If you've been down to the Bernice's Bakery area of town lately, you may have noticed there's much less parking, and there wasn't much to begin with. City planners intend to make the entire area safer for pedestrians and bicyclists by working on eliminating parking spaces all together along the busy Hip Strip streets. I drive through the Hip Strip daily, and I agree with business owners down there in saying that it's a dangerous section of town for pedestrians.

You'll remember the young lady who was run over on her bike in front of Green Source, a truck dragged her beneath the vehicle around the corner to 5th street before the driver realized what had happened. You've likely experienced nearly getting hit, or hitting a pedestrian on the Hip Strip, so you know it's a shitshow down there. But the city is looking to change that.

I saw Aaron Wilson, who I've worked with on some other project before, on the KPAX news last night. Did he used to work at the Pov or Food Bank maybe? Or he's married to one of my friends? Anyway, he's a city planner and is doing a full study of the area to figure out how to improve it for all who frequent the area, and he's very much welcoming community input. If you have ideas on how to eliminate street parking while still serving the community, or any input on the project, you can comment and/or take the survey here.

Keep in mind, the goal of the Higgins Corridor Study will be to develop a design that:

  • Considers the needs of all users, including people biking, walking, driving, and riding the bus, freight operators, and others.
  • Improves safety for all users.
  • Provides multi-modal access suitable for all ages and abilities.
  • Increases access to businesses on the corridor and Downtown Missoula.

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