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Reach Parks & Recreation by telephone at (406) 552-7275, or browse bark park locations here.
If it is an emergency, call 911 and an officer will respond. The 24-hour, non-emergency Police Desk phone number is (406) 552-6300 for city residents. Missoula County residents should contact the Sheriff's Office at (406) 258-4810 during normal working hours, or call 911 after hours.
Office (406) 541-7387 Fax (406) 541-7389
Location and mailing address:Animal Control6700 Butler Creek RoadMissoula, MT 59808 Animal Control
Yes. Bicyclists must follow the same traffic laws and rules as cars with a few exceptions.
Here are five key "rules of the road" to keep in mind:
For more specific information, see Chapter 10.42 of the Missoula Municipal Code and Montana Code Annotated 61-8-6.
Bicycle registration is available online as a free service provided by the City of Missoula. Call 406-552-6675 with any questions.
The individual selling the bike that was previously registered with City should log into their 529 account, select "your garage," select the bike you are selling, and select "Transfer Bike." Follow the prompts for additional steps. Call Missoula In Motion at (406) 552-6675 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with additional questions.
The individual selling the bike should log in to their 529 account, select your garage, select the bike you are selling and select “Transfer Bike”. Need step by step help with this? Call Missoula In Motion at 406.552.6675.
If the seller is unable to do this, email Project 529 at email@example.com with the shield ID and bike make/model and color, and they will assist you.
Bikes are welcome on trails unless signs are posted that prohibit bikes. Continued sharing of trails is encouraged by following low impact guidelines: bike only on designated trails, leave no trace, and give pedestrians and horses the right-of-way.
This printable Missoula Bicycle Map includes more information about shared use paths, conservation trails, and other bike friendly spaces in Missoula.
You can sign up to be notified about upcoming bike auctions on our Notify Me page.
Our standard graves allow two interments while our family cremation graves allow four interments. Please review interment arrangements or family cremation section
Contact the cemetery as soon as possible. Please review
No. The cemetery does not conduct burials on Sundays or holidays. See interment arrangements.
While the cemetery makes every attempt to meet a family's request, the cemetery must always stay within the guidelines of operation set forth in
No. Missoula City Cemetery prohibits the spreading of cremations within cemetery grounds. Please see cemetery policy Scattering Cremains
These are walls dedicated to cremation inurnments. Please see our
No. Please review information for
No. The cemetery requires a permanent container for both casket and cremation burials. See
Search the cemetery interment registry.
See ownership rights.
See flower beds and boxes and decorations and flowers.
Contact the cemetery as soon as possible. Please review interment arrangements.
No. We have many options currently available. Please review our burial and cremation options for sale.
Yes. There are public restrooms on Russell street just north of the cemetery office. There are no facilities out on the grounds.
No. Missoula City Cemetery prohibits the spreading of cremations within cemetery grounds. Please see cemetery policy Scattering of Cremations
The cemetery has a price by quote for monument cleaning. Please contact the cemetery office or fill out our cleaning quote request form. Liability Cleaning Waiver
No. By signing the liability waiver and understanding the risk, the cemetery is not responsible in case of damages. Please see the Liability Waiver for more detailed information.
No. Cleaning service is for stone monuments only.
It all depends on the age of the monument and material of the monument. Monuments made of marble or limestone need only be cleaned every ten years. Modern granite stones are more sturdy and can handle more frequent cleanings.
Please see monument regulations regarding ownership of monuments placed at Missoula City Cemetery.
Yes. As part of a monument cleaning quote, issues such as a cracked or not level foundation will be marked on the quote with your choice for the cemetery to repair it.
No. The cleaning quote is for monument cleaning, foundation leveling, and other site fixes. A broken monument will need a monument company to repair or replace the stone.
Mold, mildew, algae, and lichens feed on the stone and because of this are actually destroying the monument.
No, the City Attorney's Office is responsible for representing the interests of the City of Missoula as a whole and prosecuting misdemeanor crimes. We are not able to offer legal advice or opinions to citizens.
Contact the Crime Victim Advocate at (406) 258-3830. For additional information, view the
The City Attorney's office cannot assist with landlord / tenant issues. You can find information at Housing (Montana Law Help).
New Year's Day—January 1stMartin Luther King, Jr. Day—the third Monday in JanuaryPresident's Day---the third Monday in February Memorial Day—the last Monday in MayIndependence Day—July 4thLabor Day—the 1st Monday in SeptemberColumbus Day—the 2nd Monday in OctoberElection Day—the 2nd Tuesday in November, even numbered yearsVeteran's Day—November 11thThanksgiving Day—the fourth Thursday in NovemberChristmas Day—December 25th
508 W. Sixth Avenue, Suite 401Spokane, WA 99204 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPh.: 509-455-4200 24 hours-a-day Toll Free: 800-356-1007 Visit their website...
Visit the City Council contact page for specific contact information.
* Messages sent to this address are public records and will be published on the city website. Council Directory
Digital plan review is the environmentally friendly process of reviewing building plans without the use of paper blueprints. Your blueprints are submitted to Development Services by means of a digital file that is prepared by your Architect or electronic drafting company.
Names on a monument must reflect where an individual is interred. Please review monument regulations.
No. This area is restricted to vases on a hearth only. Please review rules for our family cremation section.
Missoula Fire Department Records Request
Missoula Fire Department does not have a drop-box for any of these items.
Missoula Police Department does accept expired prescriptions in a drop box located outside their offices at City Hall.
For needles and "sharps", we recommend contacting your local trash collector to schedule a pick-up. You can also call a local hospital or pharmacy to ask if they accept them. If you find an improperly disposed sharp, the Missoula Aid Alliance can help; contact their hotline at 406-493-2502 and they will follow-up.
The cemetery offers annual paid flower bed or box options. To order this service please contact the cemetery office 406-552-6070. All our decoration and flower rules can be found at Grounds Regulations
Families are responsible to plant, weed, and maintain their annual paid flower beds and to weed their annual regulation flower boxes. Beds or boxes that become unsightly or overgrown with weeds will be removed without notice, including those planted by local florists. Please review grounds regulations
Plantings are restricted to annual flowers only. Perennials and shrubs are prohibited and will be removed without notice.
Theft is a crime. The cemetery is not responsible for vandalized, stolen, or damaged items. Please see grounds regulations.
Glass is always prohibited and will be removed. Please review information for grounds regulations.
Flower beds and boxes are removed from all graves beginning the day after Labor Day.
You can find FAQs for specific topics by navigating to the relevant web page, or you can view all FAQs for the City here.
The federal government coined the phrase “ending homelessness” in 2009 and inspired several hundred U.S. communities to create plans to create systems that make homelessness rare, brief and one-time-only. People will always lose their homes, but those systems should provide immediate responses for people who fall into homelessness, effectively ending chronic homelessness.
In Missoula, the City-County plan has created the Missoula Coordinated Entry System. It works to prevent people from becoming homeless, divert households that are homeless for the first time, streamline services and prioritize limited housing resources to the most vulnerable people needing housing. Twenty-seven local agencies partner in the system, and 15 agencies have access to Missoula’s Homeless Management Information System, also coordinated under the 10- Year Plan, which provides instant digital access for service providers for quick responses to individual needs.
The solution to homelessness is housing. Missoula’s situation is compounded by rising housing prices and local wages that are not keeping pace to support those costs. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Living Wage Calculator, one adult with no children working in Missoula County in 2018 needed to make a full-time hourly wage of $11.93 to support themselves. Montana’s wage in 2018 was $8.30 an hour, so even someone working a full-time job could struggle to afford stable housing. In fact, 40 percent of people seeking shelter at the Poverello Center homeless shelter are employed. In Missoula, the poverty rate is 19.8 percent, and the rate is 14.3 percent in Missoula County. Both figures are higher than the national averages.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently reaffirmed that cities cannot criminalize homelessness, for instance ticketing people for sleeping in public areas. Police officers and sheriff’s deputies can remove camps from public property, but this usually worsens the situation for all: Local governments have a legal obligation to store people’s property; issuing citations for local ordinances attempts to fine people who have no money, often tarnishing people’s records, which furthers their inability to pass landlords’ applications; dispersing people throughout the community makes them more vulnerable to criminals and more difficult for service providers to find should they have good news about housing; and usually people relocate elsewhere in the community, lacking resources to travel far.
People who have been living outdoors and outside mainstream society for some time often need considerable time to regain trust that someone from “the system” actually intends to help them. Missoula’s professional service providers, such as those who work for the Poverello Center’s Homeless Outreach Teams and Hope Rescue Mission, work to rebuild trust. They also work to bring people into the services they need, such as health care, food assistance, financial support, disability assistance and treatment for mental health and substance use. In 2019, outreach providers helped 20 households of people experiencing homelessness and sleeping on the streets find permanent housing.
Panhandling – simply asking for money -- is protected as free speech by the U.S. Constitution. The City of Missoula has ordinances in place that prohibit aggressive panhandling – following people to their cars and repeatedly demanding money, panhandling within certain distances of bank machines and outdoor dining and holding up signs that are not truthful. Police officers can cite people for these offenses. However, those tickets are often a case of attempting to extract fines from people with no money and who are disproportionately harmed by a record of offenses when they attempt to get housing. Missoula’s Downtown Police Officer helps redirect behaviors as well as issue tickets.
Montana is one of the few states in the country where it is not illegal to be drunk in public. The Montana Constitution prohibits all cities from creating ordinances that would make it so, with the idea that alcoholism is a disease, not a crime. Law enforcement officers can detain people for their own safety if they are very intoxicated, but they must take them to a medical facility or other safe environment. When severe alcoholics are taken to the Missoula County jail for serious crimes, they must be monitored and provided medical care, at great public expense.
Data show that the majority of people experiencing homelessness in Missoula lived in Missoula County when they became homeless. Missoula’s services are a regional draw because outlying rural communities often do not have those resources. Missoula is a regional hub for everybody, for medical care, bulk groceries, financial services and more.
Local government leaders in Missoula have heard loudly and clearly from residents that they wish to be a welcoming community and do not wish to turn their backs on people in need, at the individual or local government levels.
Trash in encampments is a serious concern, especially in a flood plain such as the area around the Reserve Street bridge. Neither the City nor the County is in the business of hauling or landfilling municipal trash; the area is served by private companies. The Missoula City-County Health Department has a role in investigating complaints about unmanaged garbage and trash, but it’s clear that issuing tickets or fines to indigent people would be ineffective. The outreach workers who regularly visit people living near the bridge hold cleanup days and remove trash in cooperation with the area’s private garbage hauler as well as the people staying in the camps.
The area is not inside the city limits, and it is in a flood plain and so not appropriate for developed park facilities. It does not meet the City’s current standards for acquisition as open space because of problems with public access; safety and security because of limited visibility; and environmental conditions that would have to be remediated.
Missoula does have people experiencing homelessness, but that is far less proportionately of the population than in those larger cities. By working on a system-wide approach and addressing housing solutions, the City and County’s goal is to make sure homelessness is as brief as possible and is a one-time event. Missoula has seen a noticeable improvement in helping many of the homeless people who were visible downtown transition into a stable living environment.
The Missoula Job Service, postings at City Hall or Employment Opportunities on this website.
When the cemetery was established in 1884 burial records were very simplistic. A ledger entry was made for each interment. Entry included the decedent's name, date of death, grave location, and date of interment. No other information is available for these records.
An undated stone lies within the cemetery inscribed “In Memory of John R. Reynolds, First Person Buried in This Cemetery.” To date, no record of this individual has ever been found.
Folks used to be able to play videos in Google Chrome, however they will no longer play because Google has discontinued support for Microsoft Silverlight. Download Silverlight
The links to MP3s are the audio recordings of the meetings. This is a common format used by many MP3 players like iPODs, Zune, etc. You can right click on the link, save the file on your computer, load it onto your MP3 player, and listen to the meeting on the go.
MP4 files are the video files of the meeting. If you have a device that can play videos like a computer or iPAD, you can download the video (following the instructions above for MP3 files), save it on your device and play it.
Yes. The cemetery is open to assist you from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of the Memorial Day weekend. The cemetery grounds are open daily from 8 a.m. - dusk year round.
Glass is always prohibited and will be removed. Please review decorations and flowers.
Theft is a crime. The cemetery is not responsible for vandalized, stolen, or damaged items. Please review decorations and flowers.
Decorations of any kind (except glass) are allowed on the grounds from nine days before Memorial Day through the Sunday following Memorial Day. Please review all options for decorations and flowers.
Yes. There are public restrooms on Russell street just north of the cemetery office. There are no facilities out on the grounds.
Moving In: Apply for water service by phone at (406) 552-6700 or in person at 1345 West Broadway. You will need your employer’s name, your personal identification number, telephone number, name of spouse or roommates, mailing address, and landlord information. You may also be required to pay a deposit for service.
Moving Out: The person whose name appears on the water account is responsible for notifying us of the move out date. A final billing will be mailed after the account is closed. We are unable to make billing adjustments for late notification.
Eligibility: Customers may become eligible for the low income discount by annually qualifying for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. The Customer must provide Missoula Water with satisfactory evidence of qualification under LIEAP. Application: The Human Resource Council, (406) 728-3710, 1801 S. Higgins, has applications for LIEAP available. There is a release of information included with the HRC LIEAP application. The HRC will notify Missoula Water when you have qualified. For more information about LIEAP, visit the Human Resource Council website at Human Resource Council.
Discount: Eligible Missoula Water customers will receive a $6.58 reduction in the applicable monthly flat rate or metered charge. The discount applies only to services provided during the current billing period and not to overdue balances from prior billing periods.
Families can purchase monuments from a company of their choosing. All monuments are required to meet cemetery monument regulations.
No. The cemetery allows only granite monuments. Please review all monument regulations.
Yes. A veteran stone is placed flush with the ground in front of the upright stone or attached to the back of the upright stone. Flush stones must follow monument regulations.
Yes, a monument can be placed on an unmarked grave however the inscription must reflect information for the person(s) already buried in the grave and not memorialize any additional individual. Please review monument information.
All monuments must be granite and meet all cemetery monument requirements. All special requests must be submitted in writing with drawings to the cemetery board for review. Please review monument regulations.
No. All monuments and foundations are installed by Missoula City Cemetery staff. Please review monument regulations
Yes. Monuments are to be delivered to Missoula City Cemetery. Please carefully review monument regulations.
Yes. The cemetery allows an upright stone in the headspace and a flush stone in front of the upright stone. Please review cemetery monument regulations.
All special requests must be submitted on a variance form and include drawings, measurements, and layout. Variances are reviewed for approval. Over-sized monuments will require the purchase of additional graves and may restrict usage in some graves. Please review monument regulations.
If your sentence was deferred at the time it was pronounced AND you have successfully completed all conditions of the sentence, the Court can dismiss the charge and seal your cause number. What that means is that the public does not have access to the details of the conviction and your criminal record will state that the charge has been dismissed.
If you believe you meet both of these conditions, then you should file a Motion to Dismiss with the court.
This request will be denied if the Court finds that you (1) did not complete all conditions of your sentence on time; (2) if you had a new charge during the time the deferred sentence was running or (3) if the time for deferment has not expired.
If you did not receive a deferred sentence and believe your conviction should be taken off your record, you may be best served by consulting an attorney.
Each insurance company has different methods of determining your insurance rates. Many base some rate changes on the points the DMV places on your driving record.
You can check your driver’s license status with the DMV to find out how many points you have with the DMV [https://dojmt.gov/driving/driving-records/].
Some of the more common points include: DUI = 10 points Driving While Suspended = 6 points Reckless Driving = 5 points No Insurance = 4 points Speeding = 3 points Careless Driving = 2 points Moving Violations = 2 points
The Court will not defer a ticket if (1) you have had any other traffic ticket in the last 5 years; (2) you have gotten another traffic ticket deferred in the last 5 years; or (3) you failed to appear on your ticket within the time set for appearance.
Some tickets, including DUI, HTO, Driving While Suspended or No Insurance tickets can never be deferred. PLEASE NOTE: Under Federal Law the Court cannot defer your ticket if you have a CDL.
The Court will not dismiss your ticket based on your explanation about what happened without allowing the City Attorney’s Office to be heard and present witnesses.
If you received a ticket from a sheriff's deputy or highway patrol (brown uniform), you need to appear in Justice Court located in the County Courthouse at 200 W. Broadway.
If your license was suspended by Missoula Municipal Court for non-compliance or failure to appear you must come to the Court to address it. After you have taken care of the non-compliance, by appearing and bringing yourself into compliance, you will need to get a reinstatement from the DMV.
W.A.V. (Women Against Violence), Laurie Bogart, LCPC 500 N Higgins #109 Phone: (406) 493-7313
Dr. Q Counseling (Dr. Q Hehn, LCPC) 725 W Central Ave #209Phone: (406) 0900
Choices for Change (Nancy Smith, MSW, LCSW, LAC 304 Fourth Ave E Superior, MTPhone: (406) 822-5422
MAN.UP.RIGHT (Warren Michelson, LCSW) 336 W Spruce StPhone: (406) 546-9033
Michael English, LCSW 1406 S 1st Hamilton, MTPhone: (406) 363-0929
Winds of Change 2685 Palmer St #301Phone: (406) 721-2038 (Medicaid accepted)
Defendants may also go to another counselor of their choice and must provide the counselor's name, address and phone number to the court. If ordered to complete Anger Management, defendants must be enrolled within two weeks of sentencing, complete 20 hours within three months of enrollment and the remaining 20 hours within six months of enrollment.
Visit the My Neighborhood Council webpage and click on your Neighborhood Council. In the upper right-hand corner of the webpage, click on the email link. Your message will be sent to the Neighborhood Council leadership team.
Neighborhood Councils meet at various times and places. Find meetings by visiting the My Neighborhood Council webpage, clicking on your Neighborhood Council, and then clicking on View All under the Calendar.
Contact Development Services for a Residential Block Party Permit.
The city makes reasonable accommodations for any known disability that may interfere with a person’s ability to participate in meetings. Persons needing accommodation must notify Missoula Neighborhoods in advance to allow adequate time to make needed arrangements. Please call 552-6081.
These are granite walls dedicated to placement of cremations. Each individual space is called a niche.
A standard inscription template is required. Please review niche regulations.
Niches are the most economical cremation option. Purchase includes the niche, opening and closing, and inscription. See fees.
Niche size varies by wall. Please review information for each of our cremation walls.
Parking enforcement is done Monday through Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm, with the exception of State of MT legal holidays.Metered parking starts at 9:00am on the street, however all pay lots, lease areas, residential permit areas, loading zones and time-limited spaces are enforced starting at 8:00am.
If you are using this form to report a problem with a ticket, you will not receive a response. You can report ticket issues to the Parking Commission office by phone at (406) 552-6250 or in person at 128 W Main Street.
Parking tickets may be mailed in to the Parking Commission’s office, at 128 W. Main Street, using the envelope provided. This envelope with payment may also be placed in a night deposit box located just outside the main door of the Parking Commission’s offices at 128 W. Main Street. The Missoula Parking Commission will also accept your payment via phone at (406) 552-6250 or online here using a Visa or MasterCard.
Street lights in Missoula are maintained by NorthWestern Energy. You can call them at 1-888-467-2669 or fill out their online form at https://www.northwesternenergy.com/contact-us/report-street-light-issue-form.
Permits are required whenever applicants are erecting, altering or relocating signs, except for the exceptions listed in 20.75.040. For additional information please contact us at 406-552-6625 or send us an email.
All permit applications (including sign permit applications) progress can be found in our Permitting and Licensing Portal. For additional information please contact us at 406-552-6630.
Electrical fires pose one of the more disastrous dangers involved in property ownership management. Fires caused by faulty or malfunctioning wiring can quickly get out of control, and can be difficult to extinguish as they often begin hidden behind walls. Is the electrical wiring of your sign adequate? Signs requiring electrical service also require electrical permitting. All signs that require electrical service shall comply with the 2012 ICC Electrical Code. For additional information please contact Development Services at 406-552-6630.
All external lighting, including fixtures that illuminate signs, require compliance with the Missoula Outdoor Lighting Ordinance. Illumination shall maintain intensities and uniformity ratios as outlined in chapter 8.64of the Missoula Municipal Code.
All illuminated signs require an electrical permit, photometric drawing(s) and information regarding the type of lighting and light fixtures.
For additional information please contact Development Services at 406-552-6630.
The addition of a sign to the exterior of a building creates a structural alteration. Signs must be designed, constructed and mounted to comply with all provisions of all adopted life, health and safety codes and standards. Building permits will be required on an individual basis as determined by the Building Official. Each property owner is responsible for proper permitting, installation, and maintenance of all signs on their property.
The Missoula Municipal Code requires building permits for all ground signs over 7 feet in height (20.75.020). Construction and erection of all signs and supporting structures must comply with the International Building Code. A building permit ensures the work on the property conforms to current safety codes.
For additional building permit requirements and information please contact Development Services at 406-552-6630.
The height of a sign is the vertical distance measured from the adjacent street grade or upper surface of the nearest street curb, but not an elevated roadway, to the highest point of the sign (20.100 Sign Height).
An engineering review is required for any signs as determined by Development Services staff, including all ground and sidewalk signs as well as any signs that are placed in and over the Right-of-Way (12.12.090). Engineering Division approval must be in place before a sign permit is issued final approval. For additional engineering requirements and information please contact Engineering Plan Review at 406-552-6636.
The placement of a sign has great impact on the ability of drivers to see oncoming traffic and pedestrians. The visibility obstruction triangle is also referred to as: "clear vision area" or "the sight triangle". This triangular-shaped area is a geometric calculation of the ability of drivers or pedestrians to tell if they can safely enter the traffic flow or cross the street.
Signs, fences, landscaping and other obstructions within this area are limited to a specific height above the elevation of the curb or street centerline so that drivers stopped at an intersection can see oncoming traffic. For design standards of visibility obstruction triangles see our standard drawing STD-401(Visibility Obstruction Triangle, Missoula Municipal Code 12.28.020).
All ground, sidewalk and other signs, as determined by Development Services staff, require the Visibility Obstruction Triangle to be shown on the site plan required with the application documentation.
Engineering Division approval must be in place before a sign permit is issued final approval.
The Missoula Municipal Code requires sidewalk signs to have a minimum clearance of 6 feet of clear pedestrian pathway. (20.75.070.I)
Signs that are allowed above sidewalks and other pedestrian areas must maintain a vertical clearance of 9 feet from the ground. (20.75.020)
As part of the application process, applicants must submit materials in addition to the application form. The required materials/documentation are listed in the Sign Permit Applicationand Checklist.
When applying for a sign permit, applicants will have to indicate the zoning for the property where the sign will be posted or built. Each zoning district has different restrictions and regulations regarding each type of sign, size and illumination. (20.75.050--20.75.60)
When planning any sign, applicants will have to calculate the sign area. Separate measuring rules apply to each type of sign (i.e. ground, wall, etc.) See 20.75.170 for information on measurement rules and how to calculate the area of a sign.
There are two different types of frontages that affect signs: building frontage and property frontage. Wall signs are affected by the building's frontage, whereas ground signs are determined based on the property's frontage. For more detailed descriptions and guidelines please see 20.75.170.D.
For additional information or questions please contact us at 406-552-6625 or send us an email.
It is important that we keep Missoula safe and attractive, and ensure that political signs are displayed in conformance with state and local regulations. Development Services staff has prepared a summary of the requirements for political campaign signs in the City of Missoula. If you intend to display campaign signs within city limits please see the City of Missoula's Political Campaign Sign Regulations.
For additional information, please contact us at 406-552-6625 or send us an email.
There's an old saying in the fire service, "we can't help you if we can't find you." Proper addressing an identification is essential to fire and rescue services.
The International Fire Code requires that new and existing buildings have approved address numbers, building numbers or approved building identification placed in a position that is plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property.
For additional information on requirements, standards, sizes and types of numbering and lettering please contact the Fire Departmentat 406-552-6210.
The addressing of a lot or structure must be clearly displayed. In addition to the International Fire Code, the Missoula Municipal Code has specific requirements regarding addressing. Please see 12.52.020 for a specific requirements and guidelines.
Addressing on all buildings are allowed without a sign permit provided such signs are not internally illuminated, cause glare, or cast light onto adjacent property (20.75.040B).
For additional information please contact Development Services at 406-552-6625.
There are very strict requirements the City must follow in order to install a stop sign. Usually, residential areas will not meet these criteria. A better solution in residential areas is for neighborhood traffic calming, which is the installation of physical devices that force traffic to drive more slowly in residential areas. For more information, call us at (406) 552-6372.
These signs are not recognized in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control (MUTCD), which the City must follow when installing traffic control devices. These types of signs are particularly ineffective to solve the conditions usually associated with this request. Traffic calming is a much more effective way to deal with this condition. For more information, call us at (406) 552-6372.
Yes, all you need to do is to send a letter with this request to Traffic Services along with a note from your doctor stating that you are handicapped and a rough map of the area you would like designated. The location will be reviewed. If there is a conflict with your chosen location, a compromise solution will be arranged. The sign will be installed at no charge to you. Traffic Services can be reached at (406) 552-6372.
There are three basic types of traffic signals: Pre-timed: The signal changes according to a predetermined schedule and does not sense the traffic at the signal. Semi Actuated: The main flow of traffic has the green light and changes only when the signal senses cars on the side streets. Fully Actuated: All phases of traffic sense cars, and the signal changes as needed. The controller is programmed for minimum and maximum green times. This type of light will stay green until either it has run its maximum time or there is a large amount of time between cars.
Loops: This detection type involves multiple 6-foot by 6-foot wire coils (loops) installed under the road surface. When a vehicle drives over the loops, a vehicle detector is activated and sends a message to the traffic signal to change the signal accordingly. Loops are the oldest form of traffic detection and are no longer installed with new signals because they require drivers to stop in a specific area, don’t work well for motorcycles or bicycles, and are often destroyed by excavation or roadway deterioration.
Video detection cameras: These cameras are mounted for each approach to an intersection, and when they detect a vehicle, the signal will change. Cameras were installed in Missoula from 2001 until 2012 but are no longer installed because they can be affected by the sun and other light glare, fog, smoke, and build up on the lens from blowing snow and dirt.
Radar: The newest and best option for vehicle detection at this time is radar because it accurately detects all roadway users and is reliable.
The types of signals installed in Missoula vary, so some reasons for this include the following:
Most fire engines and ambulances have a coded infrared strobe mounted on top of the vehicle. When the strobe is activated, it is detected by a sensor at the signal that turns the signal green for the approaching emergency vehicle. Once the emergency vehicle has passed, the signal will return to the pattern it was running before.
No, flashing headlights will not cause a traffic signal to change.
When a train approaches an intersection with a roadway, the railroad has equipment that triggers the traffic signal controller to run a pre-programmed railroad routine, which stops traffic, allows traffic to clear off of the tracks, and allows the train to continue along its route.
Traffic signal controllers are very sophisticated and use high-speed microprocessors that make thousands of calculations every second. Each coordinated intersection has a controller that is linked via a wireless network to a central server, which keeps all the traffic signals’ internal clocks synchronized. The coordinated signals run according to plans derived from vehicle counts. Typically, signals have four weekday plans—morning, off peak, noon, and evening—and one weekend plan. Coordinated traffic signals drop out of coordination in the evening when traffic volumes are lower.
However, in Missoula the seven downtown signals are fixed-time signals that run in coordination 24/7.
Once a pedestrian push button is pressed, a walk signal will come on with the associated green light for vehicles. Signal controllers handle these calls for service in sequence, so the walk signal will activate when it is that direction’s turn in the sequence. Just like a vehicle pulling up on a side street, pedestrians have to wait for the signal to cycle around to receive the walk light.
The “walk” indication comes on for only a short period of time—usually 7 seconds—and is meant to get pedestrians started across the street. When the red hand (don’t walk) indication starts flashing, pedestrians are no longer allowed to leave the curb. However, if they are already in the crosswalk, they may continue crossing the street. Missoula’s signals have pedestrian countdown timers that work in conjunction with the red flashing hand indication to show pedestrians how much time they have before the solid red hand (don’t walk) indication will be displayed. Pedestrians should not be in the street when the solid red hand is displayed.
Traffic lights have different requirements at almost every location. Some of the older signals don’t have pedestrian push buttons, so the green light serves as the walk signal, serving pedestrians every cycle. The rationale was that these signals are in higher pedestrian use areas, so the pedestrians were served each cycle; therefore, the pedestrian buttons weren’t needed. The signals that have only occasional pedestrian usage need to have pedestrian buttons. Sometimes when a signal gets a pedestrian call, it takes a while to serve the pedestrian. This is sometimes longer than the vehicle passage time would be, thus it can cause the vehicle efficiency to drop. The signal timing is very critical in most intersections and efficiency is very important to uniform traffic flow.
All the newer signals have ped push buttons, and the very newest have Accessible Pedestrian Signal (APS) push buttons. The APS push buttons have both audible and tactile features for visually impaired pedestrians. Eventually, all signals will have APS pushbuttons.
The next evolution in traffic signals is adaptive signal control technology, which is a system of coordinated signals that communicate with each other and vary signal timing, cycle lengths, and other parameters by real-time traffic volumes instead of the conventional time of day plans. This will allow greater efficiency by responding to actual demand, rather than predicted demand. It may benefit pedestrians as well as drivers by serving them sooner, especially when the main street traffic is low.
The City of Missoula and other Montana communities are working with the Montana Dept. of Transportation to identify corridors that may benefit from adaptive signal control and to put together projects to build these systems. Much of the technology needed for this is already in place, but additional equipment and many more traffic detection devices would be required.
Contact your local certified arborist for private assessments.