Montana Pedestrian & Bicycle Plan
Why prepare a statewide pedestrian and bicycle plan?
MDT’s mission is to serve the public by providing a transportation system and services that emphasize quality, safety, cost effectiveness, economic vitality, and sensitivity to the environment. Based on input received through the biennial public and stakeholder surveys and the recent update of TranPlanMT, Montana’s, policy-based Long-Range Transportation Plan, there is interest and support for the benefits that are derived from walking and bicycling. Montana is among the highest-ranked states in the nation for commuting by walking and bicycling. As Montana’s transportation system is developed, it must consider the needs of those who, by choice or circumstance, walk or bicycle for transportation.
What is the purpose of the Plan?
The Plan primarily aims to provide consistency across MDT for considering pedestrian and bicycle modes within existing projects on state owned and maintained facilities. It is understood that the state maintained facilities make up a small percentage of the overall public road miles in the state, the state facilities carry three times as much traffic as the local road network. As such, the Plan will be developed with the intention of being utilized as a resource by other entities.
Who is developing the Plan?
While the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is the contracting authority for this planning effort, the Plan is being developed with input from state, tribal, and local governments, along with the public and stakeholders. A Steering Committee of state and local governmental agencies will help guide the development process. Input from technical experts, key stakeholders, and the public will be solicited throughout the planning process to provide perspective in their area of interest and expertise regarding pedestrian and bicycle transportation. Robert Peccia and Associates (RPA) and Alta Planning + Design (Alta) are assisting the planning partners in competing the Plan.
How will the results of the Plan be used?
Completing the Plan is a critical first step in establishing a common vision and goals to meet the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians, improve safety, and establish a more walk-and-bike friendly Montana. The Plan will be used by MDT to provide consistency in considering pedestrian and bicycle modes within existing projects on state owned and maintained facilities. It will help MDT use their limited resources more prudently, and identify roles for other partnering agencies in the development of pedestrian and bicycle facilities. It is intended that the plan will also be used as a resource by other entities and partners across the state.
How can I contribute to the planning effort?
The public is invited to participate in the planning process through the online survey and ongoing information review and input. This website has been developed to provide opportunities to comment on the needs of the state’s non-motorized transportation system and later, on the draft Plan. Dates, times, and locations of public engagement opportunities will be announced prior to the events through the local media, an electronic mailing list, and this website.
Those with specific interests in the planning effort are encouraged to join the email list. They can do so by contacting any of the project contacts listed on this website. The project team will collect and consider all public comments received to better understand the public view of potential issues.