Author Topic: Montana Highway bicycling access threatened in Montana Legislature  (Read 193 times)

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Offline tsteven4

On http://leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/65th/leg_info.asp?HouseID=0&SessionID=111&LAWSID=17704 there is an associated bill

Quote
LC2196   Not Assigned   Requester   (C) Draft Back for Redo   01/19/2017   Restrict bicycle, pedestrian travel on certain rural highways

The detailed bil information is here:
[urlhttp://laws.leg.mt.gov/legprd/law0210W$BSIV.ActionQuery?P_BILL_DFT_NO5=LC2196&Z_ACTION=Find&P_Sess=20171][/url]

and the current draft is here:
http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2017/lchtml/LC2196.htm

New language in the above draft includes
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     (5) (a) A bicyclist may not ride on a two-lane highway outside the boundaries of a municipality when there is no paved shoulder on which to ride.
     (b) For the purposes of this subsection (5), "bicyclist" includes a person riding a moped."

Offline slippery666jesus

Re: Montana Highway bicycling access threatened in Montana Legislature
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2017, 08:13:14 am »
Although there are people in Montana government who have been supporting cycling, there are still many who oppose all bicycle travel. It is very unfortunate, but not at all surprising. I hope this bill doesn't pass. I live in Montana and my bike is my only transportation.


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Offline zzzz

Re: Montana Highway bicycling access threatened in Montana Legislature
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 09:35:35 am »
When the ACA offices open up in the morning maybe someone there can post how serious the chance of this being passed is and who we could write to express our feelings.

It sounds like (if it were to pass) it would make the TransAm, the L & C, GPN, and even the GDMBR unridable. I've probably ridden  a thousand miles as a tourist in Montana, bisecting it North to South and East to West, each time on ACA routes. It seams to me 90% of those miles would be described as "2 lane highway" although I can't remember which ones had a paved shoulder.

Pete

Offline jamawani

Re: Montana Highway bicycling access threatened in Montana Legislature
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2017, 11:26:42 am »
Rep. Barry Usher, MT-40, is one of the sponsors of this bill.
Here is a letter I sent him:

Dear Rep. Usher - T

The anti-cycling bill (LC-2196) you are sponsoring in one of your first acts as a legislator indicates how little you know of the law as it pertains to state and federal highways. Your bill violates numerous aspects of federal highway legislation in place since at least the early 1990s. I suggest you look up multimodality and bills such as ISTEA, SAFETEA, and MAP-21. You will discover that states must include multimodal transportation options to receive federal highway funds. Failure to do so - let alone banning bicycles from a large portion of the Federal Primary and Federal Secondary systems - would result in immediate violation and a restriction or outright embargo of funds.

I have bicycled nearly every paved road in Montana from Libby to Sidney and in between - not to mention quite a few dirt roads. I know eastern Montana well, having taught at Miles Community College. The Adventure Cycling Association, one of the leading bicycling advocacy organizations, is headquartered in Missoula. I am stunned, You talk about self-reliance, but the reality is that Montana could not begin to cover the costs of its highway system without massive federal subsidies. If this bill were to pass, despite all odds, I would argue that the first funds cuts be applied to US 87 and US 12 in eastern Montana. And I would laugh as the roads crumbled.

Sincerely, John Egan Buffalo, WY

<<<>>>

Here is his legislative email address:
Rep.Barry.Usher@mt.gov

I believe that in today's environment, you have to call "stupid" by its proper name - loud and clear.
"Nice" just ain't gonna cut it any more.

Various national parks restrict bicycles as RVs grow bigger every year - and ARE accommodated.
The Whittier Tunnel in Alaska used federal funds and still has no bicycle accommodations - 15 years later.

You may also wish to encourage Mr. Usher to get on a bicycle, himself.
And include this image with your encouragement.


Offline zzzz

Re: Montana Highway bicycling access threatened in Montana Legislature
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2017, 12:53:19 pm »
Thank you for the info John. I was tempted to rip him as well and he certainly deserved it but I have sat on some local boards and know when I shut down down from listening to what folks had to say so I took a different approach. Hopefully he is dismissed as a "newb" by his fellow pols and this goes nowhere.

FWIW; my email below-

Dear Sir:

I have ridden my bicycle through your state many times. I live in Pennsylvania and one of the things I always notice when riding out west is the minimal road network. If you’re going to go anywhere, you’re going to be on a two lane highway. Fortunately you don’t miss the little country lanes back east because traffic is so light the vast majority of the time. As I think back on my time riding in Montana passing drivers typically have no one coming the other way when they’ve passed me or at most have to wait for one car to clear. Add that to the fact that most often there are 1/4 to 1/2 mile sight lines available, anyone who is in the least bit competent as a driver should be able to safely pass any cyclist on the road with either no or a very minimal delay.

I see you own a Harley dealership. Many thousands of motorcyclists are killed or injured every year because car and truck drivers can’t extend  an extra second or two of courtesy towards their fellow citizens who are just out enjoying what they love. Now your bill is looking to extend this intolerance. Bad move. Remember ; Two wheels forever!

Pete Meltzer
Zionsville, Pa.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Montana Highway bicycling access threatened in Montana Legislature
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 01:40:18 pm »
He might want to read this, and not just because that handsome devil next to the dog is me :):

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/outdoors/2014/07/23/cyclists-bring-millions-dollars-montana/13074873/

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Montana Highway bicycling access threatened in Montana Legislature
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2017, 02:28:12 pm »
He might want to read this, and not just because that handsome devil next to the dog is me :):

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/outdoors/2014/07/23/cyclists-bring-millions-dollars-montana/13074873/

Are you sure?  He'd probably read it on his cell phone while driving on a two lane road with no shoulders.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Montana Highway bicycling access threatened in Montana Legislature
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2017, 03:44:38 pm »
One question I have is what constitutes a paved shoulder? In other words, does there need to be some minimum width to the right of the white line to qualify as a shoulder?

And what does "highway" mean? Any road? Any state numbered highway? Something else? I keep thinking about things like two-lane Interstate frontage roads with no shoulders. Prohibiting riding on such roads would likely drive cyclist onto the Interstate.

If you live along a "highway" (whatever that definition encompasses) with no shoulder outside a municipality, how could leave your house on foot?


Offline jimbo

Re: Montana Highway bicycling access threatened in Montana Legislature
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2017, 08:55:50 pm »
Perhaps as a Harley Dealership owner he is  just pissed off at moped riders and bicyclists got caught up in it. LOL

Great response by John Egan. Thank you.

I've probably spent more days pedaling thru Montana on three xc trips than any state other than my home state of NY.

I cant believe this could get traction..but then it's been the kind of year that has emboldened some really pissed off people to grab the stage. 

Maybe the media can have an interview with him and get shed some light on his motivation.
JK