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Traffic concerns voiced over proposed Missoula development

Hellgate Middle School
Hellgate Middle School
Posted at 9:26 AM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 19:27:52-04

MISSOULA — The three most dangerous intersections in Montana are located on one road -- Reserve Street in Missoula.

Reserve Street. and the surrounding subdivisions are also potentially going to be rezoned to include more housing and commercial properties.

The mix of potential developments and high traffic would directly impact one school in particular -- Hellgate Elementary.

Hellgate Elementary School District Superintendent Dr. Doug Reisig says he’s already aware of the high amount of traffic surrounding the school.

“Traffic is an issue. Infrastructure is an issue, and so that’s my focus,” Dr. Reisig said. “I think we’ve taken care on the school side... but I think there are some traffic issues that do really need to be looked at.”

Dr. Reisig sees the potential problems that could arise from the congestion, but he has thought of some solutions, such as installing a traffic light at the intersection of Mullan Road and Flynn Lane -- or a traffic light at Mullan Road and Mary Jane Boulevard.

Mitigating the traffic would help control the volume of cars and the speed they’re going near the school campus. These concerns were also raised on Monday at a City Council public hearing regarding the rezoning proposal.

He has talked to city officials about these concerns several times, but according to him, he’s always told that it’s someone else’s responsibility.

“We don’t get a whole lot of support on that, and I understand that,” Dr. Reisig said. “Flynn Lane was probably never designed to be a major roadway, but it is. Until the city, county, state -- somebody address that and finds a way to take the vehicular traffic pressure off Flynn -- it’s going to be an issue for the school.”

Dr. Reisig told MTN News that he knows the land just off Mullan Road will be developed at some point, but still has concerns about congestion issues in the area.

Traffic is an issue – infrastructure is an issue and so that’s my focus,” Dr. Reisig said. “I think we’ve taken care on the school side. The infrastructure issue that we have to address on our campus, but i think there are some traffic issues that do really need to be look at.

The Missoula City Council hasn’t voted on the rezoning proposal for 57 acres of land off of Mullan Road and residents have until Oct. 7 to voice their opinions on the potential rezoning.