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Missoula Streets and Trails

5th & 6th Livable Streets project

MIST has joined with the Riverfront Neighborhood Council, Rose Park Neighborhood Council, University Neighborhood Council, and Franklin to the Fort Neighborhood Council in supporting changes on S. 5th Street and S. 6th Street for better access and mobility for all modes of transportation.

December 10th, 2018 update: This proposal has passed 9-2 by City Council and should be implemented in 2019 or 2020

November, 2019 update: The project was implemented in Fall 2019 and has generally improved the streets and neighborhoods.

Proposed and accepted:


Existing before 2019:

5th st. existing















Proposed and accepted:

6th St. Proposed















Existing (still, in 2021, near UM):

6th St. Existing


















*note: Higgins to Arthur was not part of this proposal.  This section will be revisited in the future.  The photo rendition, however, is still valid for west of Higgins*


About this proposal:

S 5th and S 6th have high crash rates, high rates of speeding, lack bike lanes, and are both very much under capacity for carrying motorized traffic.

Missoula lacks a connected, east/west on-street bike lane south of the river.

This proposal is for the conversion of  one existing travel lane into a buffered bike lane on both S. 5th and S. 6th streets from Russell to Higgins.

Intersection capacity can remain the same, as current, by retaining two lanes (just at the signalized intersections) for cars, along with the new bike lane (click for a graphic).

People walking benefit from this proposal by having to cross only one lane at a time which greatly increases safety, when compared to a multi-lane roadway. 

People riding bikes benefit by gaining dedicated biking space. Currently, cyclists are doored (hitting a suddenly opened car door) too often on these roadways.

People driving benefit because of safer and smoother traveling speeds. The current two lanes going one way encourages speeding and inefficient lane changing.

People taking the bus benefit with smoother travel speeds and, especially, when crossing the road on foot to get to or from a bus stop.

People living on the street benefit by cars traveling at lower speeds in front of their homes, which lowers engine noise, brake noise, pollution and dust.  Residents also benefit from the more intangible quality of 'increased peace of mind.'  Especially good for children, the slower speeds of cars and the higher presence of walkers and bikers tends to create an improved sense of place, and a more playful atmosphere for young ones in the front yards.

This proposal is supported by Missoula’s Growth Plan and Long Range Transportation Plan by encouraging more non-motorized travel and by connecting bike lanes.

A MIST survey of 800 cyclists over two years identified ‘connected bike lanes’ as the number one desired bike system improvement.

Parking levels remains the same and will likely become safer and easier with the buffered bike lane and increased space.

The cost estimate for this project is about $4,000 for extra paint. 

This project would connect to the bike lanes on 5th and 6th from Higgins to Arthur.

More about intersection designs (PDF) for the bikeway.

Combined with a 3-lane Higgins.      Big graphic.

Existing roadway.          Big graphic.

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