Dawson County and the city of Glendive (the county seat) are working hard to make their streets safer for walking and biking. Due to the oil boom in past years in eastern Montana and North Dakota, car and truck traffic in this small rural county had greatly increased and exacerbated safety issues for pedestrians and bicyclists. In addition, according to the County Health Rankings, adult obesity and physical inactivity are 27% and 28% respectively (Montana state rates are 24% and 22%).
In 2013, Dawson County sent a multi-sector leadership team representing the county and the city to the first Montana Building Active Communities Initiative (BACI) Action Institute.
Soon after attending the Action Institute, the Building Active Glendive (BAG) coalition was formed and currently has close to a dozen community leaders—including the Mayor of Glendive, a county commissioner, the health department, Rotarians, planners and engineers as well as active community volunteers. The coalition meets monthly.
BAG Coalition Successes
- Dawson County adopted a Complete Streets Policy in October 2014. It ranked third among all complete streets policies passed nationwide in 2014.
- The BAG coalition worked together to educate community members in opposition to the Glendive complete streets policy. The City unanimously passed the Glendive Safe and Accessible Streets Policy in April 2015.
- The Walking Biking Master Plan for the City of Glendive and West Glendive was developed and approved.
- Two major road projects are being studied by the Montana Department of Transportation for possible redesign (e.g., road diet) to be safer for walkers and bikers.
- A trail system map of Greater Glendive and Makoshika State Park was developed by the BAG coalition. Funding for printing 2,000 copies was obtained from one of the coalition partners, the Glendive Convention & Visitors Bureau. Maps will be distributed to local hotels and other locations.
- A partnership between BAG, the City of Glendive and Dawson Community College has welding students producing several custom bike racks. The first, designed in the shape of a tennis racket, holds up to 20 bikes and was placed in a local park by the tennis courts and skate park. The next one, built in the shape of a train, will be placed in a city park by the railroad tracks.