Posts Tagged ‘Bike Lanes’

The Missoula bike lane infrastructure continues to improve but there are still significant gaps in the system. This summer, chip and seal maintenance will be performed on Bancroft Street from Brooks Street to SW Higgins Avenue. Bike lanes were installed on Bancroft St. from South Ave. to SW Higgins in 2011 but are missing from Brooks St. to South Ave leaving a significant gap.

On Wednesday, 6/4, Bob Wachtel, BWAM Treasurer and Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board Chair, presented a recommendation to the Missoula Public Works Committee requesting installation of bike lanes on the section of Bancroft from Brooks to South. A significant issue to be addressed to accomplish this installation will be the removal of parking on one side of Bancroft St. The discussion at Public Works Committee can be viewed on the City website beginning 13 minutes into the meeting. Follow these links to the full recommendation from BPAB and the Addendum to the recommendation.

We anticipate that this issue will come before at least one public forum due to the significant issue of removal of parking on one side of Bancroft. We encourage everyone interested in safe biking infrastructure to watch for further developments on this 7 block segment of Bancroft Street.

“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.

The Milwaukee Trail Extension west of Russell is under construction, and the River Road neighborhood is planning a great opening celebration, hopefully in connection with Sunday Streets on September 11. While you may have discovered that, to all appearances, it seems finished between Russell and Garfield, Parks & Recreation Trail Manager David Shaw begs us to stay off it until the whole trail it is completed and formally opened. More… He writes, “While there may not be active construction happening on a segment of the trail one day, it could be occurring the next. I know that it is kind of counter-intuitive and very inconvenient to see a new trail that everyone wants to use and think that it’s closed, but it would be impossible for us or the contractor to complete one task on a segment of trail, open it to the public, then close it again to complete another task and so on across the whole 1 mile site. We really need to keep it closed for the duration of construction in the interest of protecting public safety. We are asking for everyone’s patience and cooperation on this until the project is done and officially opened for public use. Honestly, we can’t wait for it to be finished either!” Let’s all try to be patient and save our exuberance for the grand celebration of this trail which will provide such a valuable connection among neighborhoods and Businesses on both sides of Reserve and Russell Streets.

Epoxied sharrows and bike lanes are improving bicycle safety on Higgins, Beckwith, Bancroft, Mount, and should last for five years. Steve King, Missoula Public Works Director, sent the City Bike-Ped Advisory Board and BWAM an update: “As many of you know, the 2011 epoxy bike lane & sharrow project has been recently completed.  Public Works staff has been conducting a post project review to identify issues from citizens and MDT.   For example, sharrow locations and bike lane widths have been brought up for further discussion.  We are documenting where process and implementation can be improved for next year… One item that is a special concern for me was the painting on Arthur Avenue.   The southern section of Arthur was painted by the epoxy contractor instead of the northern section.  The southern section of Arthur will be overlayed with new asphalt in 2012, and the State plans to repaint the new road surface with epoxy after the pavement maintenance project. ….  Next year we will have the final phase of this three year project.  There is an opportunity to fill in gaps in the system, expand the sharrow locations, and complete maintenance on the system within the remaining budget.”