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Legislator who proposed it surprised that it would have covered ‘way more’ roads than he anticipated

A bill that would have banned Montana cyclists from many of the state’s roads is being redrafted after a strong reaction from the local cycling community. If passed in its original form, the bill would have prevented cyclists “from traveling on two-lane highways outside of municipalities when no paved shoulder is provided.”

For clarity, that doesn’t mean dual carriageways or anything – just normal two-way roads. Cyclists would largely have been restricted to designated bike paths and trails.

Legislator Barry Usher, who proposed the bill, claimed it was inspired by safety concerns

Shaun Radley, the chief operations officer for Missoula cycle touring company, Cycling House, told NBC Montana: “When you want to go on a ride, you want to get out of town. You want to go on these rural highways, but you just wouldn't be able to do that anymore.

“I worry more about my kids and some of the juniors that we hang out with and talk to. If they grow up and there's no road riding, then you're talking about a side of the sport really that's almost dying. That's hard to swallow."

Local resident Caitlyn Larsen said that she thought it would make cyclists “more safe.” Hard to argue with that, but rather feels like she’s missing the wider picture.

Larsen wasn’t alone though. Many people were supportive of the bill and Bangtail Bike and Ski owner, Chris Saboda, told Kpax.com that there was a misconception among many locals that the roads were paid for by fuel tax.

"In most places in Montana, property taxes and fees are what pays for the construction and maintenance of the roadway, so anybody who's a property owner, regardless of if they own a motor vehicle or fill their tank with gas, they are helping to pay for the roads."

There are 7,600 miles of paved, two-lane public roads without shoulders in Montana. "It's a lot of roads," said Usher. "Way more than I ever anticipated."

Following the mixed response, the bill is now being redrafted. Usher says he is working with Bike Walk Montana, Cycle Greater Yellowstone and other cycling advocates to rewrite it.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

9 comments

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 11 months ago
2 likes

Montana then.

 

Running out of nukes. 

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fullupandslowingdown [7 posts] 11 months ago
2 likes

I'm sure the British Drivers Assocation membership will be keen on this type of state bill been adopted in the UK which has much narrower and more winding roads which would be "dangerous to vunerable users"

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davel [2052 posts] 11 months ago
4 likes

Backlash, admits mistake, rewrites bill.

Silly 'politician' : it's supposed to go

Backlash, deny mistake, ignore plebs.

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burtthebike [1274 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes

In true politician style, draft a bill without talking to or consulting the people it will affect, then act surprised when they object.

Reminds me of a local MP in Bristol, Jean Corston, who tried to bring in a helmet law http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199899/cmhansrd/vo991102/debt... without bothering to talk to any actual cyclists, and was somewhat taken aback with the opposition she got when we found out.

Politicians always know best, even when they know nothing.  Any reference to the precedent would be entirely apt.

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The _Kaner [1150 posts] 11 months ago
1 like

Montana. Never been the same since the wrecking, twerking situation got out of hand....

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IanW1968 [349 posts] 11 months ago
4 likes

One million people in an area 1.5 x UK. 

Thats sounds like heaven. 

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Yorkshire wallet [1632 posts] 11 months ago
4 likes

I think this is the sort of behaviour they were trying to legislate against

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Bob'sbikes [856 posts] 11 months ago
4 likes
IanW1968 wrote:

One million people in an area 1.5 x UK. 

Thats sounds like heaven. 

Until you realise that those 1 million are americans!

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OldRidgeback [2847 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes

Montana didn't have speed limits on its road network for a time and its record on bad driving is very poor, one of the worst in the US in fact. Only Wyoming has a higher risk factor on its roads than Montana. You'd think state legislators might try and do something about the speeding and illegal car racing that goes on so that everyone on the road in the state can be safer.