Writer concerned about cyclists on Continental
I am writing because I am extremely concerned about the safety of bike riders and motorists on Continental Drive south of Butte. I live in this area, so I travel the stretch of Continental to and from the I-15/I-90 interchange several times daily. I’m encountering more and more bicyclists on the road each year, and with that, I am witnessing more close calls and near misses with bikes. There is a very narrow shoulder on this road. In my opinion, it is not even wide enough for folks to use as a bike lane.
I decided to write because of an incident last Friday morning. As I turned north onto Continental from Meadowview, I was nearly hit by a pickup truck towing a travel trailer. The driver of the truck swerved out of his lane, crossing the double yellow line and into my lane. I stopped in mid-turn to avoid a wreck, and when the truck passed I saw what caused him to swerve: a pack of bicyclists riding three abroad. As I proceeded north on Continental that morning I encountered 30 to 40 more bike riders all riding several wide which meant they were riding well out into traffic because there is no shoulder.
While I admit the amount of riders on Friday was unusual, I have had many hair-raising close calls with bicyclists on this road.
I understand the allure for bicyclists on this stretch of road, but there is no possible way for them to ride without putting themselves and motorists at risk. The bicycle is a vehicle subject to traffic laws of the adjacent street under Montana Code Annotated, which includes going the speed limit and careless driving. It’s gotten to the point I detour down Highway 10, going 9 miles out of my way, to avoid the stress of encountering bicycles on Continental.