In an effort to create a diverse transportation system that accommodates all modes of travel, the Metropolitan Planning Organization strives to plan safe reliable transportation infrastructure for all residents, whether they walk, bike, drive, or use transit.
For many, walking and bicycling is a healthy, clean, economical, and fun transportation alternative. Active transportation (walking, biking, skating, etc.) enhances your physical health, mental outlook, and overall quality of life. However, it is important that we all share the road safely!
Our area has a well-developed bicycle and pedestrian network. This network facilitates movement within each city, offers protected travel across the Missouri River, and allows access to remote recreational areas such as Fort Lincoln State Park. The network is comprised of both on-street and off-street sections. The paved off-street network includes multi-use paths that are at least 8 feet wide. These areas are accessible to pedestrians and cyclists, as well as, other active modes of travel (e.g.: rollerblading, running, etc.).
Additionally, The City of Bismarck has incorporated on-street bicycle facilities, which include a combination of bicycle lane and “Share the Road” signage and pavement markings. Solid white lines, signs, and painted bike symbols denote protected bike lanes and indicate the correct riding direction (with the flow of traffic). Share the Road signs and pavement markings indicate that motorist should allow adequate space for themselves and cyclists to travel safely. Share the Road signs and Sharrows are used when roadways are too narrow to accommodate a protected bike lane. It should be noted that cycling is allowed on all city streets. However, areas with increased bike usage have been structured to encourage safer travel. The communities of Bismarck and Mandan have relatively extensive sidewalk coverage, throughout the communities. The City of Bismarck has an ordinance requiring the installation of sidewalks as adjacent development occurs. Additionally, the City of Bismarck has a program, which annually focuses on specific parts of the community, to fill “gaps” in the existing sidewalk network.
Bicycle Friendly Community
The Bismarck-Mandan MPO, in collaboration with representatives from the MPO jurisdictions and various bicycle advocacy groups within the area, initiated an effort in 2015 to gain recognition as a Bicycle Friendly Community. The designation is awarded through the League of American Bicyclists, and provides benefits making this mode of transportation viable for all citizens. Additionally, it provides guidance to make a distinct vision for a more bikeable community a reality.
The application was approved by the League in 2016. Based on their review, they awarded the Bismarck-Mandan MPO area the designation of Bronze status, making the area one of 450 recognized Bicycle Friendly Communities nationwide.