Missoula Long-Range Transportation Plan Update

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The Missoula Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) works to plan a safe transportation network for the Missoula area to ensure we have a comprehensive, cooperative, and connected transportation system. Every five years, the MPO updates the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for the Missoula urban area.

The 30-year plan looks at all modes of transportation to identify priorities for projects and programs, as well as how funding should be allocated. Relying on previous planning work and community outreach, the LRTP update integrates existing plans and projects, envisioning a resilient transportation network that improves access and mobility for all Missoula area residents, workers, and visitors.

How to Get Involved

Your involvement is important to this planning process, and we want to hear from you. Please take a moment to share your thoughts and ideas for Missoula’s transportation system. Additionally, you can return to this page or subscribe to updates on the right as we begin hosting in-person engagement opportunities in the coming months.


Long-Range Plan Background

As we developed the previous LRTP, Missoula Connect, in 2020, we learned about your vision for the future of the Missoula area and your ideas for solutions to help respond to current challenges. We heard that you want safe, comfortable, and reliable ways to get around the region. For some, that means better biking connections or safer places to walk; for others, that means a reliable way to drive or an efficient trip to work and services in transit.  We know that when transportation is integrated with land use, we can support future growth and enhance the local economy without straining the transportation system or creating negative environmental impacts for future generations. As we grow, we need a transportation system that keeps pace—one that reflects our community’s character and supports a more livable, equitable, and sustainable region. 2050 LRTP graphic showing the five goals from the previous plan. These goals are available as text in the 2050 Missoula Connect document.

Missoula Connect 2050 included five goals that reflected the needs, priorities, and outcomes of our region.


Purpose of the Current LRTP Update

The values Missoula area residents shared during Missoula Connect are the foundation of the current LRTP update. Each recommendation in the previous long-range plan—whether a major project or a new program—has helped move the region toward a safer, healthier, more sustainable, more equitable, and more connected future.

Throughout the current LRTP planning process, Missoula area residents will share their ideas to help identify values, goals, and specific projects to help improve mobility in the region. You will also provide ideas for programs and policies that can encourage people to travel in different ways, and you will provide important feedback on the priorities that need to be funded first to meet the region’s needs today and in the future.

As we shape the LRTP in the coming months, we are focused on opportunities to broaden residents’ understanding of the MPO's role in the region and on creative ways to hear feedback. We encourage you to share your visions for the future of transportation in the region, along with ideas to make traveling in the Missoula area easier and safer. This input helps create a transportation system that works for everyone. Graphic showing the LRTP planning process to create recommended scenarios and projects.

The LRTP process identifies recommended transportation scenarios and projects.


Missoula County Residents

The Missoula MPO utilizes several boundaries to determine the scope and extent of the work outlined within the LRTP. Some Missoula County residents living outside city limits are within the MPO Planning Area.

The MPO Planning Area is Missoula’s 20-year projected growth area. This land area is where the MPO considers long-range planning and project prioritization. Within the Planning Area is the Urbanized Area; a federal designation based on census data. The MPO can spend Federal Highway Administration Urban Funds on infrastructure and services within this boundary. The Urbanized Area is larger than the extent of the City – meaning some County residents live in the Urbanized Area.

You can use our interactive map to find out if you live within the MPO Planning Area or Urbanized Area. The Missoula Connect Recommended Projects map shows the current projects included within the LRTP and their extent in the region.Map showing MPO boundary

The LRTP planning process extends beyond city limits and includes portions of Missoula County.


Mountain Line Strategic Plan

The Missoula MPO's LRTP is being planned concurrently with Mountain Line's Strategic Plan. To learn more about the Transit Strategic Plan and leave comments related to transit service in Missoula, please visit their Engage Missoula page.


Share your questions and ideas for Missoula’s transportation system below. Return to this page, or subscribe to updates on the right, as we begin hosting in-person engagement opportunities in the coming months.

The Missoula Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) works to plan a safe transportation network for the Missoula area to ensure we have a comprehensive, cooperative, and connected transportation system. Every five years, the MPO updates the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for the Missoula urban area.

The 30-year plan looks at all modes of transportation to identify priorities for projects and programs, as well as how funding should be allocated. Relying on previous planning work and community outreach, the LRTP update integrates existing plans and projects, envisioning a resilient transportation network that improves access and mobility for all Missoula area residents, workers, and visitors.

How to Get Involved

Your involvement is important to this planning process, and we want to hear from you. Please take a moment to share your thoughts and ideas for Missoula’s transportation system. Additionally, you can return to this page or subscribe to updates on the right as we begin hosting in-person engagement opportunities in the coming months.


Long-Range Plan Background

As we developed the previous LRTP, Missoula Connect, in 2020, we learned about your vision for the future of the Missoula area and your ideas for solutions to help respond to current challenges. We heard that you want safe, comfortable, and reliable ways to get around the region. For some, that means better biking connections or safer places to walk; for others, that means a reliable way to drive or an efficient trip to work and services in transit.  We know that when transportation is integrated with land use, we can support future growth and enhance the local economy without straining the transportation system or creating negative environmental impacts for future generations. As we grow, we need a transportation system that keeps pace—one that reflects our community’s character and supports a more livable, equitable, and sustainable region. 2050 LRTP graphic showing the five goals from the previous plan. These goals are available as text in the 2050 Missoula Connect document.

Missoula Connect 2050 included five goals that reflected the needs, priorities, and outcomes of our region.


Purpose of the Current LRTP Update

The values Missoula area residents shared during Missoula Connect are the foundation of the current LRTP update. Each recommendation in the previous long-range plan—whether a major project or a new program—has helped move the region toward a safer, healthier, more sustainable, more equitable, and more connected future.

Throughout the current LRTP planning process, Missoula area residents will share their ideas to help identify values, goals, and specific projects to help improve mobility in the region. You will also provide ideas for programs and policies that can encourage people to travel in different ways, and you will provide important feedback on the priorities that need to be funded first to meet the region’s needs today and in the future.

As we shape the LRTP in the coming months, we are focused on opportunities to broaden residents’ understanding of the MPO's role in the region and on creative ways to hear feedback. We encourage you to share your visions for the future of transportation in the region, along with ideas to make traveling in the Missoula area easier and safer. This input helps create a transportation system that works for everyone. Graphic showing the LRTP planning process to create recommended scenarios and projects.

The LRTP process identifies recommended transportation scenarios and projects.


Missoula County Residents

The Missoula MPO utilizes several boundaries to determine the scope and extent of the work outlined within the LRTP. Some Missoula County residents living outside city limits are within the MPO Planning Area.

The MPO Planning Area is Missoula’s 20-year projected growth area. This land area is where the MPO considers long-range planning and project prioritization. Within the Planning Area is the Urbanized Area; a federal designation based on census data. The MPO can spend Federal Highway Administration Urban Funds on infrastructure and services within this boundary. The Urbanized Area is larger than the extent of the City – meaning some County residents live in the Urbanized Area.

You can use our interactive map to find out if you live within the MPO Planning Area or Urbanized Area. The Missoula Connect Recommended Projects map shows the current projects included within the LRTP and their extent in the region.Map showing MPO boundary

The LRTP planning process extends beyond city limits and includes portions of Missoula County.


Mountain Line Strategic Plan

The Missoula MPO's LRTP is being planned concurrently with Mountain Line's Strategic Plan. To learn more about the Transit Strategic Plan and leave comments related to transit service in Missoula, please visit their Engage Missoula page.


Share your questions and ideas for Missoula’s transportation system below. Return to this page, or subscribe to updates on the right, as we begin hosting in-person engagement opportunities in the coming months.

Ask a Question About the LRTP Update

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  • Share What is the ownership status of the railway that runs parallel to the bitterroot trail? Is it possible to reclaim it as a green belt in increase green space and accessibility in the city without having to convert/purchase existing properties? on Facebook Share What is the ownership status of the railway that runs parallel to the bitterroot trail? Is it possible to reclaim it as a green belt in increase green space and accessibility in the city without having to convert/purchase existing properties? on Twitter Share What is the ownership status of the railway that runs parallel to the bitterroot trail? Is it possible to reclaim it as a green belt in increase green space and accessibility in the city without having to convert/purchase existing properties? on Linkedin Email What is the ownership status of the railway that runs parallel to the bitterroot trail? Is it possible to reclaim it as a green belt in increase green space and accessibility in the city without having to convert/purchase existing properties? link

    What is the ownership status of the railway that runs parallel to the bitterroot trail? Is it possible to reclaim it as a green belt in increase green space and accessibility in the city without having to convert/purchase existing properties?

    Jared Deatherage asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comment. The City has a long-standing relationship with the railway and is actively pursuing opportunities along the corridor. We encourage you to navigate to the Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails (PROST) plan update to also provide your comment to the Parks department. The PROST page also has additional information about ongoing green space planning efforts.

Page last updated: 09 Jul 2024, 03:39 PM