A Simpler Plan for the Courthouse Couplet

I am concerned the new plan of four lanes of traffic, two lanes each going different directions, will be very hard for a pedestrian to cross

By Charlotte Pestel

I appreciate the unique layout of Kalispell and the showcasing of the prominent historical structures. It has been altered over the years from what I remember as a teen when we used to “drag Main.” I now walk that route daily from where I work to the Justice Center, just south of the Old Courthouse. I cross Main/U.S. Highway 93 multiple times a day as a pedestrian.

Because my interest is in the pedestrian, I am concerned the new plan of four lanes of traffic, two lanes each going different directions, will be very hard for a pedestrian to cross. It is much easier to cross one lane of traffic going one direction.

I would like to see us take a simpler, cheaper plan.

I believe we could address the issues by:

• Better signage. Signs, with flashing lights, that say “five pedestrian crossing in next 300 feet,” and “state law requires stopping for pedestrians” would alert drivers to proceed with caution.

• Monitor and ticket offenders. There could be surveillance cameras for this purpose.

• Encourage use of the U.S. Highway 93 bypass and the corridor streets of Kalispell. Third Avenue East, Fourth Avenue East, Fifth Avenue West and Seventh Avenue West are the fastest ways to cross town.

Since the driving issue is public safety, do we want to produce an opportunity to get around the most important feature of downtown without slowing down? When you drive a highway that goes through town you expect (or should expect) to moderate your speed.

Charlotte Pestel
Kalispell

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