A Single-Lane Roundabout is the Preferred Alternative
MDT and the City of Kalispell evaluated options to improve the intersection of 2nd Street East/Conrad Drive and Woodland Avenue and have determined that the safest and most efficient way to reduce the number and severity of crashes is to use a small single-lane roundabout. Several factors went into the decision to move forward with the small single lane roundabout:
- It improves safety for all road users (vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists).
- The roundabout fits within the exiting intersection footprint minimizing impacts to adjacent properties including the Conrad Mansion, Woodland Park and multiple single family homes.
- It is a cost-effective investment that will last far into the future. The roundabout will efficiently handle traffic volumes for the next 20 years without additional investments.
- A number of communities in snowy areas have successfully installed roundabouts including as far north as Alaska (more than 40 roundabouts in the state) and other Montana communities like Helena, Missoula and Billings. Many have similar grades.
Please visit the FAQ page to learn more and the Public Involvement page to find a summary of past public outreach events and comments.
The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and the City of Kalispell are evaluating options to improve the intersection of 2nd Street East/Conrad Drive and Woodland Avenue. The two primary goals of the project are to:
- Improve safety for all roadway users including people walking and riding bikes
- Minimize impacts to adjacent properties
The City of Kalispell has seen 15.7% population growth between 2010 and 2017. It's no wonder this busy intersection continues to see an increase in vehicular traffic as well as pedestrians and cyclists. It serves:
- Adjacent neighborhoods
- Commuter traffic
- Local businesses
- Woodland Park and its popular swimming pool
- Heritage Park
- Woodland Montessori School
- Cornelius Hedges Elementary School
- Conrad Mansion Museum
Safety for all roadway users is a priority for MDT. The current intersection configuration does not work as well as it used to when traffic volumes were lower. A study of crash trends indicates a growing concern and by planning now, MDT’s goal is to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes. Key intersection improvements will focus on:
- Improving sight distances (ability to easily see on-coming cars to avoid colliding with them) at all approaches to the intersection.
- Maintaining a 25 MPH speed limit – this is a residential neighborhood with parks and schools.
- Improving driver expectations. Allowing a continuous through movement for westbound traffic coming up the hill on Conrad Drive, while the other 3 legs of the intersection must stop, is an unusual traffic pattern. Drivers are more apt to make a mistake, not realizing the Conrad Drive traffic does not have to stop.
- Considering the uphill grade on Conrad Drive so westbound vehicles do not get stuck or slide down the hill during extreme winter conditions.
- Providing improved pedestrian crossings.
- Fitting the improvements within the public right-of-way footprint to avoid impacts to adjacent properties, to the extent possible.
Woodland and 2nd Street
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