Tuesday Meeting to Study Returning Front and Main Streets to Two-Way Traffic [YouTube]
The public is invited to a presentation about the recently completed study of converting Front Street and Main Street back to two-way traffic.
The Missoula Redevelopment Agency (MRA), the City’s urban renewal agency, commissioned the study, done by HDR, Inc
MRA Director Ellen Buchanan said returning these streets to two-way traffic has been a long sought-after goal by downtown businesses.
"I think there's bee a desire mostly by the businesses on Front and Main to return the streets to two-way traffic which is what it used to be originally," Buchanan said. "The Downtown Master Plan identified that as a priority project. What we know is that businesses get better exposure on two-way streets because you don't have all the out of direction travel that you have with one-way couplets."
Buchanan said there is another reason why the streets should be returned to two-way traffic.
"Quite frankly, our only downtown parking structures are on the one-way streets, so it makes it particularly difficult, especially for our out-of-town visitors coming into town to try to navigate that," she said.
Buchanan said there will be a meeting on Tuesday evening to introduce the project to the public.
"There will be a meeting tomorrow night at six o'clock in the City Council chambers for the consultants to present their results of their feasibility study to whether or not the conversion from one-way to two-way traffic will meet with the Montana Department of Transportation's requirements and guidelines. We found that in fact we can meet those requirements. Once the study is finalized, we'll begin the process of getting the project finalized."
Buchanan said the total price of the project, including changing the signals to creating curb extensions, new street lighting, crosswalks and extra parking, will be between $3 and $4 million.
The project team will discuss the results on Tuesday, April 14, at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers at 140 W. Pine St.