|April 2011- Sustainable Transportation News|
Spring is landing in the Missoula Valley. That means lots of events like rides, festivals and celebrations. And it's also an important time for advocacy work to gain better bike lanes, trails and improved roadway designs.
The Festival of Cycles is still running strong, with the 14th annual taking place in McCormick Park on April 30th- after a 12 year run at Bonner Park. The new location is on the river and 3 blocks from the community shop. Be sure to bring extra bikes and parts to share, and build what ever you can dream up. The Celebrate Circles series kicks off by celebrating the UM Oval on 4/12, followed by a Piazza Party downtown 5/3 and the finale is the Bike Walk commuter party at the Pedal Power Warehouse 5/5. Mud Slide Charlie plays the Warehouse party, following up on their energetic performance from the December 'Spice Your Bike' fiesta. See the calendar for a full run down of other celebrations and the rides and workshops.
We are gaining some fantastic trail connections early this summer- prime is the new bike ped bridge connecting the California foot bridge to the River Front trail. This one little connection will greatly expand the 'trail shed' by allowing walkers and bikers from the west part of town to get all the way to the University and other points east without interacting with cars (save for the very human scale crossing at Campus Dr). Another trail on the way is the Russell to Reserve section of the Old Milwaukee.
Arthur 5th 6th will be built, taking most of the summer. This project is a vast improvement over the massive proposed expansion from six years ago. Overwhelming public opposition changed the preferred design to a more human scale. With new bike lanes, sidewalks, a trail connection, a bike box, green lanes and textured crosswalks, the active transportation modes are well represented. For motor vehicles, the route becomes more direct to cross the river. Our disappointment is that a signal will go in at Arthur 5th instead of a roundabout. Yet roadways are always changing over the long term and we will continue to advocate for the roundabouts in the 'Citizens' Plan.'
Many bike lanes will gain width this summer as street crews repaint and apply the longer lasting epoxy. We are advocating for new bike lanes on the Russell repave, as well as tune-ups in lane widths on E. Mullan, Van Buren, E. Broadway and Higgins (South to Bancroft) with these larger scale repaving projects.
Buses are increasing in response to record ridership and can you hear that train whistle in the distance? Drop by Free Cycle if you'd like to build a bike or teach someone how to do it themselves. Happy Spring.