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Montana Ranks Near The Bottom For Bicycle Friendliness

A legislative proposal to slap a $25 tax on out-of-state bicyclists visiting Montana turns out to be a big joke, but it's going over like a lead ballon.

Montana ranks 46th for bicycle friendliness, that’s according to a recent study from The League of American Bicyclists.

The League looked at categories including dedicated state funding, an active state advocacy group and a "share the road" campaign.

Ryan Kettel is Chair of the Non-Motorized Travel Advisory Council in Helena.

"Yeah, I'm surprised we're that low," says Kettel,  "but I've always thought Montana was fairly progressive on issues such as this, and certainly I think the cities are doing a good job of it. The fact that we're a rural state is probably a big part of that. We're a northern state with difficult weather, and mountains are probably part of that."

This week Kettel’s group is organizing a bicycle and pedestrian traffic count in Helena to help track the cities bicyclists and walkers.

The League of American Bicyclists says Montana is making progress, scoring 24 points out of 100 after only scoring 17 points last year.

The League’s report card calls for the state to adopt more bike-friendly laws that punish drivers more severely for hitting bikers and allowing larger passing lanes.

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