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Missoula Streets and Trails

Arthur, 5th & 6th Streets

The new Arthur 5th 6th project opened in early September 2011.  Overall the project seems much better than what was originally proposed. 

The current confiuration has been deemed an interim safety project by the City, State and University of Montana.  

The current project on the ground added a turn lane for motor vehicles, curb extensions for shorter and safer pedestrian crossings, and new bike lanes, sharrows and trail connections for bicycle safety and accommodation. 


Project background:

2004 to 2009: The State and City proposed to redevelop the intersections of 5th 6th and Arthur near the University of Montana, by expanding the roadways  to five lanes, requiring the removal of several homes. After the neighborhoods strongly opposed the plan, everyone worked together in a community process to acheive smaller scale improvements.


Original Plan Opposed by Citizens
MIST and Citizen Plan In Response
Adds two traffic signals; widens section of Arthur Avenue to five lanes; demolishes six houses; eliminates green space; likely degrades safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians

* High-speed, 5-lane roads often lead to severe crashes
* Approaching drivers speed to make traffic signal (and run red light)
* 102-ft crossing distance too long for pedestrians
* Traffic signals = stop-and-go traffic
* 65% more vehicle idling time at traffic signals*
* Traffic signals cost $10,000/year more to maintain*
* Research shows traffic signals lead to 10 times more fatalities and 4 times more crashes than roundabouts*
* Takes away ¼ of Rankin Park
*from USDOT
Adds roundabouts; shortens crosswalks; preserves neighborhood; increases green space; saves money; promotes cooperation among all users; meets Long Range Plan’s overriding theme of prioritizing non-motorized transportation.

* 2-lane roads with roundabouts are very safe and accessible
* Roundabout keeps driver attention at street level
* 11-foot crosswalks = safe passage for pedestrians
* Roundabouts = calm traffic with smooth flow
* Lower vehicle emissions from eliminated idling
* Roundabouts = no electricity, low maintenance costs
* Moderate speeds at roundabouts result in fewer crashes with drastically reduced severity
* Enhances and expands Rankin Park



A citizens' plan for the Arthur 5th 6th project


Eventually, we'd like to implement the above plan.


MDT original plan for Arthur 5th 6th

The above is what was initially proposed by the State, leading to a community debate about streets and healthy neighborhoods.

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