MISSOULA — Missoula in Motion is a Transportation Division program for Missoula with a mission to increase sustainable transportation in town.
This month, the organization took one small step toward that goal by installing ten “no idling” signs around downtown.
A few of the signs can be found at the area in front of Stockman Bank on Broadway, in front of the Postal Service on East Broadway, and across from City Hall.
Missoula in Motion Transportation Demand Management Specialist Margaret Hoyt said locations were selected based on certain criteria.
“By prioritizing loading zones and short term parking where we envisioned people kind of quickly stopping and running into a business or running into a store quickly and not remembering to turn off their car,” Hoyt said.
The signs are part of a partnership with the Missoula Parking Commission in an effort to work on air quality in the area.
Hoyt said reducing emissions is core to Missoula in Motion’s overarching goal.
“By decreasing single-occupancy vehicle trips. So trying to get people to bike, bus, walk, carpool, vanpool, use any form of sustainable transportation," Hoyt explained.
"And so our goal has always been along the lines of trying to reduce emissions, and idling is just kind of a piece of that,” Hoyt said.
Since Missoula is located on a valley floor surrounded by mountains, inversions can keep pollutants concentrated in town and pose health risks to residents.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality website states when cars idle in Missoula, carbon monoxide can build up from the exhaust.
Hoyt told MTN News that Missoula in Motion plans to install more “no idling” signs in the future.