Road Projects

5th & 6th Livable Streets project

MIST has joined with the Riverfront Neighborhood council in proposing changes on S. 5th Street and S. 6th Street for better access and mobility for all modes of transportation.


5th st. existing


















6th St. Existing


















6th St. Proposed

















*note: Higgins to Arthur is not part of this proposal any longer.  This section will be revisited in the future.  The photo rendition, however, is still valid for west of Higgins*


About this proposal:

S 5th and S 6th have high crash rates, high rates of speeding, lack bike lanes, and are both very much under capacity for carrying motorized traffic.

Missoula lacks a connected, east/west on-street bike lane south of the river.

This proposal is for the conversion of  one existing travel lane into a buffered bike lane on both S. 5th and S. 6th streets from Russell to Higgins.

Intersection capacity can remain the same as current if necessary by retaining two stacking lanes for cars along with the new bike lane.

Pedestrians benefit from this proposal by having to cross only one lane at a time which greatly increases safety, when compared to a multi-lane roadway. 

Cyclists benefit by gaining dedicated biking space. Currently, cyclists are doored (hitting a suddenly opened car door) too often on these roadways.

Motorists benefit because of safer and smoother traveling speeds. The current two lanes going one way encourages speeding and inefficient lane changing.

Residents benefit by cars traveling at lower speeds on their streets, which lowers engine noise, brake noise, pollution and dust.  Residents also benefit from the more intangible quality of 'increased peace of mind.'  Especially good for children, the slower speeds of cars and the much higher presence of walkers and bikers tends to create an improved sense of place, and a more playful atmosphere for young ones in their front yards.

This proposal is supported by Missoula’s Growth Plan and Long Range Transportation Plan by encouraging more non-motorized travel and by connecting bike lanes.

A MIST survey of 800 cyclists over two years identified ‘connected bike lanes’ as the number one desired bike system improvement.

Parking levels remains the same and will likely become safer and easier with the buffered bike lane and increased space,

The City Engineer cost estimate for this project is about 150k, using some 'standard' estimations. We think the cost will be much lower, as this plan is a very simple modification of what already exists on the street.  A little extra paint is all that is needed.  The signal heads would not need to be moved or modified in anyway, likely.  As the project progresses, details will need to be fine tuned, with the Rifverfront Neighborhood Council providing energy and leadership.

This project would connect to the new bike lanes on 5th and 6th from Higgins to Arthur.


More about intersection designs (PDF) for the bikeway.

Combined with a 3-lane Higgins.      Big graphic.

Existing roadway.          Big graphic.


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