HELENA – The Montana Department of Transportation wants to make it easier to bike and walk around the Treasure State.
MDT and Robert Peccia & Associates are developing the state’s first pedestrian and bicycle plan and asking the community what’s most important to them. On Thursday, consultants gathered feedback as part of a series of open houses held across the state.
The consultants are looking for feedback in specific areas including Safety and Education, System Preservation and Maintenance, Mobility Health and Economic Vitality, Accessibility and Connectivity and Barriers and Challenges.
MDT is hoping to add some consistency in the way they approach and design pedestrian and bicycle transportation on state-owned and maintained facilities. The plan won’t look at specific areas or projects but rather identify common themes and important issues to the public.
Scott Randall, project manager for Robert Peccia & Associates, said Montana’s rural landscape can pose challenges for transportation.
“Certainly some areas we’re doing a great job and some areas – because of the vastness of our state – we run into some challenges on accommodating non-motorized users,” Randall said.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, Montana ranks fifth in the nation for per capita spending on walking and biking which equates to about $7 per person.
“On a whole, we’re making great strides on how we’re accommodating all users and I think we can certainly continue to move forward,” Randall said.
The pedestrian and bicycle plan is expected to be finalized in February of 2019. You can also submit your feedback by visiting here.