Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Stimulus Money @ Work in Missoula Building Better Streets

Its official, the North Higgins bike lanes are here to stay in Missoula. The road has been chipped & sealed and new lines put down on the road. For now the lanes only extend to broadway, but the will soon be placed all the way to the end of Higgins; I'm interested to see how they place the bike lanes around the loop.

Almost everywhere you go in Missoula, road construction has taken over. And of course the money is coming from the federal stimulus. Say what you want about the stimulus, its taking care of a lot of our old worn out roads this summer. The amazing thing too is the speed with which these projects are being completed (other than Scott St bridge and the roundabout on Higgins). It sure seems like they are trying to get the most out of the money that they can.

The one thing that is annoying is the little jagged pebbels they are using for the chip seal. My road bike has fenders and these things are getting caught in between my tires and fenders. I've taken to riding my fixed gear until the excess gravel is gone. Another issue is that cars are flinging the gravel at me as they pass me, it doesn't really hurt that much to get hit by one, but its still inconvinient.

Below are a few photos taken along Phillips St in the Westside neighborhood of Missoula. Only about a month ago the Missoula City Council adopted a resoltion for traffic calming along the street. These mainly consist of pedestrian bulb outs at intersections and heavily used cross walks that are meant to narrow the road and so force traffic to slow down. The ones in the photos are close to an elementary school and nice park that is used at almost all times of the day.

All these projects have been helped along by the great network of local transportation advocacy groups and neighborhood coalitions. The Higgins bike lanes were even pushed forward by many of the local downtown businesses and business organizaitons.

Thanks to BWAM, MIST, and MAST for all the hard work. I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting. And also to the Missoula city council for supporting traffic calming and the MT-DOT for supporting better bike infrastructure.


Daniel said...

I had heard about this happening. Thanks for the update with pictures.

Anonymous said...

The last 2 photos of "traffic calming" show a dangerous situation, becoming more and more common, alas.

Those road-narrowing "thingies" provide opportunities for conflict between cyclists and cars, and thus create chances for accidents.

There should be a space about 1m wide between the big bump and the curb, so that a bike can go throughwithout having to bunny-hop or swerve and hit a car.

Sandy said...

What about South Third street?
When will this street be repaired?
Its in a lot worse shape than down town Missoula.

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