Archive for the ‘Advocacy Alert’ Category
A critical opportunity is fast approaching for community input to the design of the new Russell Street between Broadway Street and points south. The initial phase of work will be from Broadway to Idaho Street including a new bridge and trail connections across the Clark Fork River. Newly added to this project is some reconstruction of Broadway from California Street to Mullan Road to improve access for all modes of travel.
Planning to this point has been done by the Technical Design Committee which is made up of representatives from Montana Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration, and the City of Missoula with WGM Group as the contracted design engineers. The City representatives are Bruce Bender and Jason Wiener.
Reports received from members of the public attending the meetings of the TDC indicate that, at this time, the design is adhering very closely to the “Preferred Alternative” as specified in the “Record of Decision“.
While there were public meetings held for input to the EIS the public was told repeatedly that there would be additional opportunity for meaningful input to the final design after the ROD was completed. There is now an informational Open House planned for November 20 to reveal to the public the 30% design stage of this critical project.
BWAM’s Board of Directors has written a letter to Governor Steve Bullock asking that he require the MDT to listen to the citizens of Missoula and responsibly evaluate and incorporate design features that Missoula considers important to maintaining a community atmosphere while providing appropriate transportation function for all modes of travel in this critical corridor for the next 50 years. A crucial design change we want is narrower (10 ft) lanes to encourage lower speeds and provide safer pedestrian crossings, wide sidewalks and good bicycle lanes.
MDT Russell Street Design Open House
- When: Wednesday, November 20, 6-8 pm,
- Where: 1500 Burns Street. (Burns Street Commons).
Please put this on your calendars and bring your concerns!
This post is open to for comments from all interested individuals. Please log in and submit your comments.
“Be an Informed, Courteous Driver” is the title of Debra Sension-Hall’s educational and thought-provoking guest column in the Thursday, October 24 Missoulian, and we encourage all of you to read, share, and discuss it. She writes, “Not all cyclists desire more bike lanes and separate infrastructure. I do not and I am not interested in ‘more rights,’ just he ones I already have — which some motorists are not aware of because they do not cycle.” While I agree with Debra about asserting our right to the road (and nearly everything else she says), I do want more bike lanes and infrastructure, not so much for myself as for the “timid” or “interested but unsure” potential cyclists and the unskilled or slow cyclists like my developmentally disabled adult son. The more people who cycle for transportation, the safer the streets are for all of us, and I think improved bike infrastructure is key to increasing our numbers. However, as Debra skillfully points out, bike lanes can sometimes be a dangerous place to cycle due to proximity to parked cars or other factors, and when a cyclist needs to take the traffic lane, motorists need to respect their right to do so instead of getting angry. The key to better motorist/cyclist interactions and understanding is, as Debra illustrates, being courteous and informed. Be sure to read the full guest column, and join the discussion by clicking the “comment” button below.
After many significant discussions between many advocates and City and State staff personnel, Russell Street has been resurfaced between Ronan Street and South 4th Street West. With the new smoother surface in place Wayne Gravatt and the city painting crew were authorized to paint an outside line designating 11’ travel lanes. This allowed designation of the outside portion of the new pavement to be designated as bike lanes from Knowles Street to 4th Street. This provides a designated zone for cyclists and as witnessed recently a somewhat safer area that pedestrians may also take advantage of. My comfort level while riding Russell Street today was greatly increased over previous travels along this street. Notice the bend at 6th Street to accomodate the southbound left turn lane allignment. If you ride this corridor, please let us know your thoughts about this significant change. Contact us using this link to send us an email with your thoughts. We need to let the City and MDT know that bicyclists appreciate their efforts to improve safety for all.
Please plan to participate in these BWAM-sponsored activities during Bike/Walk/Bus Week, September 8-14:
Monday, 2:00 pm — Join this BWAM-sponsored bike ride especially for moms, kids, and others who would like to bike for shopping and errands but are unsure of how to get from west of Reserve Street to Currents or The Good Food Store. Meet at 3rd & Grove Street (by Le Petit Outre Bakery) for this safe easy ride on our great new Milwaukee Trail. For information or if interested but can’t make it at 2, call Ethel at 549-9722. Paricipants will receive a BWAM bike light.
Tuesday, 4:30 pm — Bike to one of Missoula’s great breweries! Meet a BWAM leader at 4:30 and decide as a group which brewery to visit — a very short ride west to Bayern, a slightly longer ride east on the trail to the Myrtle Street Kettlehouse, a short ride north, then east to Draught Works, continue over the Northside Overpass to the Northside Kettlehouse , or a much longer ride west mainly to Big Sky Brewery which serves free samples. The group will decide, possibly splitting into two groups or visiting two breweries or adding a dinner stop downtown at the Tamarack or Flathead. Many options.
Wednesday, 6:30 pm — BWAM is joining with the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center to help lead a ride to the Peace Park on Waterworks Hill. Leave JRPC (519 S. Higgins) at 6:30 and ride to the trailhead and then walk the trail to the Peace Park. Meditate, discuss, sing, or just walk around to reflect on September 11.
Thursday, 4-5:30 pm — Bike, walk, or skate through the Reserve Street underpass (north of 3rd Street) and receive a free light from Bike/Walk Alliance for Missoula (BWAM)
Friday, 7:30-9:00 a.m. bike, walk or skate across Russell Street at the bike/ped crossing at Dakota Street and receive a free light or other gift from Bike/Walk Alliance for Missoula (BWAM).
Mark your calendars now for the Bike Walk Montana Summit in Helena on March 14-15. Thursday, March 14 will feature an evening reception and social with keynote presentation by Scott Bricker, Executive Director of America Walks. Friday, March 15 is a full-day program with a mix of presentations, panel discussions and networking opportunities. Highlights include a keynote address from Lt. Governor John Walsh, and insight from local and national experts on funding, promoting bicycle tourism, facility design, educational programs, and much more! In addition to educational sessions, participants will have opportunities to explore tools and resources that communities may use to improve and promote biking and walking, learn more about MAP-21 and the Transportation Alternatives Application Process, and network with others from all across Montana. To learn more and join Bike Walk Montana, visit www.BikeWalkMontana.org.
From Transportation for America:
The US Department of Transportation is gathering public input on the new MAP-21 performance measures and other metrics with a public, web-based tool that anyone can weigh in with.
The transportation bill passed by Congress in July had a lot of references to performance measures — and just as many question marks as to what those performance measures would actually be. As you can guess, exactly what we decide to measure will have a huge impact on what does and doesn’t get built in the future. What will those performance measures be? What will DOT recommend?
To help them decide on the performance measures and freight policy for the new transportation bill, USDOT is allowing the public to both submit their own ideas and vote all of the recommendations up or down with a click of the mouse. Transportation for America has created a list of ideas that we recommend that you click “agree”or “disagree” with. You’ll have to register and create an account to submit any feedback. We will monitor ideas that are submitted and send out a follow-up email later this week with more suggested ideas to support.
Here are some of the titles of ideas we recommend you click to “I agree” with and show your support:
- Public Health & National Freight Goals/Strategic Plan
- National Strategic Plan should identify major freight corridors
- A Real Way to Measure Performance
- Separate national bike & ped fatality & injury measures
- Reporting: Clearer standards, better and more accessible data
Director, Transportation for America