Transportation Safety Projects

The City of Missoula Transportation Safety Team (TST) includes planners, engineers, and Street Maintenance Division staff who meet regularly to improve safety and operations for people walking, biking, and driving. Major improvements like new traffic signals, roundabouts, bike lanes, and travel lanes are typically addressed through large-scale projects included in the annual Community Investment Program. When appropriate, TST refers traffic safety concerns on local streets to the newly formed Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP), which analyzes the data for these concerns and determines potential solutions. For more information on NTMP, please visit our Engage Missoula page at https://www.engagemissoula.com/neighborhood-traffic-safety-program

To report a traffic safety issue, please fill out our Traffic Safety Concern Form.

For more information on NTMP or any of the projects on this page, please contact Ben Weiss, Senior Transportation Planner, WeissB@ci.missoula.mt.us or 406-552-6352.

Below are current and ongoing transportation safety projects.

Lewis & Clark Neighborhood Traffic Calming Project

Description:   Installing “quick build” traffic circles and stop signs to improve safety by reducing vehicle speeds and cut-through traffic through the Lewis and Clark Neighborhood.

 Dates:  Early to mid-October, depending on weather.

 Contact:  Ben Weiss, Senior Transportation Planner, 406-552-6352 or WeissB@ci.missoula.mt.us

 Additional Information:  Project Question & Answer Sheet

Lewis & Clark Traffic Calming Project Map

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S. 3rd St. and Myrtle St. Intersection - Safety Improvements Project

When local business owners brought safety concerns about this intersection to the TST, we determined that several parking spaces in the vicinity violate federal, state, and local laws about parking too close to crosswalks. Instead of just pulling the parking, City staff and neighborhood advocates envisioned a people-first intersection that improves safety while enhancing the charming character of the neighborhood. This project includes high visibility marked crosswalks with temporary curb ramps to enhance accessibility, curb extensions to shorten crossing distances, and colorful parklets with bike parking, public seating areas, and art. Preliminary drawings of the current site and proposed changes can be found here.

In August 2020, the project was awarded a grant for $12,500 from the AARP Community Challenge. 

Project construction began May 17, 2021, with replacement of a water main under the intersection and installation of a new fire hydrant. Paving, painting, and installation of other facilities will begin thereafter.

Design Snip

Preliminary project drawing.

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Franklin to the Fort Traffic Calming Project—Completed

Following requests from Franklin to the Fort residents to consider traffic calming along Schilling St. and Kemp St., City staff collected data on vehicle speeds, volumes, crashes, and other factors to determine if there are verifiable issues and potential solutions. We found that speeds, volumes, and crashes on Kemp St. are all higher than we want to see. Additionally, Schilling St. is a Neighborhood Greenway, which is a local street prioritized for non-motorized travel. The proposed solutions aim to reduce vehicle speeds and instances of cut-through traffic on Kemp St. and enhance the safety and comfort of people biking and walking on Schilling St. 

 Project Details:

Installation of the following “quick build” traffic calming and control measures:

Kemp Street

  • New traffic calming circles installed at 4th St., 12th St., Burlington Ave, and Central Ave., and
  • New 4-way stops at 10th St. and North Ave. 

Schilling Street

  • New traffic calming circles at 5th St., 13th St., Strand Ave, and Sussex Ave, and
  • New bulb outs at 4th St., 12th St., and Central Ave. 

Project Map (Installation Types & Locations)

Project Dates:  Installation is expected to begin the week of June 1, 2021, and is weather dependent.

Project Contact:  Ben Weiss, Senior Transportation Planner, (406) 552-6352 or WeissB@ci.missoula.mt.us

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Missoula Avenue Traffic Calming Project—Completed

The Public Works & Mobility Department will be performing pavement maintenance work on Missoula Ave. this summer. Several neighbors have expressed concerns about safety for people who bike and walk on Missoula Ave., and the existing conditions (one northbound travel lane, bike lanes in each direction, and no pedestrian facilities) may not provide adequate space for all users. It is beneficial to address these issues when maintenance happens.

Project Details:

Following the milling and paving work on Missoula Ave., Public Works & Mobility is proposing a new configuration along with traffic calming features. 

  • Instead of a bike lane and a travel lane in the northbound direction, we are proposing a northbound travel lane that is shared by people driving and biking on the east side of the street. It will be 10 feet wide (as narrow as we can go) and will include shared lane markings (“sharrows”). 
  • To the west of this lane we are proposing a space designated for bi-directional pedestrian traffic and southbound bicycle traffic. 
  • Additionally, we are proposing installing four raised speed tables along Missoula Ave. in the shared northbound lane. These traffic calming features will be well-marked and will have delineators alongside to keep drivers from veering into the pedestrian space to avoid the speed tables. 

Project Dates:  Milling and paving works is scheduled to begin the week of June 8 but is weather dependent. City Streets crews will follow up with a chip and seal application to increase the lifespan of the new pavement. Approved striping, painting, and other traffic safety devices (as described above) will then be installed.

Project Contact:  Ben Weiss, Senior Transportation Planner, (406) 552-6352 or WeissB@ci.missoula.mt.us

Missoula Ave speed table concept Opens in new windowMissoula Ave speed table locations Opens in new window

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Quick Build Traffic Calming Devices

Circles

The Public Works & Mobility Department began installing quick build traffic calming circles during the spring of 2020 to address the need for cost-effective traffic calming solutions. They are faster to install because they are constructed with paint, signs, and plastic bollards. In contrast to a full construction project that includes engineering, curb/gutter work, drainage, and more, these devices are a fraction of the cost (completely paid for by the City) and can be adjusted if necessary.

Six total of these new traffic calming circles are currently in place on Franklin St. and Maurice Ave. as part of a larger neighborhood traffic management program.

Quick Build Traffic Calming Circle Example

Other Devices

Quick Build Bulb-Out Example

For more information on our traffic calming decision-making process, please visit the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program's Engage Missoula page at:  https://www.engagemissoula.com/neighborhood-traffic-safety-program.


Installed Quick Build Traffic Calming Circles

———COMPLETED TRAFFIC SAFETY PROJECTS———

Franklin St.

Several citizens reported crashes, near misses, and speeding on Franklin St., and Traffic Safety Team had to consider many factors when they tried to find a solution to these problems. One problem is that the street is considered a primary fire route for the fire station on Mount Ave., so stopping traffic on Franklin was not an option. In addition, the street is part of the City's Neighborhood Greenway route, which means it has relatively low vehicle volumes and speeds to help increase comfort for people who bike and walk on the street. The addition of lightweight traffic calming circles at Woodford St., Rollins St., and Longstaff St. and stop signs at the uncontrolled intersections seems to check all the boxes for successful traffic calming on Franklin St. See project drawings here.

Maurice Ave.

The TST also received several requests from citizens to address vehicle crashes, near misses, and speeding along Maurice Ave. The Team wanted to not only solve these issues but also wanted to make the street safer as a Neighborhood Greenway route. After analyzing the data they had collected, the Team determined that installing the new lightweight traffic calming circles at Central Ave., Woodworth Ave., and Hastings Ave. with stop signs installed at Sussex Ave., Kent Ave., North Ave., and Beverly Ave. would be the best solution at this time. See project drawings here.

S. Russell Street - Pedestrian Crossing Improvements

After a pedestrian was struck by a driver while crossing S. Russell St. near the YMCA during morning rush hour in late 2018, the City has been investigating, planning, and collaborating with the Montana Department of Transportation (owner of the street) as well as with private businesses like the YMCA and Opportunity Resources, Inc. to improve safety at this crosswalk.

During the summer of 2020, the Public Works Department installed temporary rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) at the location. The temporary RRFBs will remain in place until a permanent, engineered solution can be determined and funded.

W. Broadway at Owen St. - Pedestrian Crossing Improvements

As the Riverfront Triangle Project develops, a much-used pedestrian tunnel under W Broadway connecting to St Patrick Hospital had to be closed, forcing even more people to cross the street at an already busy intersection. The TST worked with the Montana Dept of Transportation to install temporary rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) on the west leg of the intersection.

During the beginning of the Riverfront Triangle Project, a much-used pedestrian tunnel under W. Broadway was removed. This left many people who park off of W. Front St. and Owen St. south of W. Broadway with no nearby signalized crossing of W. Broadway. After trying several methods for trying to get motorists to yield to pedestrians on W. Broadway, Public Works installed temporary rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) just west of Owen St. Once the Riverfront Triangle Project reaches the point of addressing this portion of the south side of W. Broadway, the project must address and install a permanent solution to the pedestrian crossing. This likely will include permanent RRFB installations.