Missoula, Montana | Russell Street

Activating Russell Street for Pedestrian Mobility

Missoula, Montana  |  2014

Project Details

The Challenge

Key Activities



Russell Street is one of Missoula, Montana’s primary corridors, cutting through the center of the city and providing one of only five bridge crossings over the Clark Fork River. The corridor serves as an important connection between neighborhoods in the center of Missoula, the Downtown, and the commercial districts in the southern half of the city. Despite the centrality of the Russell Street corridor, its infrastructure has long been in need of investments to enhance its safety and character.

As the City of Missoula continues to develop and grow, the corridor is experiencing the same change. In order to embrace the growth, the City of Missoula enlisted Community Builders to create a land use plan for the corridor that outlines a path to creating the vibrant neighborhood that the community desires.

The Missoula Redevelopment Agency and the City of Missoula sought recommendations to their zoning code and tax increment financing standards for the revitalization of Russell Street. To that end, Community Builders hired Progressive Urban Management Associates (PUMA) to diagnose the current zoning code and lead a public design charrette.

In October 2014, PUMA and Community Builders spent three days in Missoula for an intensive immersion and problem solving effort. In hopes of understanding the market conditions that will drive redevelopment of Russell Street, PUMA conducted research on demographics and the retail market. Based on analysis of the market, demographic, income data, and observed conditions during the site visit, key opportunities were identified within the Russell Street study area that were favored by market conditions.

Comparing the community vision for the corridor, existing regulations, and the market opportunities in the current investment cycle, we developed a range of recommendations for regulatory revisions and non-regulatory approaches. 

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