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Bozeman to host summit for safer roads

Published On: Mar 13 2013 11:06:13 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

"It's definitely one of those things, especially when it's dusk or getting dark out, that it can be really scary" said Bozeman resident Amanda Patriarche.

She's talking about riding her bicycle. She said on streets without bike lanes, it can be dangerous.

"Some people almost turned right into me and I had to stop suddenly" she said, recounting a past experience.

Patriarche said there's always the chance for a close call, and wishes there were more safety measures for bikes and pedestrians.

"I think the biggest thing would definitely be the bike lanes" she said.

The City of Bozeman agrees more can be done, so they're hosting a Community Transportation Safety Summit to hear public concerns and get new ideas.

"That's one of our goals is to minimize severe accidents and injuries to people" said Bozeman City Engineer Rick Hixson.

In addition to bike and pedestrian safety, Hixson said they'll focus on ramping up seat-belt use and cutting down distracted driving.

"It's not just cell phones- inattentive driving covers a lot of ground" he said.

Hixson said they'll identify strategies to tackle those three issues, and implement a safety plan.

Patriarche said the first thing that she'd put on the list?

"The culture needs to change" she said. "I think that's the biggest thing and we need more education about it. I know on campus they do a lot, but maybe just throughout the whole town of Bozeman."

The Community Transportation Safety Summit is on Wednesday, March 20th from 6 to 9 pm at Bozeman City Hall. The event is open to the public.