Walking Audit Planned for North Reserve Street Pedestrian Safety
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The Reserve Street Public Working Group and other organizations have planned a ‘Walking Audit’ of North Reserve Street in the vicinity of the newly opened Chic-Fil-A on November 22.
KGVO News spoke to Kevin Davis, organizer of the Reserve Street Public Working Group about the growing safety concerns of those who live, work and drive in the rapidly expanding North Reserve Street area.
The First Ever 'Walking Audit' for North Reserve
“This is new terrain for us,” began Davis. “As far as I know there's never been a walking audit done in the North Reserve Street area, and we all know who use that corridor, how unsafe it can feel, even if you're in a car, and much more unsafe if you are on a bike or walking.”
A Montana Department of Transportation report several years ago named the Mullan Road and Reserve Street intersection the most dangerous in the state, which Davis believes has gotten even worse over the years.
Mullan and Reserve Still a Most Dangerous Intersection
“I believe it's still maintaining his reputation,” he said. “I think that was a report in 2017 or so, and I'm asking transportation officials why we're not seeing those annual reports anymore. Reserve and Mullan are heavily used. I use it frequently, and folks tend to run through yellow lights and even red lights just so they don't have to wait through another long traffic signal. I've even walked across that intersection when we've been doing cleanup events, and it's unnerving, to say the least.”
Davis said there is one particular intersection of great concern for the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike.
Worries About the American Way Intersection with no Traffic Lights
“I want to take a hard look at the American Way intersection right in front of Wendy's and Chick-fil-A on North reserve,” he said. “Today it's controlled by stop signs. And anyone driving there can turn left onto Reserve Street, which really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It's a high crash rate intersection, so we're going to drill down and take it intersection by intersection starting with that one, which we have deemed to be pretty dangerous for the community, and then see what our transportation officials can come up with to make that intersection safer.”
Davis provided details of the Walking Audit.
“We're meeting in front of Big Sky Commerce on Connery Way at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22,” he said. “We'll have a quick safety meeting there before we embark in different directions to the Chick-fil-A area only because it's a very busy part of North reserve now. We'll have info sheets and what to look for as you're doing that Walking Audit, and it will take less than an hour, and then we'll gather information when it’s completed and deliver it to our Missoula transportation officials and Montana Department of Transportation.”
KGVO News will also take part in the Walking Audit on November 22.