14 hours ago
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Its official, the North Higgins bike lanes are here to stay in Missoula. The road has been chipped & sealed and new lines put down on the road. For now the lanes only extend to broadway, but the will soon be placed all the way to the end of Higgins; I'm interested to see how they place the bike lanes around the loop.
Almost everywhere you go in Missoula, road construction has taken over. And of course the money is coming from the federal stimulus. Say what you want about the stimulus, its taking care of a lot of our old worn out roads this summer. The amazing thing too is the speed with which these projects are being completed (other than Scott St bridge and the roundabout on Higgins). It sure seems like they are trying to get the most out of the money that they can.
The one thing that is annoying is the little jagged pebbels they are using for the chip seal. My road bike has fenders and these things are getting caught in between my tires and fenders. I've taken to riding my fixed gear until the excess gravel is gone. Another issue is that cars are flinging the gravel at me as they pass me, it doesn't really hurt that much to get hit by one, but its still inconvinient.
Below are a few photos taken along Phillips St in the Westside neighborhood of Missoula. Only about a month ago the Missoula City Council adopted a resoltion for traffic calming along the street. These mainly consist of pedestrian bulb outs at intersections and heavily used cross walks that are meant to narrow the road and so force traffic to slow down. The ones in the photos are close to an elementary school and nice park that is used at almost all times of the day.
All these projects have been helped along by the great network of local transportation advocacy groups and neighborhood coalitions. The Higgins bike lanes were even pushed forward by many of the local downtown businesses and business organizaitons.
Thanks to BWAM, MIST, and MAST for all the hard work. I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting. And also to the Missoula city council for supporting traffic calming and the MT-DOT for supporting better bike infrastructure.