Friday, May 23, 2014

Important decisions for safe, accessible walking and biking infrastructure made last Wednesday at the Helena City Commission

This image is taken from the Centennial Trail Mast Plan. The initial route shown above as "Phase 3 Shared Use Path and Crossings" in orange and blue was planned assuming yet to be seen subdivision development, acquisition of railroad right-of-way, and additional funds. The alternative endorsed by the City Commission last Wednesday will capitalize on existing right-of-way, planned improvement to the Leslie/Joslyn/Country Club Intersection, and partnerships with entities to the west. 

Last Wednesday, the Helena City Commission direct staff to apply remaining CTEP funds to a pedestrian crossing at Roberts ($30,000), a crossing near CR Anderson Middle School ($25,000), and towards continuing Centennial Trail West ($400,000+) to provide a safe ADA, biking and walking connection from the Westside of Helena to Spring Meadow State Park. The new route for Centennial Trail West will utilize existing right-of-way along Joslyn ("A."), a trail along the mostly undeveloped platted section of Leslie Street ("B." or "B.-F."), and West to park along Country Club with a separated asphalt path or sidewalk depending on available right-of-way, utility easements, and water drainage. 

A safe connection for children, families, and commuters is long overdue in this area. The City Commission should continue to develop the remaining areas of the trail, especially a ADA/Bike/Pedestrian bridge across Henderson Street and a safe crossing at Benton. 

An alternative route exploring a connection of area "F." and "C." to connect to the park should also be explored.  

More details from a related post linked here.


- Matt E