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Bozeman to set goal criteria in transportation plan update

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BOZEMAN, Mont. - The city of Bozeman is currently working on a major update to their transportation master plan, which will determine how the infrastructure and roads will expand as the city faces growing pains.

The update focuses on seven goals for the city's transportation layout. That includes maintaining the current system of roads and streets and improving safety.

Bozeman residents had ideas for what they would like to see improved.

"I think that the city should really focus on more bike paths, more accessibility, where people don't feel like they're going to get run over in their bike," said Becky Wysoski.

Bozeman has done transportation planning for decades; there are usually plans laid out in 10-year increments. One of the update goals this time is to make sure the current roads in the city are in good condition.

This particular goal will have criteria that the city can use to measure how they are doing. For example, one possible measurement is using a Pavement Condition Index with a scale of one to 100 to make sure the city's roads are at or above a certain condition number.

They could also set how often and how much of the bike lanes and multi-use paths are cleaned and plowed.

The city does not want to neglect bicyclists and pedestrians either. One option is to set a goal for how many miles of bike lanes and shared-used paths are added each year.

"I like biking in town. The drivers, everyone in their cars, they're pretty conscious about that, about bikers. Yeah, it seems fine to me, I don't have any complaints with it," said Thaddeus Moore, a Bozeman resident.

The city's master plan update is aiming to satisfy every resident in town as best it can. There is going to be a public informational meeting Thursday night at 6:30, so that residents can weigh in with their concerns and ideas. It will be held at the Bozeman High School south cafeteria.

According to one of the project managers of the update, about 78 percent of crashes involving bicyclists in Bozeman occurred at intersections or driveways.

Furthermore, 23 percent of bicycle crashes happened within a bicycle lane, and 59 percent of bike accidents involved an impaired driver.

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