At the intersection of Oak Street and 15th Avenue in Bozeman sits a memorial where Bozeman High School teacher Kelly Fulton was struck by a vehicle while bicycling to school.
Following Fulton’s death, many bikers from across the community have come together to call for more pedestrian safety so that another death like his can be avoided.
“Sometimes things happen for a reason and it's tragic that he passed, but I feel like his death inspired others to bring forth this idea of more bike safety,” says Bozeman resident Neil Rodenbeck.
Rodenbeck remembers Fulton for his creativity and passion for building; he uses those memories as a building block to bring ideas forward for increased safety for pedestrians in Bozeman.
“I think it’s good to get the ideas out there; that’s one of the reasons I came tonight,” says Rodenbeck.
Those who turned out to the meeting say they’ve seen an increase in traffic and an increase in problems involving bicyclists and pedestrians in Bozeman.
“I’ve been in Bozeman for 15 years and it's definitely gotten worse. There is much more traffic,” says biker and Bozeman resident Michael Smith.
“It’s a busy atmosphere out there,” says Rodenbeck.
Smith says he has noticed people getting away with violations that could endanger residents who are biking or walking.
“I’m seeing little to no enforcement,” says Smith.
Residents called for better street design, more visibility for crosswalks and bike lanes, and increased enforcement.
“They quickly and proactively begin to address the issues, especially about enforcement,” says Smith.
Commissioners also voiced ideas to improve traffic safety across the city.
“Looking at the possibility of reducing the maximum speed limit on city-owned and maintained streets to 35 miles per hour,” says Deputy Mayor Terry Cunningham.
“I think the answer is very clearly designing streets that are safer by design,” says Bozeman City Commissioner Christopher Coburn.
Many residents Tuesday see this as the beginning of change.
“As a city, we are growing vastly and we need to adapt to that,” says Rodenbeck.
Cunningham says that the city is preparing to look at the budgeting process for projects that involve pedestrian safety and calls on residents to provide input.