Large trucks traveling through downtown Bozeman on Main Street is a concern for businesses and local pedestrians. The1995 Downtown Urban Renewal Plan, 1998 Downtown Improvement Plan and 2009 Downtown Improvement Plan all suggested that large truck traffic negatively impacts the aesthetics of downtown as a pedestrian commercial district. Those plans also suggested that truck traffic may present a public safety issue.

A recent study was conducted to address those concerns by Montana State University’s Western Transportation Institute (WTI). WTI is the country's largest National University Transportation Center focused on rural transportation issues. Utilizing two mobile video cameras that collected traffic footage between 8:00am and 8:00pm, WTI was able to count commercial trucks over the course of eight days.

Here's some findings from the study we found interesting:

  • Peak time for truck traffic through downtown Bozeman is 2p - 3p during the week
  • Only 30% of trucks travel all the way thru downtown (I-90 to 19th Street)
  • On average 34 trucks a day travel all the way thru downtown (westbound from I-90 to 19th St)

The study outlines three potential alternate truck routes utilizing 7th Avenue, 19th Avenue and Jackrabbit Lane. Each route is analyzed based on mileage, number of traffic signals, travel time, and road character. Based on these metrics, the study concludes that the best alternate route would bypass downtown by utilizing Jackrabbit Lane.

Naumann added, “With this study in hand, the Downtown Partnership and the City of Bozeman will consider whether or not the volume of through-truck traffic warrants pursuing an alternate route designation.”

Download Complete Study