MISSOULA — Home to big box stores, restaurants and fast food chains — North Reserve Street is a stretch of road that seems to get busier and busier.
A new fast food business is creating excitement across the community while also raising questions and concerns about increased traffic and traffic safety.
“It's not rocket science to realize Chick-fil-A is going to draw more people to the area, especially tourists,” said Kevin Davis of Missoula who owns a business off North Reserve Street.
If you have been to a Chick-Fil-A restaurant, you know the lines are long and the Missoula location will probably be no different.
Davis is the organizer of the Facebook Group “Let’s Improve Missoula’s Reserve Street” which is a local page discussing possible solutions to heavy traffic drivers deal with each day on Reserve Street. He says the new restaurant will come with its lines.
“Chick-fil-A today sits in front of stop signs on Reserve Street that allow left-hand turns out of that American way intersection on the reserve Street which is perplexing why is that even allowed today knowing that we see so many crashes there already.”
MTN News reached out to the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), which that notes Reserve Street is one of the busiest roads in the state. MDT says they will continue monitoring traffic flow and examine possible solutions that could help ease traffic on Reserve Street.
“We want things to happen incrementally so that we can take these crash cluster areas that are, we know are dangerous today and do small fixes and coming, you know together as a community we can do,” Davis told MTN News.
MTN News did ask if there are plans to add another traffic light near the restaurant but MDT said adding a stoplight will not help. They said they don’t want to back up more traffic with another light and still need to gather more data.
MTN News has reached out to the Missoula Police Department for information about the number of crashes over the last month on North Reserve Street to help give us a better idea of how often accidents happen. We have not heard back from MPD but we will update you as soon as we get more information.