Monday, March 11, 2013

Design Concepts from Greening America's Capital's Grant looking at the Downtown Helena Area, Please Comment!

The Last Chance Design concepts from the Greening America’s Capitals project are now available online at  The public is invited to comment about these proposals.  Please submit comments by March 22, 2013 to 

Comments can also be mailed to:  City of Helena Community Development Department, Planning Division, 316 N. Park Ave., Helena MT  59623.

Greening America's Capitals helped the city and community stakeholders create a common vision for designing intersection improvements to improve traffic flow, create safer crossings for pedestrians and bicyclists, and improve the connection to downtown.  The project looked at the one-way/two-way question plus the challenges of a five-point intersection along Last Chance Gulch.

Focus groups helped identify preliminary design concepts and implementation strategies for presentation at the second open house.   These focus groups included:  Business and Economic Development; Green Infrastructure and Landscape; Multi-modal Transportation and Circulation; Historic Preservation, Public Art and Culture; Social Services/Public Health; and Implementation Strategies.

Ideas that spurred the most interest and excitement during the planning process:  improving the crossing of Neill at Front Street and connecting through alley along Women’s Park to historic core; expanding the mall into 6th and Last Chance Gulch Intersection; and slowing speeds in downtown.

Working with the public, the consultants identified incremental opportunities for implementation: striping and sharrows on South Last Chance Gulch; infrastructure project programmed for Front Street; look for other public and private projects that can help implement the Sustainable Street Network.

Greening America's Capitals is a project of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities between EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to help state capitals develop an implementable vision of distinctive, environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate innovative green building and green infrastructure strategies.  This program assists three to five communities per year. 

Helena was selected for the Greening America’s Capitals program in 2012 along with Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Des Moines, Iowa; Frankfort, Kentucky; and Indianapolis, Indiana. 

More information about Greening America’s Capitals can be found at 
For more information, please call 447-8491.  

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