AWESOME progress this year by the City and RTI on helping make Great Falls a great place to bicycle. Here’s a general update on progress of bike facility efforts from Andrew Finch, Senior Planner.
· New lane markings are in on 57th and River Drive (east segment), and 2nd Ave N.
· Shared lane markings going in on 9th St N with the overlay project. May not get painted until chipseal, in spring 2014.
· Transportation Plan will identify preferred bike routes and recommend markings. Until then, no new markings are planned. Transportation Plan slated for adoption around March 2014.
· We submitted a Transportation Alternatives Grant for a new shared use path from the Visitors Center to 10th Ave S, to complete connectivity to the Trail. Also submitted a TA grant to connect the trail to 3rd St NW at West Bank Park, and reconstruct the broken concrete in West Bank.
· We’re processing an agreement with MDT to build a bike/ped path from 29th St S thru the new Grand View and CM Russell Park, to connect to 33rd St S and the neighborhoods.
· 24th Avenue South reconstruction between 26th and 13th Streets will include a separated path as well as 5 ft shoulders that would accommodate on-road bikers. Scheduled for 2015 construction.
· Completed Riverview trail and Smelter Avenue shared use trail to connect neighborhood to 3rd St NW. Obtained commitment from Refinery to construct trail thru former Westgate Property when commercial re-development occurs. No timeframe, but expected in the next 5 yrs.
· Started negotiations with TDH for design of trail along Sun River near Country Club. Will connect bridge to 6th St SW.
Preference/priorities remain on the safest bicycle facilities (i.e., separated facilities). Bike lanes are not easily constructed nor are they as safe as separated paths, so will see where Transportation Plan effort recommends they be installed safely. Also will see how well Sharrows on 9th are received by community! We’ve received a citizen petition to remove the bike route from 10th Ave SW, so we have a ways to go with community acceptance of on-street facilities, even on slow local routes.
Planning & Community Development Department
City of Great Falls