Gardenwalk Neighborways

Connectivity everywhere, all the time, for everybody, in all seasons

Do you have a story to share about walking, rolling or trying to get around with inconsistent walkways and/or on ice-filled pathways? Let us know here!

Getting across Missoula as a pedestrian, cyclist, or wheelchair user shouldn't be difficult or dangerous. In our listening sessions with Missoula residents, we've heard familiar stories: slipping and falling on the ice when walking to work; a friend who stopped biking because of too many close calls; a neighbor who was struck by a car when crossing the street.

Gardenwalk Neighborways are a solution—designed by Missoulians, for all of us.

  • A network of Gardenwalk Neighborways capitalizes on the existing infrastructure of residential streets, particularly those lacking sidewalks. Better than sidewalks, they create broad-based connectivity across the City with minimal investment.
  • On these streets, inexpensive striping and solar-powered "barrel-planter-lights" designate a wide corridor along the curb for humans traveling on bikes, by foot, or in wheelchairs.
  • The City plows and sweeps these corridors to bare pavement for year-round, ice-free access.

See a map of the proposed Gardenwalk Neighborways network in Missoula.

How it Works

  1. Curb painting/ striping and planters (with solar-powered streetlights) provide visible and physical barrier between car traffic and pedestrians, cyclists, or wheelchair users.
  2. Narrow, two-way vehicle lanes encourage slower driving speeds without speed limits.
  3. Parking is along the curb opposite the Gardenwalk; where streets are wide enough, a second lane of parking between the Gardenwalk and traffic could provide an additional safety buffer. Diagonal parking or one-way vehicle traffic are options where more parking is needed.
  4. The adjoining City right-of-way is permitted for pop-up gardens, cafés, art, etc. by residents.
  5. Strategic installation of traffic circles and closing cross-streets further improves the safety of the corridor for all and its utility for cross-City transportation.

Benefits for All Missoula Residents

  • Improved equity in neighborhoods lacking sidewalks, lighting, trails, parks, healthy outcomes
  • Reduced urban heat-island effect, air pollution, vehicle contribution to climate change, and family budgets for transportation with minimal investment from the City
  • Safety for all human users, vibrant neighborhood life, and “15-minute neighborhoods”
  • Increase opportunities for human connection, safe play spaces, exercise, and gardening

The Need—and Why Missoula Residents are Asking for This