Center for Health and Safety Culture researchers Annmarie McMahill and Jay Otto attended the World Appreciative Inquiry Conference at the end of March in Nice, France. The theme of the conference focused on “Generating constructive conversations for the common good.” Participants had the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from around the world to share their cutting-edge work on positive approaches to improving organizations, communities, and public health.
As part of Women’s History Month, the Montana State University Women’s Center invited WTI Researcher Dani Hess to make a presentation last week on the bicycle and its key role in the women’s suffrage movement. She detailed how bicycles provided women with a means of solo travel to political, educational, and employment opportunities, which inspired Susan B. Anthony to say that bicycles have “done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.”
Last week, the Whitefish Pilot reported on efforts by the town of Whitefish, Montana to address growing congestion in its downtown area. WTI is conducting an alternative transportation study to evaluate transportation and transit issues that impact parking in the downtown core. Principal Investigators David Kack and Laura Fay have conducted commuter surveys to determine the number of downtown workers who are driving solo, carpooling, and taking the bus. The findings will be used to explore alternative transportation pilot projects and develop the downtown parking plan. The Whitefish Pilot article is available on the newspaper’s website.
A new traffic calming device is making its debut in Helena! WTI, Bike Walk Montana, and neighborhood volunteers teamed up to install a pop-up traffic circle, which is designed to slow vehicles on a road near a popular trail head where there are many pedestrians. The circle will be in place for one month, during which time a camera will record traffic speeds and researchers will gather public feedback on potential long-term solutions. KTVH Montana posted a news report showing the installation on its website. WTI has participated in similar neighborhood traffic calming projects in Bozeman.
Winter Bike to Work Day and new campus shuttle promote transportation options
Snow is falling and so are the temperatures, but hearty Bozeman residents never shy away from going outside in the winter. With that in mind, the Bozeman Commuter Project is sponsoring Winter Bike to Work Day on March 8, 2019 to encourage local commuters to continue (or even start!) cycling to work through the winter months. Participants who register at bozemancommute.org can earn reward coupons for local coffee shops and breweries. The project also provides cyclists with tips for cycling safely in winter conditions. WTI is a partner in the Bozeman Commuter project and is helping to promote this event. “We always get a great response to our commuter challenges in the summer months,” said project coordinator Dani Hess; “we want to keep that momentum going and keep encouraging the folks who choose to get around by bike in the winter months as well.”
In other commuter news, the Associated Students of Montana State University have launched a campus shuttle that makes loops around the perimeter of campus every 20 minutes on weekdays from 7:40 a.m. until 5:40 p.m. The service is free to students, staff, faculty and visitors, so check out the route map and additional information here. WTI has also provided support to this pilot effort through the Bozeman Transportation Demand Management project. “We’re excited to see the growing interest in transportation options at MSU from student leadership and are happy to be a part of piloting and evaluating new services like the campus shuttle,” said Hess.
Attention Montana parents! The Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC), in partnership with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, has created ParentingMontana.org – a new website packed with informative tools on guiding children and teens toward safe and healthy behaviors.
On January 23, Montana Governor Steve Bullock officially launched the website with a news conference, stating “In Montana, we want what’s best for our kids and we all want to be the best parent possible. Now, there’s a new resource available to tackle the wide variety of challenges youth deal with and to support the success of each child in Montana.”
The website features practical tools for parents with kids ranging from age five to age nineteen, covering challenging topics such as anger, bullying, chores, confidence, conflict, discipline, friends, homework, listening, lying, peer pressure, reading, routines, stress, and underage drinking. It is the product of months of thorough and detailed work by the entire staff at CHSC.
Principal Investigators Annmarie McMahill and Jay Otto had the opportunity to participate in the news conference to celebrate the website going live. “It is exciting to see all these great tools come together in one easy-to-use location,” said Annmarie, “and so gratifying to work on a project that will be immediately helpful to parents, teachers, and caregivers in our communities.”
When the Citizen Times in North Carolina wants to know about wildlife crossings, its reporters call on WTI Road Ecologist Marcel Huijser. Columnist Bill McGoun interviewed Marcel about the installation costs of wildlife crossings and fencing for an opinion piece last week, entitled “In rural WNC, human must progress in harmony with wildlife.” As part of an ongoing series in the Times about wildlife corridors, Marcel’s expertise has already been included in three articles since the start of 2019! Read about the previous articles on the WTI News page.
WTI, Bike Walk Montana, and neighborhood volunteers are teaming up to install a pop-up traffic circle in Helena,Montana in March. The traffic calming project is designed to slow vehicles on a road near a popular trail head, and to gather public feedback on potential long-term solutions. The Helena Independent Record provided a recent update on the joint effort. WTI has participated in similar neighborhood traffic calming projects in Bozeman.