By SAMANTHA SUNDLY/Montana State News

Bicyclists and joggers would be banned from most two-lane roads in Montana if a bill under consideration in the state Legislature is approved

Republican Rep. Barry Usher is sponsoring the bill, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, which concerns local bicyclists about the future of their hobby and method of transportation.

As of now, the guidelines for bicyclists on two-lane roadways require that “every person operating a bicycle upon a street or roadway shall ride as near to the right-hand side of the roadway as practicable” and that “whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a street or roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the street or roadway,” according to the city of Bozeman’s bicycle municipal codes.

This ban also poses a threat to roads leading to biking and walking trails, such as the North Cottonwood Trail and Hyalite Creek Trail. The opportunity to drive to these trails and begin biking or walking would still be an option; however, many bicyclists enjoy the “fun, fast consistent downhill run on Cottonwood (Road),” according to the Bozeman Road Rides blog.

According to the Montana Legislature Detailed Bill Information, the bill has been in the drafting process for over a month. It has repeatedly been edited and redrafted by Research Analyst, Leanne Kurtz.

The bills transmittal deadline is March 1st, just one month before the 45-day spring closure of Hyalite Road, according to the US Forest Service.

– edited by Emily Schabacker