Residents voiced their concerns to Bozeman city commissioners at a work session on Tuesday night for the proposed Fowler Avenue connection from Oak Street to Huffine Lane. Residents are worried about space, protecting landscape and preserving the trails.
“This connector may have been recommended in master plan documents but the fact is a subdivision was approved by the city and built in that corridor, between Babcock and Durston and only a very narrow corridor with minimum setbacks exists where that was once much more space,” a resident told commissioners.
“Those trees go, so does the walking we need to encourage people to walk not discourage them by having all the huge trees cut down along that part,” said another resident.
The City says that it plans on building a three- lane road, one northbound lane, one southbound lane and left turn lanes where necessary. The city plans on keeping the ditch near Durston and trails near Babcock.
The intersection of Fowler Avenue and Durston Road will hold a roundabout, while Babcock Street and Fowler Avenue will be a signaled intersection. The stretch of road from Babcock Street to Huffine Lane will keep the existing street.
“I have been torn as to my opinion on this but I’ve come down on the side of yes. The road needs to be built,” said a Bozeman resident in support of the road.
The few who showed support for the project asked city leaders to focus on the versatility of uses of the road for pedestrians and bikers.
“To consider two pathways, one on either side of the street, and I would like you to urge you to consider 12-foot lanes, not 10-foot lanes,” suggested an area resident.
The next step in the process is to look at design alternatives for the road before it moves forward.