Are you in the Rocky Mountain West area of the United States? If so, chances are that you understand the kind of transportation challenges - and opportunities - that come with living in these communities, be it a state highway running through downtown or commercial corridors in need of reshaping.
The good news is that free technical assistance is now available for communities through New Mobility West - a partnership that includes the Sonoran Institute and PPS. So what can this assistance do for you? Here are some of last year’s projects to get you inspired!
In Anaconda, Montana, Park Street and Commercial Street are the two main thoroughfares. They serve as Montana Highway 1, and together they form a one-way couplet that bisects Anaconda’s historic downtown. Park and Commercial are wide, straight and function principally in their capacity as a highway, not a community main street. New Mobility West brought in the Project for Public Spaces to work with key business owners, local leaders and MDOT to develop a series of recommendations aimed at slowing down traffic and encouraging a greater level of pedestrian activity and fostering a community-oriented climate.
Bonners Ferry approached New Mobility West (NMW) for assistance in the South Hill neighborhood to improve pedestrian safety and access, relieve congestion, and maintain the small town character of their city. Under a short timeframe for decision-making on an already earmarked Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) project, to rebuild the portion of US Highway 95 that runs through this district, Bonners Ferry intended to get the community involved to help determine the final direction. Bonners Ferry requested assistance to guide a public process to identify solutions that will serve the interests of both ITD and the community.
Russell Street is one of Missoula’s primary corridors, cutting through the center of the city and providing one of only five bridge crossings over the Clark Fork River. The corridor serves as an important connection between neighborhoods in the center of Missoula, the Downtown, and the commercial districts in the southern half of the city. Despite the centrality of the Russell Street corridor, its infrastructure has long been in need of investments to enhance its safety and character. The City recently underwent an intensive planning process alongside the Missoula Department of Transportation to plan for the streetscape’s transformation into a more bikeable and walkable corridor. The next step needed was to create a plan for the land uses along the corridor so that Russell Street could ultimately redevelop into the vibrant neighborhood the community is hoping it will become someday.
Thinking of applying? Better hurry! Applications are due by June 15th for assistance from July to November, 2015. It is also recommended, though not required, that applicants contact Jillian Sutherland before submitting their application to discuss the proposed project and application process. Check out their website for more information on the program and requirements to apply.