South Avenue Safe Streets

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Let us know what to prioritize for the potential Safe Streets and Roads for All grant for South Avenue.

On Sept. 13, Missoula County and City of Missoula staff applied for a Safe Streets and Roads for All grant that would fund much-needed safety improvements on South Avenue between Reserve Street and Clements Road and on Clements Road between South and North avenues.

If awarded, the grant could help pay for reconstruction on these roads in the Target Range and Orchard Homes neighborhoods southwest of Missoula, including:

  • adding a two-way left-turn lane, intersection crossings, sidewalk and bike lane on the north side of South Avenue
  • connecting the shared-use path on the south side of South Avenue
  • connecting the shared-use path on Clements Road between South and North avenues

This area experienced 113 crashes between 2016 and 2020. These improvements would help minimize crashes in the area by providing improved crossings, left and right turn lanes, and biking and walking connections from multiple schools, shopping centers, residential neighborhoods, a medical center and Fort Missoula Regional Park.

In addition to improving traffic safety along the city and county portions of these roads, adding options for non-motorized travel to South Avenue and Clements Road will improve connections to places people want to bike and walk to, helping more residents access the area’s amenities.

The Safe Streets and Roads for All grant is a new federal grant designed to eliminate or significantly reduce roadway fatalities and serious injuries for all users through development of a safety action plan that informs new construction projects. The application was due Sept. 13, but there will still be opportunities to rework design details after submission. Residents are encouraged to let staff know what they should prioritize as the project progresses, particularly on the aspects along Clements Avenue and the county portion of South Avenue, which is west of 36th Street.

County and City staff will held an open house to provide information, answer questions and gather public comment on this and other potential projects in the area on Sept. 7 where residents provided input.

Let us know what to prioritize for the potential Safe Streets and Roads for All grant for South Avenue.

On Sept. 13, Missoula County and City of Missoula staff applied for a Safe Streets and Roads for All grant that would fund much-needed safety improvements on South Avenue between Reserve Street and Clements Road and on Clements Road between South and North avenues.

If awarded, the grant could help pay for reconstruction on these roads in the Target Range and Orchard Homes neighborhoods southwest of Missoula, including:

  • adding a two-way left-turn lane, intersection crossings, sidewalk and bike lane on the north side of South Avenue
  • connecting the shared-use path on the south side of South Avenue
  • connecting the shared-use path on Clements Road between South and North avenues

This area experienced 113 crashes between 2016 and 2020. These improvements would help minimize crashes in the area by providing improved crossings, left and right turn lanes, and biking and walking connections from multiple schools, shopping centers, residential neighborhoods, a medical center and Fort Missoula Regional Park.

In addition to improving traffic safety along the city and county portions of these roads, adding options for non-motorized travel to South Avenue and Clements Road will improve connections to places people want to bike and walk to, helping more residents access the area’s amenities.

The Safe Streets and Roads for All grant is a new federal grant designed to eliminate or significantly reduce roadway fatalities and serious injuries for all users through development of a safety action plan that informs new construction projects. The application was due Sept. 13, but there will still be opportunities to rework design details after submission. Residents are encouraged to let staff know what they should prioritize as the project progresses, particularly on the aspects along Clements Avenue and the county portion of South Avenue, which is west of 36th Street.

County and City staff will held an open house to provide information, answer questions and gather public comment on this and other potential projects in the area on Sept. 7 where residents provided input.

Let us know what to prioritize for the potential Safe Streets and Roads for All grant for South Avenue.

Residents are encouraged to let staff know what they should prioritize as the project progresses, particularly on the aspects along Clements Avenue and the county portion of South Avenue, which is west of 36th Street. 

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I am excited about the intent of these improvements.

The changes on Clements would be a welcome relief. I shudder seeing schoolchildren walking right next to a 35MPH road with no curb and no separation from wandering vehicles. This feeling is double in the winter when the bow of the road sends ice and sliding cars directly into the path. The measly plastic pylons offer no protection, and have ongoing maintenance of being cycled out as the seasons change.

It would be nice to have everything, but property taxes go higher and higher. With the surge in home prices, the next property assessments are going to be brutal, and this would be another stone on the burden. If I were working on this project, I'd want to know: Where are the 113 crashes on this corridor? What kind of crashes were they? What's the minimum necessary to prevent those accidents and improve traffic flow? I'd have to guess most of the accidents occur between reserve and 31st, so those improvements seem proper. Special attention should be paid attention to area right next to reserve, and the turning traffic at 27th and Old Fort Road. The turning lane will be great for the accordion westbound traffic caused by left turns on to old fort road.

Pedestrian safety seems like it would be particularly important at Target Range School, and between clements and 31s. I'm not convinced the current proposal affords much additional safety to those attempting to cross to the shared use path. I would love to see strobe flashers at the major crossings so that children going to school don't have to contend with drivers. Keep in mind that a good portion of the year, kids will be going to school in the dark or at dawn, when visibility is difficult. Also, many of those vehicles are exceeding the 35MPH speed limit, making so stopping after late sighting a difficult thing to do.

Thanks for the work on this, I hope it moves forward in a way that maximizes value and minimizes expense.

T Kahn 8 days ago

Hello planners: a major oversight I see in these documents is that actions at South Ave. are inseparable from what happens with the Maclay Bridge. The one lane bridge is registered as "historical" and the location is also a traditional river access site for the enjoyment by the community of the Bitterroot River. However, current parking controls there by exclusive neighbors have made it virtually impossible to park any motor vehicles nearby that bridge or river beach, and your design of South Ave bridge shows no provision for river access or nearby parking there either. One of the treasures of Missoula is access to our rivers, and ignoring public access in this reach of the river in unacceptable. You need to recognize in official planning that South Ave. actions are inseparable from Maclay Bridge actions, and that public access to the river is being neglected at each site.

Humble Neighbor 2 months ago

Just because a public agency/agencies *can* get some Federal money to >>PARTIALLY<< pay for something, doesn't mean it has to be done. If the entire project was funded, 100%, from non-local dollars, then fine... have fun. But that's not really. First: It's not clear if adequate ROW exists along the entire corridor. Second: Widening/improving South Ave. west of Big Sky High, or possibly west of 36th Ave. is entirely unnecessary. Third: Re-doing the multimodal trail adjacent to Clements would be nice... but the County only put that in a few years ago, and maybe could have done a separated grade then? How do we no recover those wasted tax dollars? Fourth: Sitting in meetings years ago, it had been decided that the City was responsible for upgrading South Ave. to city standards along the entire route of Fort Missoula Regional Park. That clearly hasn't happened. Fifth: Why haven't there been safer bike/ped crossings (across South Ave.) put in yet? Simply putting those in would solve a lot of safety issues with very little effort. Sixth, and it's a big one... since when the South Ave. Bridge become a done deal? The County Commissioners have been adamant - and campaigned on this - that the bridge would not happen. The only people that seem to want it are property owners next to Maclay Bridge, and Public Works leadership. You don't have easements, you don't have rights-of-way, and it's an entirely unnecessary project.

logic 2 months ago

Hello. I believe a couple situations need your attention; first South Avenue traffic flow. During commuting hours, South Ave has a diurnal directional commuter traffic flow that creates a limited access street for traffic seeking turning onto South from south bound secondary feeder streets. Only one traffic flow control that puts any gap in traffic flow is the traffic signal at South Avenue & South Reserve Street. Maybe consider another traffic control signal at South Ave & Clements Road. Second, access to Big Sky Horse Park needs additional considerations. For example, this traffic includes towing vehicles and trailers. Some are off tracking fifth wheel trailers, with curve widening requirements. Further, an alternative Park entrance intersecting with Tower Road might be considered?

Bo Nielsen 3 months ago

Please consider a 3 way stop at Clements and South Ave W (or flashing lights which could be used only during school zone times.) I was among 9 vehicles waiting to make a left turn (East) from Clements onto South Ave W at 8 am yesterday. Stopping traffic at this location would also benefit the neighborhoods on the North side of South Ave W. The majority of these northside streets are dead ends. The round-about at the Regional Park is the only traffic flow control on South Ave W. from Reserve St to the end of South. Thank you for your consideration.

Carol Nielsen 3 months ago

Some of this plan is needed and would be a welcome improvement to the neighborhood. Reserve to 31st could use a turn lane and improvements to the south shared path so it is continuous is needed. With this large shared path on the South side there is no need for a bike path on the North of any of this project and this would reduce the encroachment on property along this whole stretch. A side walk on the north side is only needed from Reserve to the roundabout on Tower. I also have concern on the snow removal in this area once the improvements happen. Currently there is a plow and it only does 1 pass west and 1 pass east so I am assuming that the snow would be pushed into the turn lane which then makes it unsafe for about 5 months of the year. I have seen this process in the University District and they don't plow away the berm so there is ability to turn right or left out of an intersection with out the possibility of high centering your vehicle. There is also a Mountain Line Stop right on South Ave that is not on this map for improvement, I suggest that it is moved to into the Regional Park because there is designated "bus" pullouts but are never used by the Mountain Line.

CE 3 months ago

Please follow through with the sidewalk on the North side of the street. There is no safe way to go for a person in a wheelchair. It would be used!

L Frantz 3 months ago

I attended the meeting at Target Range School. I am against any improvements to South ave. West of 36th ave. I believe that most of the traffic goes to the High School and the Regional Park.If any improvements are to be made a few pedestrian/bike activated flashing light crossings should be installed. The current design as presented at the meeting with a left turn center lane (suicide lane) with boulevard would be invasive and under utilized. I see the left hand turn lanes all over town misused as merge lanes and they are EXTREMELY dangerous..The path on the South side of South hardly gets much use now so one on the North side would be redundant.
I believe continuing the bike path on the East side of Clements would be a VERY sensible addition to our neighborhood. As far as any improvement West of Clements I am totally against any improvements and deem them to be unnecessary including the replacement and relocation of the bridge.
In conclusion I found the inclusion of the info about the bridge to be inane.It appeared as if it is a forgone conclusion which I believe is incorrect. With that in mind I see very little reason for much of the presented information to be applicable in the current situation with volume of existing traffic

Edward Taylor 3 months ago
Page last updated: 07 Oct 2022, 09:24 AM