Helena's multimodal and infrastructure plan includes bicycles

Posted at 6:46 PM, Jul 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-28 11:00:04-04

HELENA — The planning effort for the city of Helena’s Downtown Multimodal and Infrastructure Plan has been on-going since early 2022.

 The last public outreach effort focused on multimodal transportation and the Pedestrian Mall.

Part of the plan is to implement new infrastructure to better accommodate bicycles in downtown areas.

Most downtown roadways don’t have dedicated lanes for bikes.

Bike accommodations are only found on Bike Boulevards where they share travel lanes with vehicles.

The plan includes adding dedicated bike lanes to more Downtown roads to allow riders to travel at their own pace.

Due to the width of most roads the city would need to repurpose one side of on-street parking for the dedicated bike lanes.

For the Pedestrian Mall, the city is considering changing code to allow bicycles and other non-motorized-wheeled vehicles on the mall.

There are three possible configurations the city has presented, they could leave the mall as is and just change it to a shared space, add dedicated bike lanes with pedestrian traffic on the edges, or add bike lanes with pedestrian traffic in the center.

I talked with some Helena locals to get their thoughts on adding bikes to the mall.

“They should probably make a special bike path, cause people go down here so fast, and they all don’t really pay attention to the pedestrians,” Helena resident, Schnackel said.

“I don’t think they should start marking off lanes on the walking mall, the malls for walking,” Helena resident, Dennis McCahon said.

A public open house for the plan is being help on Thursday, August 3, and the city is taking comments on the plan until August 23.