Following an intense lobbying effort, a Missoula group gets news that funding will be made available to study solutions to solve the growing safety concerns about North Reserve Street.

And in the coming months that will mean a chance for you to get involved in the process of developing those ideas.

For the past few years, the Reserve Street Working Group has been focused on identifying the problems on what MDT calls the "busiest street in Montana", which was carrying more than 50,000 cars per day even before the city's recent growth spurt.

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Word came from Senator Tester's office this week that The Department of Transportation will award Missoula's Metropolitan Planning Organization $380,000 to develop a "Reserve Street Corridor Safety Action Plan."

"We're hopefully optimistic. That is, you know, we're interested to see how far we can stretch those dollars," said Kevin Davis, one of the founders of the group. "In the transportation world that's not a lot of money. But it certainly is a jump start to get things going towards traffic safety improvements for Missouri's most dangerous corridor."

A framework for agreement

Davis is hopeful work on the plan will bring various groups together to map out safety improvements.

"Because if you talk to 10 different people about Reserve Street you're probably going to get 10 different ideas on what needs to be done. And that's probably what's led to such a slow process."

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Through the MPO, drivers, business, and political leaders will be able to identify some of the specific hazards and put together a framework that could be used to draw up plans and obtain funding.

Heading off more tragedy

"I've gotten to know people who are victims of crashes. And it's devastating. Even the fender benders, of how many people it takes out of the workforce, devastating lives in a lot of ways. We'd like to reduce the number of those crashes and I'm confident that can be done."

Davis is encouraging people who'd like to be involved, to join a Zoom meeting on November 7th on the "Sx͏ʷtpqyen Mullan BUILD Project: A Status Update". There's more information on the Working Group's Facebook page. 

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Gallery Credit: Ashley