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Author Topic: Montana  (Read 12877 times)

Plutonic Panda

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Re: Montana
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2021, 01:51:13 PM »

There have been reservations for parts of national parks for years. You can't just show up and expect to get a camping site without a reservation. You can't just expect to start a multi-day backpacking hike without reserving camping sites, and can't just camp wherever you want.

The fact is, whether you like it or not, the National Park Service has the obligation to protect the park and preserve it, not "the responsibility of the individual". There is no "right" to unlimited access to the park just because you say so. The NPS has the obligation to determine whether or not current visitor loads are too excessive for the park, and to put restrictions in place to ensure the integrity of the park.

Also, the reservation is not a specific time for entrance. It's a reservation that lasts for 7 days, and you can enter and leave as many times as you want during that period. This isn't a big deal, and it won't restrict people from visiting the park, so long as they do just a tiny bit of planning ahead.
Iíll respond to this later as a lot of what you said is just borderline strawmans but never once did I claim you can camp anywhere you want and nor did I claim you are guaranteed camping. I spent around 100 days camping last year Iím pretty familiar with it and Iíll respond more in detail in a bit.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Montana
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2021, 02:02:15 PM »

PS Iím just going to create a new thread for this cause I realize I have hijacked thread sorry but this is an issue but I care deeply about.
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FrCorySticha

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Re: Montana
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2021, 03:08:17 PM »

Iíll respond to this later as a lot of what you said is just borderline strawmans but never once did I claim you can camp anywhere you want and nor did I claim you are guaranteed camping. I spent around 100 days camping last year Iím pretty familiar with it and Iíll respond more in detail in a bit.

Nothing strawman about my argument. There are precedents within the NPS for how many people can use certain aspects of the park at a time, and reservations are required to ensure that. They're just implementing reservations for how many people can drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road, as the reservations are only for private vehicle access through the West and St. Mary's entrances of the park between Memorial Day and Labor Day. You can walk or bike through those entrances without a reservation. You can stay in the hotels in the park and the reservation for that stay covers the reservation for the entrance. You can ride the classic red bus into the park and that covers the reservation. So no strawman here, just showing precedent for reservations within NPS.
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US 89

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Re: Montana
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2021, 03:25:31 PM »

I think one solution to the problem of overcrowded national parks that doesn't involve reservations is simply to limit capacity at the entrances - something along the lines of "we aren't allowed to let more than X cars into the park in a Y minute span".

Arches had to do this last week. Other than the resulting long line to enter the park, it seemed to work just fine.

deathtopumpkins

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Re: Montana
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2021, 06:49:00 PM »

Also, the reservation is not a specific time for entrance. It's a reservation that lasts for 7 days, and you can enter and leave as many times as you want during that period. This isn't a big deal, and it won't restrict people from visiting the park, so long as they do just a tiny bit of planning ahead.

This isn't entirely accurate. While yes, one entry is valid for 7 days, you MUST enter the park on the specific day you make the reservation for. So if you make a reservation for July 10, you MUST enter the park on July 10. You can return as many times as you want from the 11th through the 16th (assuming they aren't turning people away because it's at capacity), but ONLY if you entered the park on the 10th. You can't make a reservation for the 10th and then not show up until the 14th.

And the above is only true for Glacier. Rocky Mountain is doing timed entries this summer - you have to reserve a 2 hour window to arrive within.

I visited some national parks with reservations last year, and I'll be visiting more this year (including Glacier). The reservations are annoying, but I think they're necessary given how crowded they've gotten. My only real complaint is that reservations MUST be made online (which excludes anyone without internet access), and how NPS insists they're free, then turns around and charges you a $2 fee to make one.

I definitely prefer a reservation system over just limiting capacity at the entrance though. It's much more conducive to visiting parks as part of a cross-country road trip, especially if you just want to drive through.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Montana
« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2021, 08:02:23 PM »

I made a thread here for discussing reservations and public lands access.

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=28984.msg2593987#new
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abqtraveler

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Re: Montana
« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2021, 09:29:07 AM »

The old US-10 bridge over the Yellowstone River east of Reed Point that was in danger of collapse is almost gone. As of this morning, all of the truss sections have been dismantled. The bridge pier (Pier 4) that was in danger of failing due to scour has been removed, as has been Pier 5 and the northern abutment. All that remains is the southern abutment, a short span from that abutment to Pier 2, and Pier 3. I'm figuring that within the next couple of weeks what's left of the bridge will be gone, and the contractor will start cleaning up.

The Montana Department of Transportation has set up a webcam with an image archive so you can watch the bridge as it's dismantled.

http://www.montanadotwebcams.com/silver.htm
« Last Edit: May 21, 2021, 11:39:07 AM by abqtraveler »
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andy3175

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Re: Montana
« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2021, 02:54:09 PM »

Downtown Billings sees conversion of one-way streets to two-way traffic on North 29th and North 30th Streets as of June 23, 2021. This is based on a study suggesting changes to the street grid: https://downtownbillings.com/wp-content/uploads/Downtown-Traffic-Study.pdf. More information in the following article:

https://www.kulr8.com/community/two-way-street-conversions-in-downtown-billings/article_c6a6ebb4-d4a3-11eb-9541-87996074ff7e.html

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If you're heading to work on North 29th or North 30th Street, get ready to see traffic coming the other way Thursday (6/24/21). Both streets are being opened to two-way traffic now.

"We're implementing part of that plan, and we're kind of doing that in pieces, as budgets allow," City Engineer Mac Fogelson said.

That'll be the case between 6th Avenue North and Montana Avenue, as well. And there are even more plans for two-way traffic conversion.

"2nd and 3rd, from either Division all the way to 22nd, might be converted long term," Fogelson said.

City officials say this has been in the works since 2019, and several businesses along these streets have wanted the two-way roads for awhile.

"One of the benefits of the two-way traffic is to promote business access. So, everyone's experienced having to drive around the block with the one way traffic," Fogelson said.

You'll see signs for parking spots you have to back into. Officials say these will help in the long run and make it easier for passengers to get out of their vehicles.

"We've all experienced that feeling of backing out into traffic, and you're behind the big F250, and you have no idea what's coming," Fogelson said.
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andy3175

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Re: Montana
« Reply #33 on: July 10, 2021, 03:10:26 PM »

This article outlines the process to design and construct the Hungry Horse Bridge on U.S. 2 over the South Fork of the Flathead River. The bridge opened to traffic in 2018.

http://www.montana.edu/news/mountainsandminds/21174/calculating-a-connection

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On highway 2 near the small town of Hungry Horse, a bridge crosses the South Fork of the Flathead River. At 840 feet long and nearly 50 feet tall, itís big as Montana bridges go. When completed in 2018, not even a cold December rain could deter people from gathering to celebrate. After more than five years of intense engineering and construction, the new bridge replaced a narrow one from the 1930s and fixed a hazardous bend in the highway. At the opening ceremony, local families listened to a state transportation official describe the project as an investment in safety. Bicyclists grinned as they tried out new bike lanes. Santa Claus made an appearance, and some revelers even danced on the freshly cured concrete. An hour or so later, traffic was rerouted and the first cars drove across.

Over the lifetime of the new Hungry Horse bridge, some will surely delight in its smooth, banking curve. Many, remembering the old span, will breathe a bit easier. Lives may be saved. Yet millions of people, heading to Glacier National Park or just going about their day, will zoom over the river without batting an eye. A hardworking highway bridge succeeds by largely going unnoticed. It is not fancy but economical. Surviving an earthquake or a flood, it doesnít make the news. It is almost designed to be taken for granted.

As with other everyday wonders, however, knowing all that goes into a bridgeís creation can inspire a fuller appreciation. The story of the Hungry Horse bridge is one of not only routine calculations but also moments of insight, of problem-solving and massive machines. And itís the story of several Montana State University civil engineering graduates whose paths converged on a project that would test their skills and determination. Their story is of a bridge that may appear ordinary but is in many ways exceptional.

ďIíve seen a lot of bridges,Ē said Zac Zupan, who earned his bachelorís and masterís degrees in civil engineering at MSU and served as Sletten Constructionís project manager for the Hungry Horse bridge. ďAs far as Iím concerned, this is one of the coolest bridges in the state.Ē
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FrCorySticha

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Re: Montana
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2021, 09:03:22 PM »

Downtown Billings sees conversion of one-way streets to two-way traffic on North 29th and North 30th Streets as of June 23, 2021. This is based on a study suggesting changes to the street grid: https://downtownbillings.com/wp-content/uploads/Downtown-Traffic-Study.pdf. More information in the following article:

Interesting that they're doing this. It makes sense, actually. Montana and 1st Avenues, and 4th and 6th Avenues as one-way pairs are great because they get you through downtown fairly quickly. The north-south one-way pairs are more of a nuisance than benefit.
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hbelkins

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Re: Montana
« Reply #35 on: September 23, 2021, 12:50:42 PM »

Also, the reservation is not a specific time for entrance. It's a reservation that lasts for 7 days, and you can enter and leave as many times as you want during that period. This isn't a big deal, and it won't restrict people from visiting the park, so long as they do just a tiny bit of planning ahead.

This isn't entirely accurate. While yes, one entry is valid for 7 days, you MUST enter the park on the specific day you make the reservation for. So if you make a reservation for July 10, you MUST enter the park on July 10. You can return as many times as you want from the 11th through the 16th (assuming they aren't turning people away because it's at capacity), but ONLY if you entered the park on the 10th. You can't make a reservation for the 10th and then not show up until the 14th.

Your statement is untrue, as referenced by my own recent personal experience.

I was at Glacier last month. Our reservation was for the 16th. By the time we arrived at St. Marys, it was after 5 p.m. local time, so everyone was allowed in, reservation or not. My brother purchased the annual pass to enter the park, but was not asked to show his reservation. He had decided to go enter the park just in case the reservation needed to be activated on the date which it started.

We went back to the park the next day, during the reservation period timeframe, but not on the initial date. He showed his pass and the reservation, and was told he was good to go.

So no, you don't have to enter the park on the day specified on your reservation in order to be able to go in the next six days.
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deathtopumpkins

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Re: Montana
« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2021, 08:23:23 AM »

Also, the reservation is not a specific time for entrance. It's a reservation that lasts for 7 days, and you can enter and leave as many times as you want during that period. This isn't a big deal, and it won't restrict people from visiting the park, so long as they do just a tiny bit of planning ahead.

This isn't entirely accurate. While yes, one entry is valid for 7 days, you MUST enter the park on the specific day you make the reservation for. So if you make a reservation for July 10, you MUST enter the park on July 10. You can return as many times as you want from the 11th through the 16th (assuming they aren't turning people away because it's at capacity), but ONLY if you entered the park on the 10th. You can't make a reservation for the 10th and then not show up until the 14th.

Your statement is untrue, as referenced by my own recent personal experience.

I was at Glacier last month. Our reservation was for the 16th. By the time we arrived at St. Marys, it was after 5 p.m. local time, so everyone was allowed in, reservation or not. My brother purchased the annual pass to enter the park, but was not asked to show his reservation. He had decided to go enter the park just in case the reservation needed to be activated on the date which it started.

We went back to the park the next day, during the reservation period timeframe, but not on the initial date. He showed his pass and the reservation, and was told he was good to go.

So no, you don't have to enter the park on the day specified on your reservation in order to be able to go in the next six days.

I was actually at Glacier myself in July.

But neither of our personal experiences is relevant, as the NPS website explicitly said you must enter on the first day of your reservation. The webpage has been taken down since ticketed entry ended September 7th though.

They very well may not have enforced such, but the website absolutely did say you needed to.
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hbelkins

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Re: Montana
« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2021, 01:40:32 PM »

Also, the reservation is not a specific time for entrance. It's a reservation that lasts for 7 days, and you can enter and leave as many times as you want during that period. This isn't a big deal, and it won't restrict people from visiting the park, so long as they do just a tiny bit of planning ahead.

This isn't entirely accurate. While yes, one entry is valid for 7 days, you MUST enter the park on the specific day you make the reservation for. So if you make a reservation for July 10, you MUST enter the park on July 10. You can return as many times as you want from the 11th through the 16th (assuming they aren't turning people away because it's at capacity), but ONLY if you entered the park on the 10th. You can't make a reservation for the 10th and then not show up until the 14th.

Your statement is untrue, as referenced by my own recent personal experience.

I was at Glacier last month. Our reservation was for the 16th. By the time we arrived at St. Marys, it was after 5 p.m. local time, so everyone was allowed in, reservation or not. My brother purchased the annual pass to enter the park, but was not asked to show his reservation. He had decided to go enter the park just in case the reservation needed to be activated on the date which it started.

We went back to the park the next day, during the reservation period timeframe, but not on the initial date. He showed his pass and the reservation, and was told he was good to go.

So no, you don't have to enter the park on the day specified on your reservation in order to be able to go in the next six days.

I was actually at Glacier myself in July.

But neither of our personal experiences is relevant, as the NPS website explicitly said you must enter on the first day of your reservation. The webpage has been taken down since ticketed entry ended September 7th though.

They very well may not have enforced such, but the website absolutely did say you needed to.

They must have changed the wording, because that requirement was not present at any time when I viewed the page, or when my brother viewed the page and made the reservation.

They must have gone back and forth on their requirement, then.
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KCRoadFan

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Re: Montana
« Reply #38 on: December 10, 2021, 12:56:06 AM »

One thing Iíve always wondered about the I-15/I-90 multiplex through Butte: why does it use I-15ís exit numbers instead of I-90ís? Given that I-90 is the dominant roadway at both splits, and the concurrency itself is oriented east-west, this makes absolutely no sense. What was MT DOT thinking?
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Bruce

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Re: Montana
« Reply #39 on: December 10, 2021, 04:47:21 AM »

A research question: Can anyone pin down when I-90 was converted to a full divided highway in Montana? I read a claim that it was undivided with a soft median until the mid 1990s, but have not seen any newspaper sources to back this up.

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Re: Montana
« Reply #40 on: December 10, 2021, 06:59:36 AM »

A research question: Can anyone pin down when I-90 was converted to a full divided highway in Montana? I read a claim that it was undivided with a soft median until the mid 1990s, but have not seen any newspaper sources to back this up.
I'd be really surprised if that were the case.  My family took a trip to Glacier coming from Yellowstone in about 1991 or 1992 and I'm pretty sure there was a soft median except for around Butte.  Still, real evidence could prove me otherwise.
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roadfro

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Re: Montana
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2021, 02:35:59 PM »

One thing Iíve always wondered about the I-15/I-90 multiplex through Butte: why does it use I-15ís exit numbers instead of I-90ís? Given that I-90 is the dominant roadway at both splits, and the concurrency itself is oriented east-west, this makes absolutely no sense. What was MT DOT thinking?

A lot of the time, when two routes are the same type of highway, the route with the lower number gets the milepost priority.

Nevada DOT does this with the US 6 & US 95 overlap in central Nevada between Tonopah and the Coledale Junction. US 95 is the through route at both "T" junctions and is the route the vast majority of the traffic is following, but the mileposts along the overlapping segment reflect US 6.
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FrCorySticha

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Re: Montana
« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2022, 11:24:09 PM »

The bad weather that affected the Pacific Northwest also affected western Montana. Yesterday, westbound I-90 going up Lookout Pass was closed at St. Regis due to an avalanche on the westbound lanes about 7 1/2 from the summit of the pass. The eastbound lanes were still open, as was ID/MT 200, so westbound traffic was detoured from St. Regis to Thompson Falls and across to Sandpoint, ID.

I didn't want to risk not being able to get through eastbound, so I ended up taking the detour, which was in much better shape than the passes. Beautiful, fun drive too!
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Re: Montana
« Reply #43 on: February 10, 2022, 11:59:49 AM »

The Missoulian reports that MDT is advancing plans to improve -- but not four-lane -- US 93 between St. Ignatius and Ronan.
https://missoulian.com/news/local/hazardous-strip-of-highway-93-in-line-for-widening/article_4a9e7faf-5020-5f51-b70d-5a53379763bd.html#tracking-source=home-top-story

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Montana Department of Transportation officials have reached the final planning stages of an expansion of the roadway, which crosses the wildlife-rich, waterlogged edge of the Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge.

... The two-lane highway from 7.6 miles north of St. Ignatius to 1.25 miles south of Ronan often has just 100 feet of right-of-way, when the usual road width for that kind of road is 160 feet. In addition to passing close by numerous pothole lakes and ponds, the ground underneath is riddled with water features and other unstable formations. Plus there are numerous side roads branching off, adding to the traffic complexity.

An average 7,000 to 8,000 vehicles a day pass that section. The total grows about 35% during the summer season as tourists head for Flathead Lake, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Bison Range, and Glacier National Park.

... Expansion plans also include a separate bike-pedestrian path alongside the highway. The current design does not involve increasing to four lanes, due to ecological concerns.



Project website: https://www.mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/us93ninepipe/
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Re: Montana
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2022, 11:45:53 PM »

I mean, judging by the photo itself, what are the ecological concerns that prohibit expansion of this segment of Highway 93 to four lanes? I'm very curious.
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