th Annual Transportation Best Practices Award (TBPA). The TBPA’s, held on January 22, 2009 at the University Center South Ballroom, are MIM’s way of formally rewarding and recognizing local organizations that have chosen to “See Commuting Differently”. In addition to the award luncheon, Missoula In Motion is pleased to offer two morning seminars. The seminars feature practical business applications for creating and implementing sustainable transportation programs.

Winners have implemented innovative sustainable commute programs and policies that save money, reduce emissions, ease traffic congestion, alleviate parking pressure and improve the health of employees – and are easily replicated in other Missoula workplaces.

Seminar and Ceremony Schedule

Session 1. 8:30am- 9:45am “Health and Transportation” A discussion of various ways that transportation policies affect public health and ways to incorporate these into transport and land use planning and business practices.

Session 2. 10:00am-11:00am “Sustainable Transportation Tax Benefits” Commute Benefits are like money in the bank. Employers save on payroll related taxes. Employees save on federal income taxes.

Award Luncheon. 11:30am – 1:00pm Announcement of this year’s winner! With keynote address: “Sustainable Transportation Concepts and Implementation Strategies” featuring Keynote Speaker Todd Alexander Litman, Executive Director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.

Please register for the seminars, each is a $12 investment or $20 for both, scholarships are available, the award luncheon is complimentary. RSVPs requested by 5 P.M. January 16, 2009. Phone: 406.258.4961 or Email: *protected email*

Missoula In Motion (MIM), a program of the Office of Planning and Grants, was founded in 1997. MIM strives to educate Missoulians on their transportation options for both their school and work commutes. Through various outreach projects and events, including the Way to Go! Club, MIM promotes the many sustainable transportation options offered in the Missoula community in an effort to reduce congestion, pollution and stress, while promoting both individual and community health.

Bike/Walk Friendly Downtown Plan?

BWAM and many others have been working for the last year on a master plan for downtown Missoula. On November 20, the planning consultants finished their final meetings, including with bike-ped advocates – and the final plan is looking very promising. The plan will call for a dramatic increase in biking and walking (as much as 20-30 percent of all trips!), with major investment in either bike lanes and/or separated (protected) bike lanes (also called cycle tracks). There is also planning for a possible two-lane Higgins Street Bridge, which would allow for wide walkways and comfortable bike lanes on this central span. The only cause for concern is the potential for down-sizing the Higgins sidewalks from 16 feet to 12 feet. BWAM has asked to keep adequately sized sidewalks for a good walking and shopping experience. There will be more intensive meetings to hammer out details of the plan in early 2009. If you’d like to help out, E-mail BWAM. Special thanks to downtown and redevelopment leaders Linda McCarthy, Rod Austin, and Ellen Buchanan for organizing the master plan process and reaching out to BWAM and other bike/walk advocates. Visit the Missoula Business Improvement District web site for regularly updated details on the plan.

Bike Lanes and Beers in Stevensville

More good news for bike/walk facilities outside of Missoula. The separated bike path that starts in Lolo now runs all the way to Stevensville, paralleling Highway 93 and altogether more than 12 miles of car-free riding. There’s even a separated bike path running from 93 to downtown Stevensville. An intrepid BWAM field researcher cycled to downtown for the grand opening of a new attraction there: Montana’s latest brewpub,Blacksmith Brewery. (Montana is now second in the nation for number of brewpubs per capita.) The owners, Eric and Pam, will be installing a bike rack and have done an incredible job of restoring an historic brick building at the north end of downtown. Our field researcher also reports that the five to six locally brewed beers on tap were quite wonderful. (He was careful to balance intake with the need to return safely to Missoula. Thank goodness for that bike path!) It is great to see all of these new bike/walk facilities throughout the Missoula area, including the amazing new bike/ped bridge in Milltown. There is also a group working to extend the Highway 93 bike path from Lolo north to Missoula – E-mail BWAM for more information on how to get involved.

The Missoula Independent ranks 10 most frightening bike intersections

Did you see the MIssoula Independent with the big cover story on the 10 “most frightening” bike intersections in Missoula? Here’s the link. What do you think? E-mail BWAM with your ideas if they’re not on the Independent’s list. And here’s another list of hotspots, regularly maintained by the Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation. Most important: let’s find ways to fix these intersections. Many of them have been big concerns for cyclist for years.

BWAM submits extensive comments on Russell St. project

On November 3rd, BWAM joined the Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation and Missoula Advocates for Sustainable Transportation in submitting extensive comments on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Russell Street re-building project. The 14-page document, prepared by a number of BWAM members but especially John Wolverton (a member of BWAM’s Policy Projects, and Program — or 3P — Team), highlights numerous problems with the DEIS and the so-called “preferred alternative”: a proposed wide and fast 5-lane corridor from W. Broadway to Mount Streets. You can access BWAM’s comment letter here(99KB PDF file).

Federal and state officials will evaluate all the comments received by November 4th and respond with changes in the DEIS, probably in the next few months. You can continue to get friends to sign our petition calling for the more neighborhood-friendly 3-Plus alternative here. We need to let officials at all levels know about strong public opposition to the 5-lane option and the strong public support for 3-Plus, see the Missoulian article.

With fond memories – Len LaBuff

November 2008

UPDATE: SERVICE ON 11/9: Open Road has announced that there will be a memorial service for Len LaBuff on Sunday, November 9 at Marshall Mountain from 12-4. There will be remembrances of Len beginning around 12:15, followed by a potluck celebration. Reportedly, there will be a bike ride to get to Marshall from Missoula. If you’d like to ride along, contact Open Road at 549-2453 during regular business hours.

We received sad news this weekend that Len LaBuff, co-owner of Open Road Bicycles on Orange Street, passed away on Friday night after a long fight against cancer. In his usual low-key way, Len did not make a big deal out of his situation, but instead focused on his family, his business, and his passion for cycling and community. Len was part of Bikecentennial, the 1976 event with 4,100 riders nationally that launched a new surge in bicycling and bike travel, and also launched the group that is now Missoula-based Adventure Cycling Association. Len and his business partner, Dan Dahlberg, were also among the first supporters of Bike/Walk Alliance for Missoula; in fact, they hosted a reception at their store that kicked off the Bike/Walk Summit for Missoula in October 2006, which launched BWAM. Look for more about Len later this week in the Missoulian newspaper. We will miss Len and extend our deepest condolences to his wife Nancy and their children. Dan Dahlberg says there will likely be a service for Len on Sunday, November 9. Look here for more information here or contact Open Road at 549-2453.

Milltown has a new pedestrian bridge!

November 2008

Exciting news in Milltown, with the dedication of a new pedestrian bridge across the Blackfoot River as it runs into the Clark Fork River. The span – known as the “Black Bridge” was originally built in 1921 and has been in the process of refurbishment since last December as part of the ongoing EPA Superfund cleanup project, which included removal of the Milltown Dam in March 2008. Go out to Milltown and enjoy the Missoula-area’s latest facility for people-powered transportation!

Click to see the Missoulian article.                                200811030119P_Milltown_Black_Bridge.jpg

Great turnout for the Ribbon Cutting ceremony on  Nov 3, 2008.

200811030096P%20_Milltown_Black_Bridge.jpg 200811030100P_Milltown_Black_Bridge.jpg 200811030102P_Milltown_Black_Bridge.jpg

Including Senator Max Baucus, Senator Jon Tester, and Governor Brian Schweitzer

200811030109P_Milltown_Black_Bridge_Baucus.jpg

A great way to cross the historic Blackfoot River! 200811030116P_Milltown_Black_Bridge_Sayers.jpg

Russell Street: The Hits Keep Coming

October 2008

Thanks to everyone who is helping oppose the proposed 5-lane Russell Street and supporting the neighborhood friendly 3-Plus for Russell plan. A lot happened in the last week. Advocates – including BWAM – delivered more than 1,100 signatures on petitions in support of 3-Plus to the Mayor and City Council. We held several rallies that were covered in the local media. And BWAM and others asked the officials crafting the new Long-Range Transportation Plan to steer money away from the big 5-lane Russell Street proposal – which they did! Here are some links to the stories in the media, in print and on TV:

Out in force: Opponents of Russell Street reconstruction plan gather signatures, protest (Missoulian).

$13.5M pulled from Russell Street project (Missoulian).

Missoulians oppose 5-lane Russell St. project (KPAX TV).

Comment Time Extension For Russell DEIS

October 2008

The comment period for the Russell 3rd DEIS has been extended till Nov. 4. Be sure to get your specific comments submitted before this new deadline.

Imagine $50 Million for Bike/Walk Projects!

BWAM has joined with other local groups and the City of Missoula to support a proposal to secure as much as $50 million for bike and walk facilities in the next federal transportation bill. It’s been a long time since significant money was spent on creating new bike/walk facilities. With $50 million, we could build a world-class biking/walking/trails network. Check out these great stories in the Missoulian and the Independent:

City eyes $50 million from feds for biking, walking trails

Pedaling legislation

Bike Theft – Stay Alert

Be careful out there. As this dispatch in New West notes, there are people out there who might snag your bike if it’s unsecured. Make sure you keep your bike locked up when you’re on the town – and make sure it’s in a secure place or locked up outside when you’re at home. You don’t want that funny feeling in your stomach when you find your trusty steed missing. Story of a Stolen Bike.

Important Decisions For Russell Street

September 2008

The City and State’s preferred alternative for Russell Street is a 5-lane thoroughfare which will have a huge impact on nearby neighborhoods and require the removal of several houses and businesses. Large intersections and potential for increased speed will make it difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to cross. Support is building for a citizens’ alternative called 3-Plus for Russell. You can learn more about it on the BWAM website orwww.russellstreet.org.

To see the City and State’s 5-lane plan go to the executive summary (7.10 MB) on the MDT website.

PLEASE get informed and then attend the very important DEIS meeting on Wednesday, September 24, 6-9 pm at Franklin Elementary School at 1901 S. 10th St. W.

If you have questions, contact *protected email*. You can sign an online petition supporting the citizen’s alternative here.

Missoula In the News Again

Missoula is listed in the top 12 Best Places to Live: Where to Live and Play Now! by National Geographic. Read the story at National Geographic

PEDal Festival Photos

Missoula PEDal Festival 2008 photos are now available at Flickr. These photos provide just a small sample of the activities at this year’s 1st Annual PEDal Festival.

A big thank you to all those who made this event possible, especially the principal organizers from the sponsoring organizations: Erin Kautz – Bike Walk Alliance for Missoula Secretary and event leader, Marlana Kosky – Mountain Bike Missoula Secretary/Treasurer, Chase Jones – Missoula in Motion, Bob Giordano – Missoula Free Cycles. Another special thank you to the merchants who provided raffle merchandise and other financial support to this festival: REI, The Bike Doctor, New Belgium Brewing, Kettlehouse Brewery, Big Sky Brewery, Bayern Brewery, The Missoula Independent, Sweet Pea Sewer and Septic, Art and Rays Lock and Safe, and Missoula Valley Recycling.

The sponsoring organizations would also like to thank all of you Missoula walkers and cyclists who came out to support and enjoy this event. Your continuing support of these organizations helps them to help you maintain and improve the pedestrian and cycling facilities of Missoula. Please consider joining one or more of these exciting groups.

PEDal Festival Raffle Tickets Now on Sale a Success!

August 2008

Missoula’s 1st annual PEDal Festival will be at Caras Park on Saturday August 30th from noon to 8 p.m. If you want to win some cool prizes and support the organizations behind the event at the same time, consider buying some raffle tickets. Prizes include a FAT TIRE COMMUTER BIKE, NOVARA BIKES (ADULT AND KID’S), PANNIERS, RUNNING WAIST PACKS, CANVAS TOTE BAGS, A FREE BIKE TUNE FROM BIKE DR., AND MANY OTHERS.

You can buy tickets now from REI-Missoula (2230 N. Reserve St. #300), Bike Doctor (1101 Toole Ave.), any BWAM board member, or at the PEDal Festival. Tickets are $2 each, or 3 for $5.

3-PLUS for Russell

August 2008

The City of Missoula and Montana’s Department of Transportation (MDT) are about to release a new proposal (reportedly on September 8th) to re-build Russell Street between the Clark Fork River and Mount/14th Street.

Unfortunately, it is likely to be 5-lanes all the way, about as wide as Reserve Street and certain to demolish a number of homes and businesses in the heart of Missoula. A 5-lane road, even with sidewalks and bike lanes, will not be a comfortable place for cyclists or walkers and will have a dramatic impact on nearby neighborhoods.

As an alternative, neighborhood residents and members of several local groups, including BWAM, have crafted a sensible alternative called 3-PLUS for Russell. It is neither a “no-build” approach (leaving things as they are) nor a wide, higher speed 5-lane arterial.

Instead, the 3-PLUS for Russell approach would include different segments better related to the districts they serve, with more lane capacity adjacent to the new urban district emerging near the old mill site and reduced lane capacity (but still with bike lanes and sidewalks) serving the Rose Park and Franklin-to-the-Fort neighborhoods.

BWAM members and others will be tabling around town to share this proposal over the next few months. You’ll see folks around at the farmer’s market near the XXXs and other venues. If you’d like more info, email*protected email*.

Also let us know if you’d like to help table and share information about the future of Russell Street with other folks in the Missoula area. You can call BWAM at 721-2873 or John Wolverton at yodelingdog(at)hotmail.com.

Two more updates: Steve King, Missoula’s Public Works Director, just announced that there will likely be a major public meeting planned to review Russell Street on September 24th at Franklin Elementary School. Also, on August 26th at 7 pm, several neighborhood councils will be hosting a forum on Russell Street. This will take place at Bethel Church at 1601 S. 6th Street West (upstairs).

Read the Missoulian article August 17, 2008.

Labor Day PEDal Fest!

July 2008

BWAM is in the process of organizing a  Missoula Bike/Walk festival to replace New Belgium’s former Tour de Fat festival. Our intent is for a more family friendly Walk and Bike-oriented festival on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, August 30, 2008. We have reserved Caras Park for this event and have several local organizations participating as co-sponsors; MIST, Mountain Bike Missoula, and Missoula in Motion, with active involvement from several local bike and equipment merchants.

We have settled on the name “PEDal Festival,” accentuating the PEDestrian as well as  pedaling cyclists. We will begin at 12:00 p.m. with a bike parade and continue till approximately 8:00 p.m. We will have beverage vendors, food vendors, information tables for local bike and walk organizations, the Safety Team will perform, bands, and other performers to add to the festival atmosphere. MIST will provide parts, pieces, and tools for bike repair/building. In the planning stage is a bike rodeo, as availability of a variety of fun cycles to try out.

We are currently seeking volunteer performers to provide family oriented entertainment during the event. If you know of any jugglers, clowns, bands, performers of short skits, etc. who might be willing to participate, please contact Erin Kautz, or ask the individual to contact Erin @ *protected email* for additional information.

Watch for continuing updates about this event.

Orange Street Comments Please

July 2008

The city and state have striped some temporary 4-foot lanes for cyclists on the busy stretch of Orange between the Clark Fork River and 6th street. We appreciate the effort, but consensus is they are too narrow to be safe and comfortable. Please try them out if you haven’t yet, and if you agree they need to be wider, write an email now to Steve King (*protected email*) and Dwayne Kailey (*protected email*), thanking them for the lanes but asking them to narrow the center turn lane by a foot and the adjacent lanes by the few inches needed to provide a full 5-foot bike lane. Please write this week, as it won’t be long before the final re-striping of lanes will be done.

Missoula Ranks in AARP Healthiest Cities

July 2008

Missoula, MT has received rank of 9th for “Greenest Commuters” and 7th for “Skinniest Residents” in the September & October 2008 issue of AARP The Magazine’s Healthiest Hometowns. See AARP The Magazine’s Healthiest Hometowns for more details.

Bicycle Benefits Comes to Missoula

July 2008

Bicycle Benefits is a progressive bicycling program designed to reward individuals and businesses for their commitment to cleaner air, personal health, and the use of pedaling energy in order to create a more sustainable community. The program’s continual growth decreases parking demand, increases helmet use, and improves cyclists’ safety and health by putting more people on bikes.

Check out this organization’s website and found out how you can get discounts at cool Missoula retailers and restaurants just by biking there!

Bicycle Benefits: http://www.bicyclebenefits.org

In Memoriam

June 2008

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Robert Bremer, who was killed while riding his bicycle on N. Reserve St. on June 19th. You can read about this tragedy in the Missoulian.

BWAM members are looking into the reasons for this collision. Another cycling fatality on N. Reserve St. raises even more concerns about the proposed changes (see “Reserve/Mullan Still Up in the Air” at bottom) to bike lanes and pedestrian street crossings at Reserve and Mullan streets.

Local High School Students Get Creative and Lend a Hand for Parking and Peace

June 2008

Bike Parking

Thanks to Hellgate High School Senior Service Day volunteers, the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center’s bike racks are no longer crowded by the parked cars. The clever bicycle parts, painted rocks and posts create a cute parking barrier plus a path leading to a space established for bicycle parking. Good bicycle parking facilities are an enhancement to any establishment and say to bicyclists, “Welcome!”

I See London, I See France, I See that the French Know How to Pass!

June 2008

France 1

BWAM Founding member and former board member, Geraldine Carter, sent us these pictures of signs she saw during a bicycle tour in France. The sign informs drivers that France law requires giving bicyclists at least 1.5 meters of clearance when passing.

France 2

Geraldine is also a co-founder for Climate Ride 2008, a non-profit ride to raise awareness of global warming and renewable energy. 100 riders will pedal 320 miles from New York City to Washington D.C., starting on September 20th. To join this rider or sponsor a rider, please visit the organization’s website.

Wouldn’t This Be Nice?

June 2008

Cartoon


A BWAM member sent this to us recently. With gas prices as high as they are now, and as high as they’re expected to rise, this cartoon may not be too far from the truth.

Biking/Walking Become Focal Points in Local Planning Initiatives

May 2008

Missoula is exploding right now with planning exercises aimed at figuring out how to improve our quality of life and how to allocate future financial resources. What is encouraging is how popular biking and walking have been at different public sessions to gather input. Also, the consultants and staff working on future plans have cited better walking and biking systems as essential elements. For example, a new report from the Office of Planning and Grants on long-range transportation calls for land use planning and investments that would favor walking and biking facilities.

In other news, at a meeting of nearly 300 people on ideas for the downtown master plan, the consultants stated that bicycling facilities were critical to the success of downtown’s future and that they really wanted to push the envelope for all types of cyclists. They even called for physically separated “cycle-tracks” on Higgins and Broadway Streets – an idea that drew mixed reviews from cyclists, along with calls for a 3-lane Higgins and a 2-lane Higgins Bridge with a wide promenade on the western side overlooking the Clark Fork River and Brennan’s Wave

Finally, there is another upcoming set of meetings on “urban fringe development areas”, which will include discussion of future city development scenarios. Attend if you can, and if you’re interested in these planning exercises, email Jim Sayer on BWAM’s board

Missoula Ride of Silence 2008

May 21, 2008

POST RIDE UPDATE: The weather held for us, and we assembled about 60 riders. Thanks to all who participated in this event! Special thanks to Big Dipper Ice Cream and Bayern Brewery – two great post-event stops!

See the ride in the Photo Gallery

As part of National Bike Month, BWAM is coordinating a Ride of Silence in Missoula. In 2007, rides occurred in 272 cities in 50 states and 15 countries. The Ride of Silence was begun in 2003 and has three primary goals: to honor those who have been injured or killed by motor vehicles while cycling, running or walking on public roadways; to raise awareness that cyclists and pedestrians are here; and to promote the concept that all road users must share the road and take responsibility for safety.

The Missoula Ride of Silence, which is free for all participants, will take place on Wednesday, May 21st, meeting at Caras Park in downtown Missoula at 6:45 p.m. for a slow-paced, short, easy ride to roll out at 7:00. The ride is approximately four miles, will involve riding short distances on Higgins, 5th Street, Russell and Broadway, and asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 10-12 mph. Riders must wear bike helmets and obey all traffic controls, and will be asked to sign a waiver before the ride begins. Anyone interested in safe cycling in and around Missoula is welcome and encouraged to attend.

The event is being coordinated by the Bike/Walk Alliance of Missoula (BWAM), a non-profit, member-driven organization created to improve the safety, health and enjoyment of the Five Valley area by promoting and enhancing bicycling and walking for everyday transportation and recreation. National Bike Month is coordinated by The League of American Bicyclists, with the goal of promoting the importance of bike safety and encouraging more awareness of cyclists on city streets and other roadways.

More information about the Ride of Silence in general can be found at www.rideofsilence.org.

Missoula Obtains Silver Level Bike Friendly Community Status

May 2008

Congratulations to the Garden City!  The League of American Bicyclists has designated Missoula a Bicycle Friendly Community once again at the Silver level. BWAM kicked this effort off in January by asking Mayor Engen to seek this designation. The Mayor passed it to the city’s Bike/Pedestrian Board. A Bike/Ped Board member (and also a BWAM member), Archie McMillan, did most of the work in assembling the very long application – which was announced in Washington DC this week at the beginning of National Bike Month. Now how about we get going on the Gold Level? Visit the League of American Bicyclists for more information.

Liquid Planet Supports BWAM during National Bike Month with “Velo Valencia” Special

May 2008

Liquid Planet has agreed to donate $.50 from each sale of the Velo Valencia, a special white chocolate mocha with orange zest and a dash of cinnamon and sugar, to BWAM. This special drink will be available at all Liquid Planet locations in Missoula for the month of May, which is National Bike Month. Please support Liquid Planet and BWAM by purchasing the Velo Valencia today! See Liquid Planet’s official Velo Valencia advertisement here.  UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who supported Liquid Planet and BWAM  in May. Nearly 300 “Velo Valencia” drinks were sold!

Russell Street Reactions

May 2008

The City of Missoula hosted a neighborhood meeting on April 16th on what looks like the state’s proposal (endorsed by the city’s Public Works Department) for a 5 lane Russell Street blasting through many neighborhoods, demolishing up to 48 homes and businesses, and creating a loud, unfriendly divide in the middle of Missoula. The neighborhood response? Very negative.

Moreover, the state’s proposal ignores eight years of citizen input, including formal planning sessions in 2000-2001, that call for a neighborhood-friendly, narrower road. While the city and state funnel many hundreds of thousands of dollars to consultants to plan another unpopular Reserve Street, members of BWAM and Missoula Advocates for Sustainable Transportation (MAST) are developing a schematic for a safer, quieter roadway that relies on citizen input, serves all users and does not threaten Missoula’s quality of life. Jordan Hess is taking the lead in drafting the schematic.

Contact Jordan at moc.l1413797947iamg@1413797947ssehn1413797947adroj1413797947w1413797947 or John Wolverton at moc.l1413797947iamto1413797947h@god1413797947gnile1413797947doy1413797947 for more information.

Travelon Gamelon by Richard Lerman Toured Missoula Streets April 19, 2008

May 2008

Travelon Gamelon hit the streets of Missoula early Saturday morning April 19 as a beginning event for BWBW 2008.


Approximately 20 amplified bicycles with another 40 “Promenade” participants departed the Missoula Art Museum and toured the north side of Missoula proceeding across the bike/pedestrian railroad overpass, the California Street bridge to Bernices Bakery then a loop Higgins to South Ave to Arthur and then to Bonner Park for a 3-bike Gamelon concert. Richard Lerman developed the artistic concept and technical execution. The Missoula production was co-sponsored by: Missoula Art Museum, Adventure Cycling, Bernices’s Bakery, Bike/Walk Alliance for Missoula, Free Cycles Missoula, Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, and the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.

Reserve/Mullan Still Up in the Air

May 2008

Despite positive press in the Missoulian, it’s still uncertain news on the proposed changes in the intersection at Reserve and Mullan Streets – in fact, potentially really bad news for cyclists, walkers, and taxpayers. With pressure from BWAM and others, the Montana Department of Transportation is now keeping bike lanes on north-bound Reserve. However, those lanes are narrower (next to fast-moving traffic). Also, the same proposal will remove altogether the existing bike lanes on Mullan heading west of Reserve – an important growth area in the city. Also, it appears that pedestrian safety islands will be removed, making it more hazardous for walkers to cross Reserve. All of this for an extra left turn lane on Reserve to Wal-Mart. To top it all off? The cost of this proposal is $420,000, a huge amount! The county originally promised $150,000 for this project – who’s going to pick up the rest of the tab for a questionable project that will jeopardize cyclists and walkers? BWAM members Marta Meengs and Jim Sayer are tracking this and trying to get answers.

University of Montana is Recognized for Transit

April 2008

The National Wildlife Federation honored UM for its innovative and effective transit system as part of the Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming competition.

UM was one of eight schools recognized from a nationwide pool of entries.

Read all about it in the Missoulian.

 

Earth Day Special on Bikes

April 2008

In the Earth Day (April 22) edition of the Missoulian, the leading op-ed was an excellent piece by Greg Siple entitled “Bicycles an easy part of environmental fix.” Greg is a local cycling luminary; he co-founded Adventure Cycling Association (formerly Bikecentennial) with his wife, June, along with Dan and Lys Burden. Greg still regularly bikes to his art director job at Adventure Cycling and around town for errands. You can see his op-ed here.

 

Bring on the Travelon Gamelon

BWAM partners with Missoula Art Museum for some biking music

April 2008

Travelon Gamelon

On Saturday April 19th soundwork performance artist, Richard Lerman, will be leading the Travelon Gamelon: Promenade at 10:30 am at MAM. The Promenade will proceed on a winding route around the town to Bonner Park, stopping at Bernice’s Bakery for treats. When the Promenade reaches the festival of Cycles at Bonner Park, a performance of the Concert version of the Travelon Gamelon, for three amplified bicycles will commence at noon.

A new – or unfortunately old – vision for Russell Street?

BWAM requests neighborhood-friendly boulevard; city may skew toward another Reserve Street

March 2008

 

BWAM has engaged on one of the big road projects facing Missoula in the next decade: the rebuilding of Russell Street. For many years, local residents have argued for a neighborhood-friendly road, a “complete street” that would serve walkers, cyclists, and motorists, keep traffic at sane speeds, and avoid harm to nearby homes.

BWAM recently caught wind that the city and its consultants may not share that vision and wrote a letter to the Public Works Department with a reasonable approach: reconstruction of the Russell Street Bridge, with better car access, bike lanes and sidewalks; a multi-lane boulevard between the bridge and 3rd Street; roundabouts at key intersections; and three auto travel lanes with bike lanes and sidewalks between 3rd and Mount streets, in part to preserve the local neighborhood and slow traffic speeds.

We got a speedy and polite response from Public Works Director Steve King, which indicates that the city administration may have a different vision, with limited or no roundabouts and five travel lanes all the way from Brooks Street to the bridge across the Clark Fork – essentially another Reserve Street in the heart of Missoula. Does Missoula really want or need another Reserve Street, probably the least popular street in the city? You can share your thoughts on the subject at a public forum on the evening of April 16th; for more information, contact John Wolverton in the Franklin-to-the-Fort neighborhood at (406) 543-6696.

 

Transport for London – Do The Test!

March 2008

 

How many passes does the team in white make?

Biking and walking popular in Missoula planning exercises

March 2008

 

Missoula is bursting with new processes to develop plans for long range transportation, downtown, and the county’s urban fringe areas. What’s interesting is that local participants in these processes are strongly urging that more attention be paid to biking and walking issues. In a recent forum on downtown’s future, 160 participants were asked what were the top three issues facing the district. The reply? In order of importance: retail, housing, and bike/walk safety (ahead of parking or auto access). In February sessions on long-range transportation planning, participants overwhelmingly opted for a future development scenario in Missoula County that emphasizes biking, walking and transit facilities. These processes are still ongoing. If you’d like to learn more, check in with BWAM’s 3P (Policy, Project, Program) Team, via Jeremy Hood at *protected email* or 529-3467. Or you can check with the Missoula Downtown Association or Missoula’s Office of Planning and Grants.

 

Spring Kick-off Cycling Party

March 2008

Missoula Bike Works

BWAM, Adventure Cycling Association and Missoula Bike Works (MBW) will be hosting a fun-filled spring cycling kick-off party at MBW on Thursday, April 3 from 6 pm till the drinks run out (more or less). There’s no charge and it will be a great chance to meet a cross-section of folks who care about self-propelled transport in the Garden City. Snacks, beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks will be served and you can enjoy the sight and feel of many fine bicycles on the MBW floor. For directions or more information, go to MBW at www.missoulabicycleworks.com or call 721-6525.

 

Portland expert to share wisdom on bike/walk advocacy on March 20th

March 2008

 

On Thursday, March 20th, Missoula will be hosting an expert on biking and walking from Portland, Oregon, thanks to Missoula in Motion (MIM). Jessica Roberts, a planning consultant with Alta Planning (one of the foremost bike/walk planning firms in North America), will be in town to deliver a speech at MIM’s transportation awards luncheon.

BWAM Strongly Opposes Removal of Bike Lanes at Reserve/Mullan

February 2008

Reserve St. @ Mullan

BWAM sent a letter to Missoula Commissioner Bill Carey, Chairman of the Transportation Policy Coordination Committee (TPCC), expressing BWAM’s strong opposition to the proposed removal of the current bike lanes at the intersection of Reserve and Mullan streets.

You can read BWAM’s letter to Commissioner Bill Carey here.

Please consider attending the public TTAC meeting on March 6 and voicing your opinion on the proposed removal of bike lanes.

BWAM Announces Waving Wednesdays

January 2008

New cost-free, completely voluntary initiative encourages cyclists, walkers, and other non-motorized folks to wave to each other every Wednesday. The purpose is to keep building the web of support and camaraderie among Missoula residents who transport themselves under their own power. It’s also a reminder that cycling and walking are probably the friendliest forms of transportation around.

You can read all about it in our press release.

BWAM’s First Annual Meeting a Success

January 24, 2008

About twenty-five BWAM members enjoyed a potluck dinner and annual meeting on January 24th at Christ the King Church. Many thanks to Bob and Mary Wachtel for all the setup work and arrangements. Also thanks to REI and MOVE Missoula for all the neat gifts, from water bottles and maps, to bike tire removal levers. Committee reports at the meeting included the following updates from the 3P committee:

Higgins Avenue from the bridge to Brooks Street
Businesses have been contacted and are generally supportive of a three-lane proposal, but the process to achieving this will be lengthy. Details about the project will be posted on the BWAM website soon.

Adopt-a-Lane
BWAM’s new Adopt-a-Lane program aims to coordinate neigborhood residents and report unplowed bike lanes in connection with the City’s Bike Lane Plowing Plan. Volunteer neighborhood “Captains” will contact Brian Hensel, Superintendent of the Missoula Street Maintenance Division, when residents report to the Captains that lanes have not been cleared within a reasonable period or when city plows have created obstructions in bike lanes. For details, to find out if you have a neighborhood captain, or to volunteer to be one, go to Adopt-a-Lane.

Board Elections
Erin Kautz and Ethel MacDonald were re-elected to three-year terms on the Board, and Marta Meengs and Kevin Hyde were elected to fill two vacancies. Molly Galusha is stepping off the board at the end of her one-year term; John Matthews after completing one year of a three-year term. The nine-member board was set up with initial one, two, and three-year terms, but all new terms will be for three years.

 

You can also email BWAM and tell us what you think.

UPDATE: Please read the Missoulian’s March 6th front-page article on this issue here.

 

BWAM Encourages City of Missoula to be a
“Bicycle Friendly Community”

February 2008

Bike Friendly Community

BWAM is encouraging the City of Missoula to apply for a “Bicycle Friendly Community” status through the League of American Bicyclists, which is supported by Bikes Belong. Having this community status not only celebrates what is good about Missoula, it also sets benchmarks for our city to strive toward and maintain.

BWAM sent a letter to Missoula’s Mayor, John Engen, asking him to support the city’s Department of Public Works in applying for the “Bicycle Friendly” status before the March 21, 2008 deadline.

You can read BWAM’s letter to Mayor Engen here.

You can also email BWAM and tell us what you think.

 

Also, Adventure Cycling Association (at 150 East Pine St, corner of Pattee, in downtown) will host Jessica that morning from 8-9:00 am. She’ll be talking at a roundtable discussion about effective advocacy for biking and walking. With her background as a former staffer for Portland’s Bicycle Transportation Alliance (one of the largest local membership bike groups in the U.S.), Jessica will have a lot to share.

For info on the Missoula in Motion lunch (free with your RSVP), call 258-4961. If you plan on going to the Adventure Cycling session, call and let then know you’re interested so they can plan ahead on refreshments: 721-1776.

 

BWAM Defends Bike Lanes at Reserve/Mullan

March 2008

 

BWAM spoke loud and clear at the March 6th TTAC meeting, and now the DOT is going back to the drawing board in order to find a way to keep bike lanes in the redesign. Read all about the TTAC meeting, including quotes from not one, but two, BWAM board members in the Missoulian’s March 7th article.

Thanks to everyone who wrote us in support of keeping the bike lanes. We heard you!