Mary Avenue Redesign in Process, Public Comment From Residents Sought
Right now, Mary Avenue is a dead-end road that lies between Reserve Street and Missoula’s Southgate Mall, but that will change in the near future. Peter Walker-Keleher, the engineer overseeing the Mary Avenue redesign for the firm DJ&A, P.C. explains.
"It definitely will be a dramatic change for this street," Walker-Keleher said. "The street today is a dead-end street. It has probably less than 400 vehicles per day on average. Projections say that it will increase to 4,000. Just by way of comparison, Reserve Street has an average of about 29,000 cars per day. South Avenue has an average of about 15,000 per day."
DJ&A, P.C. held a public meeting today on Mary Avenue and asked residents to give feedback. In the past, locals have expressed concerns about safety and what will happen to their property. Walker-Keleher said that his firm is working to keep all new sidewalks and improvements within the 60-foot right of way already owned by the city.
"I've gotten confirmation from the city that if that is the neighborhood's desire to work within those 60 feet, that is very feasible," Walker-Keleher said. "So it's quite plausible that the property lines will not change. There will be occasions where today, a person's front yard may extend into the public right of way. The sidewalk may move five feet closer to those sections where there is a sidewalk."
Walker-Keleher said he hopes to use the public feedback to help create a design plan that he will present in either August or September, however, he says the new Mary Avenue may not be completed for another one to three years.