The Madisonian, a newspaper for Montana’s Madison Valley, reports on a completed WTI research study in a recent feature article. “Traffic calming data released” summarizes the findings of a traffic calming project in Ennis, Montana, for which WTI and the Montana Department of Transportation collaborated on a “pop-up” installation of curb extensions and other strategies to reduce speeds on the town’s Main Street, which is also a state highway. For the analysis, the WTI research team, led by Matt Madsen, collected data on speeds, pedestrian counts, and the number of drivers yielding to pedestrians before and after the installation. The final report is available on the WTI website project page.
In the small town of Ennis, Montana, local officials and residents are concerned for the safety of pedestrians and motorists on Main Street (US 287), which is experiencing issues with increased traffic and speeding. WTI, in partnership with the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and the Town of Ennis, recently completed the testing phase of a pop-up traffic calming installation to evaluate potential strategies. Spearheaded by WTI researchers Matt Madsen and Danae Giannetti, the project consisted of delineators placed in key locations on Main Street to slow down vehicles coming from the main highway. NBC Montana aired a feature story and interviewed WTI Director David Kack about the status and next steps for the project, which include evaluating its effectiveness and reviewing public feedback.
See the full news story on the NBC Montana website. To learn more about WTI’s traffic calming projects in other Montana towns, see our articles about traffic circles in Helena and street art in Bozeman.
On Saturday, May 2, WTI and the City of Bozeman teamed up to assemble pop-up calming installations in a West Bozeman neighborhood on Yellowstone Avenue. Staff worked together to complete the project in one day, while practicing social distancing guidelines and wearing masks, of course. Team WTI included Danae Giannetti, Andrea Hamre, David Kack and Matt Madsen, while Team Bozeman included two WTI alumni — Dani Hess and Taylor Lonsdale. Can you spot our staff and partners behind their socially responsible masks?
The installation in West Bozeman is the most recent project in an ongoing collaboration by the City of Bozeman and WTI to test temporary, low cost strategies in areas where neighbors have expressed concerns about speeding vehicles. Several projects in 2019 used street art as a traffic calming strategy.
And… speaking of WTI alumni Dani Hess, did you know that the City of Bozeman recently selected her to serve as its news Neighborhoods Program Coordinator? Her appointment was highlighted in a local news story by KHQ Channel 6. Congrats, Dani – WTI looks forward to more opportunities to work with you on local projects!
Congratulations are due to WTI and the City of Bozeman, recently selected for a Community Challenge grant awarded by the American Association for Retired People (AARP). WTI partnered with the City to submit a proposal for a traffic calming project, which will include pedestrian crossings, curb extensions, and traffic circles. It will build on ongoing efforts of the partnership and neighborhood groups to test and evaluate temporary calming projects for effectiveness and public acceptance.
The AARP Community Challenge project awarded nearly $1.6 million to “quick-action” projects across the country, focusing on community projects that make immediate improvements or help jumpstart long-term progress. Bozeman was one of only 159 projects to be selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 1600 applications. In 2017, the City of Bozeman, WTI and their other partners received an AARP Community Challenger grant for the Mobile Pop-up Project Trailer.
“We’re very excited to have continued support from the Livable Communities initiative at AARP,” said WTI Project Assistant Dani Hess, who led the award submission effort. “It’s great to see these short-term projects move towards longer term improvements with support from the City of Bozeman and the neighborhood groups who took initiative to make their streets friendlier for all.”
Two intersections in downtown Bozeman have unusual new inhabitants – brightly colored trout that swim and leap through a water mural painted right on the street.
Neighbors, volunteers, and educators helped create the installation, which is intended as a traffic calming measure to slow down cars traveling through this residential neighborhood. It is the most recent project in an ongoing collaboration by the City of Bozeman and WTI to test temporary, low cost strategies in areas where neighbors express concerns about speeding vehicles. In this case, the installations are located on South Church Street at the Olive Street and Bogert Place intersections, near popular pedestrian destinations including the library, Bogert Park, and Peets Hill. “This is an area that will benefit a lot from these little design features,” WTI project assistant Dani Hess said. “It creates a visual narrowing that makes it a little harder to just cruise through here.”
WTI and the City of Bozeman have implemented other types of temporary calming projects. Recently, they worked with the Lindley Park neighborhood group to install traffic circles on Cypress Street, which are intended to slow down vehicles driving by Lindley Park during events. Local businesses donated plants for both projects – Cashman’s, Vissers, Gallatin Valley Greenhouses at Bogert, and Greenspace Landscaping at Lindley.
Earlier in 2019, partners installed pop-up traffic circles near the Fairgrounds, and in the Cooper Park and Valley Unit neighborhoods. Last year, WTI also worked with the City of Helena on a similar project. These projects have recorded reductions in traffic speeds ranging from 2% to 14%.
The educators who joined in on the painting projects have been in Bozeman participating in the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program. High school and community college STEM teachers spend six we
eks learning about transportation research and technology, and then translate it into curriculum to take back to their classrooms.
A new traffic calming device is making its debut in Helena! WTI, Bike Walk Montana, and neighborhood volunteers teamed up to install a pop-up traffic circle, which is designed to slow vehicles on a road near a popular trail head where there are many pedestrians. The circle will be in place for one month, during which time a camera will record traffic speeds and researchers will gather public feedback on potential long-term solutions. KTVH Montana posted a news report showing the installation on its website. WTI has participated in similar neighborhood traffic calming projects in Bozeman.
WTI, Bike Walk Montana, and neighborhood volunteers are teaming up to install a pop-up traffic circle in Helena,Montana in March. The traffic calming project is designed to slow vehicles on a road near a popular trail head, and to gather public feedback on potential long-term solutions. The Helena Independent Record provided a recent update on the joint effort. WTI has participated in similar neighborhood traffic calming projects in Bozeman.