Board approves funding to help create new east/west bike connection in central Missoula

David Erickson

Anyone who’s tried to ride a bike east to west across central Missoula, from the university to Fort Missoula or vice versa, knows it’s fairly difficult and unsafe in many spots.

Now, the city is one step closer to having one more connector route. The Missoula Redevelopment Agency’s board recently approved $305,000 in Tax Increment Financing to pay for improvements to the Kent Avenue Neighborhood Greenway.

Essentially, the money will go to pay for infrastructure construction costs to build traffic calming features near Tremper’s Kent Plaza. A new speed bump, a new roundabout, sidewalk and crosswalk improvements, rapid flashing beacons and signage will help pedestrians and bicyclists get from Regent Street to the west side of Russell Street.

“Since Tremper’s Kent Plaza has been completed, traffic has increased on Kent between Brooks and Russell Streets, creating confusion and unsafe conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists,” explained Annette Marchesseault, a project manager for the agency. “The city has received numerous requests for safety improvements in this area, particularly at the Kent Avenue/Oxford Street intersection.”

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The new roundabout will be at the intersection of Kent Avenue and Oxford

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