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Missoula council moves to protect bike lanes from vehicle parking

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(MTN News photo) (MTN News photo)

MISSOULA - Thanks to a new provision passed by the Missoula City Council on Monday night, vehicles will no longer be allowed to park in bike lanes.

Council members voted 9-to-1 to add language to the local ordinance prohibiting parking in those lanes and gave police the authority for enforcement. In addition, the provision also included a prohibition on parking in and around bus stops.

The issue emerged this year when a Linda Vista neighborhood successfully removed bicycle lanes from Linda Vista Boulevard. 

Council members overwhelmingly agreed that investments in bicycle infrastructure needs to be better protected, and that the safety of cyclists is central to the provision.

“We’re not itching to go out and give tickets to people, this is about ensuring safety, ensuring predictability and comfort of everyone using the reading.” said Missoula Bicycle/Pedestrian Program Manager Ben Weiss.

The provision allows the Missoula Police Department to follow state law supporting violations for vehicles parked in bicycle lanes.

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