Missoula City Council Committee of the Whole Minutes

Meeting #:
City Council Chambers
140 W. Pine Street, Missoula , MT
Members present:
  • Stacie Anderson,
  • Mirtha Becerra,
  • Michelle Cares,
  • John DiBari,
  • Heather Harp,
  • Gwen Jones,
  • Julie Merritt,
  • Bryan von Lossberg,
  • and Heidi West
Members absent:
  • Julie Armstrong,
  • Jordan Hess,
  • and Jesse Ramos

​​​​​​​​The minutes were approved as submitted.

​​​​​​​​The minutes were approved as submitted.

von Lossberg - Ben Weiss is here to give us an update on the Bicycle Ambassador Program.

Ben Weiss - Bicycle Ambassador Program has existed in Missoula since 2003  Gabe Musson is an Ambassador and he is here to tell you about the program.  

Gabe Musson - Wyatt Smith was my partner for half of the summer.  Our goals for the summer were to bring awareness of cyclist laws and safety to cyclists around the City of Missoula.  There are mile markers around the Bitterroot Branch and Milwaukee trails with emergency information.  We participated in various events around Missoula during the summer months including doing bike maintenance and building new bikes at Free Cycles.  We also canvassed the Westside neighborhood to bring bicycle awareness to the neighborhood.

Harp - Did you just canvas the Westside neighborhood?

Gabe Musson - Yes, we will be canvassing different neighborhoods each year.

Ben Weiss - We are following the bus Bolt line and asking people about their travel habits.  

West - Are you collecting information on how many people are using bikes to get to the bus routes?

Ben Weiss - We haven't been.  The survey Gabe mentioned is about behavior.  

von Lossberg - There was a bike valet at the farmer's market, did you participate in that?

Gabe Musson - No, they used our racks.  We asked people what would cause them to bike more often, most mentioned having a bike light.

Ben Weiss - We would walk people through trip routes so they could bike safely to their location.

Jones - I purchased a rechargeable bike light for my son this year which has been beneficial.

Gabe Musson - I have a few of those.  

Becerra - Are people asking about where to register their bikes or are they asking about the cost of registration; what is your education on this?  I can't access the page on the City website for that information.

Ben Weiss - That page will be fixed.  Council eliminated the fee for registration. 

Gabe Musson - Reviewed their biking behavior survey.  They held bikapalooza prior to Sunday streets.  529 Garage is a good website on bike registration.

Ben Weiss - The police department has been working with us on 529 Garage.   Bike shops can register bikes for their customers at the time of purchase.

Gabe Musson - We talked to a lot of people this year.  Numbers are down from last year but that was due to conditions.

Ben Weiss - Missoula in Motion made difference in the types and quality of conversations we had.

Gabe Musson - I did hear concerns about biking behavior on the trails.  These are things we can try and address in the future.

Harp - Is there a way the rest of us can urge people to get off their bikes on sidewalks in Missoula?

Gabe Musson - State law allows it.  We try and discourage it.

Cares - When 5th and 6th Streets were re-striped, someone asked about bikers investing more in the bike infrastructure.  What is your response for bikers investing?

Ben Weiss - When we charged a registration, it took more to run the program than what we brought in.  The gas tax does not put as much in to roads as people believe.  People who don't drive are doing more to subsidize drivers then drivers are doing for non drivers. 

von Lossberg - We are out of time.  Any last comments.

Gabe Musson - Thank you and I'm thankful for this opportunity.

von Lossberg - Thank you!

  • Vote results:

von Lossberg - Our next presentation is from the Office of Housing and Community Development.

Eran Pehan, Director Office of Housing and Community Development - We are here to talk about our progress on A Place to Call Home.  We are working with the County on this project.  We brought on an additional employee to address this project.

Montana James, Grant Coordinator, Office of Housing and Community Development - We have broken up our implementation into five workflows.  We have a three year implementation timeline.  Workflows were reviewed.

Harp - Can you elaborate on land use code funding?

Eran Pehan - Some aspects of Land Use Code changes will happen through updates to Title 20 some aspect require consultants.

Montana James - Continued to review workflows.

von Lossberg - On the land trust... is that a new City land trust program?

Montana James - Policy suggests supporting the programs we have and expanding them.

Merritt - I have been reading about short term rentals displacing long term rentals.

Eran Pehan - That is something we are looking at.  We have a tourist home code that addresses short term requirements.  We weren't seeing much of an impact, but it is something we are tracking closely.

von Lossberg - Tom Zavits is coordinating with this data.  This is why I wanted to see us codify a licensing fee.

West - Finding out clusters is important.  I know areas where there are only a couple of year round occupied homes left.  I was also looking at City support is that CBGB?

Eran Pehan - Yes to both.

Montana James - We have also been working on an outreach and developing framework. 

von Lossberg - Thank you. 

  • Vote results:

11:14 AM