Transform Brooks – Connect Midtown

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How can Brooks Street be transformed to connect you and others in the community to home, to work, to services, and to recreation? Your feedback is needed to help shape this important transportation corridor!

Current Engagement Opportunities

Stay tuned for future engagement opportunities!


Project Overview

For more than 20 years the City of Missoula has been wrestling with a challenge common to many American cities – how to transform a road (Brooks Street) that developed as a highway commercial strip for automobiles into a multi-modal transportation route that can be woven into the surrounding urban fabric.

In 2015 a broad coalition of Missoulians recognized that the Brooks Street corridor could not maintain the status quo if the city was serious about its Growth Policy to “focus inward” and promote compact, infill development. This coalition, which became known as Midtown Mojo, drew up a vision statement that reads in part: “Midtown Mojo seeks to shape Midtown growth in ways that support a vibrant, accessible community for all of Missoula. This includes desirable housing affordable to all demographics, accessible transit linking all modes of travel, and pedestrian-friendly streetscapes with commercial corridors that service the neighborhoods surrounding them. Midtown Mojo understands highly efficient transit to be the backbone of this urban design.…”

The goal is to transform Brooks street into a multi-modal transportation route

So, how do we meet the demand to grow inward – to move more people more efficiently along and across Brooks Street and the greater Midtown area? This is the question the City of Missoula and the Missoula Urban Transportation District (Mountain Line) seek to answer with the Transform Brooks – Connect Midtown Detailed Planning Study. This study is being funded by a Federal RAISE Grant and is a follow-on to previous studies completed with community engagement in 2016 and 2020, which recommended fixed-route bus-rapid transit (BRT) and transit-oriented development (TOD) along the Brooks Street corridor.

Transform Brooks - Connect Midtown will take that previous planning work to the next level to formally define safety and mobility improvements along Brooks Street between Reserve Street and Mount Avenue. The study will develop concept-level designs for transit, walking, biking, and roadway improvements. A consultant team led by HDR and DJ&A has been selected to lead the Transform Brooks - Connect Midtown study, which is being managed by the City and Mountain Line.

As in previous planning efforts, community involvement is an integral part this study. Missoula residents and property and business owners will have several opportunities to meet with the project team, ask questions, and provide feedback.


Brooks St. Corridor Study Area


Project Timeline

Transform Brooks - Connect Midtown kicked off in Spring 2023 and is planned to be complete by Summer 2024. The following graphic presents the focused stakeholder engagement phases. We will be conducting stakeholder input activities and seeking guidance from the community during each phase of the study.


Brooks Corridor Study Timeline



What is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?


Short for Bus Rapid Transit, BRT is a transit system that operates in a dedicated bus lane. BRT includes permanent bus stops and frequent service and is more reliable, convenient, and faster than regular bus services.

Across the nation, BRT projects are contributing to localized economic development in many communities. The physical BRT features can relay a sense of permanence to developers and increase access to key employment and activity centers located along the corridor.

Through previous planning efforts BRT was identified as a compelling strategy to address safety, transportation, and economic challenges along Brooks Street. The Transform Brooks - Connect Midtown study will further evaluate whether center-running BRT is the most appropriate concept, and, if so, formally define what will be required to achieve it and evaluate the economic benefit to Midtown. The study is still in the early stages and the project team is actively seeking guidance and input from community members, area stakeholders, and the general public along the way.

Potential BRT Benefits for the Brooks Corridor:

  • A dedicated bus lane would ensure the bus could navigate traffic quickly, even during peak travel times.
  • A dedicated bus lane with permanent bus stops signals to developers that the City encourages robust infill development.
  • BRT infrastructure could narrow the crossing distance for pedestrians in strategic locations, making it safer and more comfortable to cross Brooks Street.
  • BRT services could reduce emissions by increasing high-capacity travel and reducing the number of vehicles on the road.
  • BRT service could reduce traffic accidents by decreasing bus/vehicle conflicts and reducing the number of vehicles on the road.

Potential BRT Challenges for the Brooks Corridor:

  • Changes in travel patterns (i.e. restricted left turn lanes at some intersections) may result in less convenient access to some locations.
  • Construction creates short-term inconvenience.
  • Additional right-of-way may be required in some locations.
  • Some may resist the increased density associated with transit-oriented development.
  • BRT projects require significant funding from competitive federal funding sources.

Past Studies

Existing view of Brooks StreetThe Brooks Street Corridor Study completed in 2016 confirmed a community-wide desire to focus on transit-oriented development (TOD) on Brooks Street, between Reserve Street and Mount Avenue. The decision to explore BRT as an option for this corridor came from the subsequent Brooks Corridor TOD Infrastructure Studycompleted in 2020. Transform Brooks - Connect Midtown, is the next step in the planning process, taking the ideas from concept to schematic design phase.


While not a city-sponsored study, the Missoula Midtown Master Plan project, led by the Missoula Midtown Association, will also inform the ideas and design concepts of this study. An overarching goal of Transform Brooks - Connect Midtown is to leverage Midtown’s transportation network to support planning strategies outlined in the Midtown Master Plan along Brooks Street


How can Brooks Street be transformed to connect you and others in the community to home, to work, to services, and to recreation? Your feedback is needed to help shape this important transportation corridor!

Current Engagement Opportunities

Stay tuned for future engagement opportunities!


Project Overview

For more than 20 years the City of Missoula has been wrestling with a challenge common to many American cities – how to transform a road (Brooks Street) that developed as a highway commercial strip for automobiles into a multi-modal transportation route that can be woven into the surrounding urban fabric.

In 2015 a broad coalition of Missoulians recognized that the Brooks Street corridor could not maintain the status quo if the city was serious about its Growth Policy to “focus inward” and promote compact, infill development. This coalition, which became known as Midtown Mojo, drew up a vision statement that reads in part: “Midtown Mojo seeks to shape Midtown growth in ways that support a vibrant, accessible community for all of Missoula. This includes desirable housing affordable to all demographics, accessible transit linking all modes of travel, and pedestrian-friendly streetscapes with commercial corridors that service the neighborhoods surrounding them. Midtown Mojo understands highly efficient transit to be the backbone of this urban design.…”

The goal is to transform Brooks street into a multi-modal transportation route

So, how do we meet the demand to grow inward – to move more people more efficiently along and across Brooks Street and the greater Midtown area? This is the question the City of Missoula and the Missoula Urban Transportation District (Mountain Line) seek to answer with the Transform Brooks – Connect Midtown Detailed Planning Study. This study is being funded by a Federal RAISE Grant and is a follow-on to previous studies completed with community engagement in 2016 and 2020, which recommended fixed-route bus-rapid transit (BRT) and transit-oriented development (TOD) along the Brooks Street corridor.

Transform Brooks - Connect Midtown will take that previous planning work to the next level to formally define safety and mobility improvements along Brooks Street between Reserve Street and Mount Avenue. The study will develop concept-level designs for transit, walking, biking, and roadway improvements. A consultant team led by HDR and DJ&A has been selected to lead the Transform Brooks - Connect Midtown study, which is being managed by the City and Mountain Line.

As in previous planning efforts, community involvement is an integral part this study. Missoula residents and property and business owners will have several opportunities to meet with the project team, ask questions, and provide feedback.


Brooks St. Corridor Study Area


Project Timeline

Transform Brooks - Connect Midtown kicked off in Spring 2023 and is planned to be complete by Summer 2024. The following graphic presents the focused stakeholder engagement phases. We will be conducting stakeholder input activities and seeking guidance from the community during each phase of the study.


Brooks Corridor Study Timeline



What is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?


Short for Bus Rapid Transit, BRT is a transit system that operates in a dedicated bus lane. BRT includes permanent bus stops and frequent service and is more reliable, convenient, and faster than regular bus services.

Across the nation, BRT projects are contributing to localized economic development in many communities. The physical BRT features can relay a sense of permanence to developers and increase access to key employment and activity centers located along the corridor.

Through previous planning efforts BRT was identified as a compelling strategy to address safety, transportation, and economic challenges along Brooks Street. The Transform Brooks - Connect Midtown study will further evaluate whether center-running BRT is the most appropriate concept, and, if so, formally define what will be required to achieve it and evaluate the economic benefit to Midtown. The study is still in the early stages and the project team is actively seeking guidance and input from community members, area stakeholders, and the general public along the way.

Potential BRT Benefits for the Brooks Corridor:

  • A dedicated bus lane would ensure the bus could navigate traffic quickly, even during peak travel times.
  • A dedicated bus lane with permanent bus stops signals to developers that the City encourages robust infill development.
  • BRT infrastructure could narrow the crossing distance for pedestrians in strategic locations, making it safer and more comfortable to cross Brooks Street.
  • BRT services could reduce emissions by increasing high-capacity travel and reducing the number of vehicles on the road.
  • BRT service could reduce traffic accidents by decreasing bus/vehicle conflicts and reducing the number of vehicles on the road.

Potential BRT Challenges for the Brooks Corridor:

  • Changes in travel patterns (i.e. restricted left turn lanes at some intersections) may result in less convenient access to some locations.
  • Construction creates short-term inconvenience.
  • Additional right-of-way may be required in some locations.
  • Some may resist the increased density associated with transit-oriented development.
  • BRT projects require significant funding from competitive federal funding sources.

Past Studies

Existing view of Brooks StreetThe Brooks Street Corridor Study completed in 2016 confirmed a community-wide desire to focus on transit-oriented development (TOD) on Brooks Street, between Reserve Street and Mount Avenue. The decision to explore BRT as an option for this corridor came from the subsequent Brooks Corridor TOD Infrastructure Studycompleted in 2020. Transform Brooks - Connect Midtown, is the next step in the planning process, taking the ideas from concept to schematic design phase.


While not a city-sponsored study, the Missoula Midtown Master Plan project, led by the Missoula Midtown Association, will also inform the ideas and design concepts of this study. An overarching goal of Transform Brooks - Connect Midtown is to leverage Midtown’s transportation network to support planning strategies outlined in the Midtown Master Plan along Brooks Street


Page last updated: 09 Jan 2024, 01:52 PM