April 2019
Thank you for being part of the Bike Walk Montana Mission to improve safety and accessibility for people who ride bikes and walk in Montana!
From the Executive Director's Desk
It’s spring and I’m sure you are all glad to have more sunshine and warmth to get out to walk and bike. I have concluded that snow is really meant for joyful play -- think snow forts, skiing, snow angels sledding and the like -- not for getting around in! We need to keep that sense of joy year round, but a Montana spring really is something to celebrate.

And I hope part of your celebration will be to increase your support for all that Bike Walk Montana is doing. Every day we are on the front line of transportation advocacy, and your membership support is a critical part of our funding. Without it, we simply would not exist! As well as a donation, you can convert your membership into a regular, sustaining membership which provides a steady and reliable budget for our work.

We have had success in the legislature, have successfully planned and installed a temporary traffic circle in Helena in partnership with AARP, are planning for our inaugural Affiliates and Advocates Rendezvous on May 10 in Helena, and are setting up our Bike Walk Montana advocacy events calendar which will put us out around Montana at a bike/walk event near you. And we have hired a new Outreach/communications liaison – Kris Bergman – who is improving our membership service, has been the key in getting out our e-lerts, this newsletter and many other critical tasks in our office.

We want to say a huge thank you to Linley Davis, who is now working fulltime in Kansas as a special education teacher, and helped us make the transition to new staff. We know Linley will always have a fond spot for Montana and we hope will return to enjoy the results of her hard work over the last several years.

And I have been on the road again, as Willie says, in Dillon, Whitefish, Kalispell, Billings, Bozeman, Missoula and Great Falls, talking to members, businesses and partners. I find one common thread – we are many and there is both much to celebrate and to still accomplish. Please stay involved and again, help fund us to keep rolling! AND celebrating!

Travel safe!

Doug Habermann
Legislative Wrap-Up
The Montana State Legislature has begun their long Easter weekend, as of this writing, and there is much good news to report.  Thank you to all of you who contacted legislators during the session – you made a difference!!

Montana Pedestrian & Bicycle Plan
The Montana Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan is the first statewide effort to address the needs of non-motorized users across the state. The plan is intended to be used as a resource by both the MT Department of Transportation and its partners as they work to fulfill the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists and all who use the state’s transportation system.  Review a full copy of the plan here.

We will have the plan reviewed and our comments out next week. MDOT will also be at our Rendezvous (see below) and has agreed to take comments at that meeting.

MAY 10: Bike Walk Montana Affiliates
and Advocates Rendezvous
Plan to join us for Bike Walk Montana’s first “Affiliates and Advocates Rendezvous” set for May 10, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Helena. The purpose of the event is to network, discuss policy and law-making efforts, share ideas and socialize on a walk/ride.  

Come See Us!!
We will be at a number of events across Montana this summer and invite you to attend and visit about Bike Walk successes, issues, ideas and challenges in your area. We are developing this as the Bike Walk Montana Advocacy event series to include advocacy, an accessibility/adaptive equipment component, user and safety education, traffic calming demonstrations, and other activities as developed by the events committee and by location.

We hope you’ll see us in your hometown, but also consider supporting these other great events and the advocates that put them on. You can truly make us one through Bike Walk Montana as well as enjoy the local paths, trails and attractions.

We are still working with event organizers to finalize locations and activities but our tentative list includes:

  • BWAM Bike Swap, April 27, Missoula - confirmed
  • Gallatin Valley Bike Swap, May 4, Bozeman - confirmed
  • Tour De Fleur, May 5, Billings
  • Ales for Trails, May 17, Helena
  • Helena Roll and Stroll, May 18 - confirmed
  • Fork to Farm Tour, June 9, Corvallis - confirmed
  • Beyond the Dam, June 16, Great Falls
  • Butte 100, July 27
  • Lincoln Trail Days, August 11 - confirmed
  • Ales for Trails, September 6, Billings

Let us know if you have an event you’d like us at. We are looking forward to seeing you out there. We will keep you posted and also encourage all members to contribute and volunteer to make these gatherings successful and “fun-full”!
Neighborhood Project Focuses on Improving Safety of Street Users
A temporary traffic circle installed in mid-March in Helena is helping calm traffic in a local neighborhood by reducing driver and bicycle speeds. The project was implemented by Bike Walk Montana (BWMT), neighborhood volunteers, and the Western Transportation Institute (WTI), with funding support from AARP and approval by the Helena City Engineering Department.

According to Bike Walk Montana Executive Director, Doug Habermann, the traffic circle has proven effective in slowing traffic in the area, helping ensure the safety of residents, trailhead users, and children playing at the nearby playground and basketball court.

“This pop-up project is using an online survey to gather both neighborhood and driver reaction, along with quantifiable data, such as traffic speed,” says Habermann. “These materials, and the trailer we house them in, will be available for other locations across our community and state. Besides a traffic circle, some other possibilities that could be considered are high-visibility crosswalks, curb extensions, and/or bike lanes.” Contact us at info@bikewalkmontana.org for more information about the availability of the trailer and materials.
Kris Bergman Joins Bike Walk Montana as Communications & Outreach Liaison
Kris Bergman is the newest addition to Bike Walk Montana, joining u as Communications and Outreach Liaison in March, 2019. Kris is also a newcomer to both Helena and Montana. Previously, she lived and worked in northwestern Minnesota as a graphic designer and communications director. Kris enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, and loves to camp. She can’t wait to spend time in the mountains this summer and learn how to fly fish!
  • Ride in a Straight Line as far to the right as safely possible, but remaining visible to motorists. Don’t swerve. Use hand signals if you’re slowing down or turning
  • Get Personal! Make eye contact with drivers (in a non-creepy way) to ensure that they see you, and they’ll give you more respect on the road.
  • Watch for Hazards
  • Obey the Law. Make sure you know the rules, and remember, red lights and stop signs apply to you too!

  • Be Patient. If the lane is too narrow, if there is oncoming traffic, or if you don’t have enough visibility to pass, don’t.
  • Reduce Your Speed when approaching a bicycle. Even if there is a bike lane, an opening car door (for example) may cause the rider to swerve into traffic.
  • Don’t Honk. You could startle the rider. Make eye contact and, if you make a mistake, everyone loves a courtesy wave!
  • Be Extra Cautious of Children. They can be even more unpredictable and less aware of the dangers around them.
Your membership with Bike Walk Montana makes the roads you travel safer. It also provides more opportunities for you, your friends, and your family members to bike and walk. Join others across Montana by becoming a member of Bike Walk Montana today!
Bicycling and walking in Montana is improving because of you!
Bike Walk Montana | PO Box 584, Helena, MT 59624 | (406) 449-2787 | Email | Website