KALISPELL- This week the Kalispell City Council unanimously approved a new downtown master plan, outlining the path the city will take for growth in the coming years.
The plan is complex and well defined taking into account each detail of growth, from the Courthouse couplet to parking, lane changes on Main street and restoration and economic improvement to businesses.
In the plan, historic Kalispell is referred top as the heart of the community. The plan serves as a vision document for the next several decades.
"The plan includes a series of “key issues” that outline essential hurdles the city must overcome to make the vision reality."
During this process, city officials received numerous comments and surveys from the public about impacts to traffic volume and especially commercial trucks in particular.
Main street serves as a major thoroughfare for transportation of commercial trucks, hence the reason the Northwest 93 Alternate or Bypass was discovered and constructed.
Speed, noise and dust are all concerns the public spoke up about.
The plan for the future includes widening sidewalks to 16 feet, provide intersection corner bump outs and built pedestrian crossings.
One of the most prominent changes includes reducing Main Street from four lanes to three to slow traffic, reduce noise and congestion as well as encourage commercial trucks to use the bypass.
On top of that, a center landscaped Median will be constructed from 8th street to 6th street to Center Street. This change is reminiscent of a Main Street that
Kalispell once had decades ago.
Parking will still be parallel but will provide larger isles on both sides of Main Street to safeguard pedestrians from traffic.
The final approved plan can be found on the Kalispell Planning Department web page, at www.kalispell.com/planning/.