Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Recreation Management

Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Norma Nickerson

Commitee Members

Keith Bosak , Thomas Sullivan


mobility, automobility, cycling, space, place, attitudes


University of Montana

Subject Categories



The central aim of this thesis assessed whether Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTSR) travelers have a positive or negative association with roadway bicycling and the degree of public support for GTSR bicycling in Glacier National Park (GNP). Secondarily, this thesis tested a control and treatment group’s knowledge of roadway cycling laws to determine the effectiveness of a “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” sign and brochure, which both reflected Montana’s cycling laws. Finally, an analysis of the necessity of GNP’s partial bicycle restriction on the GTSR was conducted by comparing the characteristics of two road segments using GIS, and by assessing the attitudes, perceptions, and interactions occurring between travelers.

Two approaches were used to assess bicycling mobility in GNP: (1) a quantitative analysis of travelers’ frequency of bicycling, attitudes, knowledge, and perceptions (2) and a geographical and mobilities framework to critically discuss the hierarchy of GTSR mobility. An onsite survey was conducted at Logan Pass in August to collect data from travelers based on their frequency with cycling, whether they cycled the GTSR or drove a motor vehicle, and whether or not they viewed an experimental treatment sign. A GIS was used to analyze two sections of the GTSR.

This thesis challenges the assumption that a partial bicycling restriction is warranted based on the key findings reported. Despite travelers’ frequency of bicycling, they were primarily positive in the way they legitimize cyclists on the roadway, and the majority were neutral to positive in their support for unrestricted GTSR cycling. Respondents with knowledge of cycling laws showed more positive attitudes, and the sign/brochure treatments were effective at improving their knowledge of the cycling laws. Interactions between GTSR cyclists and motorists were overwhelmingly positive. Finally, the comparison of road segments suggests the restriction was implemented arbitrarily without empirical evidence. Automobility is prioritized over bicycling mobility to support steady tourism flows. By confronting power relations that prioritize auto-tourism, a re-produced tourism space can begin to occur along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Glacier National Park is in a position to evaluate the data and critical discussion from this thesis to begin working towards greater mobility evenness.

Included in

Geography Commons



© Copyright 2016 Brian G. Battaglia