Helena Town Hall Community Discussion
On Thursday May 22, Jim Charlier spoke to an audience in Helena Montana as part of a public forum series. This was the second event in a continuing program of “Town Hall Community Discussions” addressing the future of downtown Helena. Jim’s subject was “Growing Up or Growing Out: Sustainable Multimodal Transportation in a Growing Downtown Core.”
Helena is a small city (pop > 25,000) that in addition to being the state capitol has served for many decades as a regional center in west central Montana. Montana, contrary to intuition, is actually one of the most urbanized states in the sense that a high percentage of its population lives within its cities and towns. In recent years, however, rural subdivisions and commercial relocations to “green fields” sites have begun to change the character of the state and increase demands on its transportation system.
The Town Hall series is being sponsored by the Downtown Helena Business Improvement District (BID) and the Plan Helena Citizens Council (HCC). These groups, working with City and County staff and the Helena City Commission, are concerned about further losses of employment and storefronts in downtown and in the long term sustainability of the continued exodus from the traditional city and the resulting suburban development pattern that are ongoing trends in Helena.
A copy of Jim’s presentation is available in PDF format for download below. This is a large file, so we suggest you save it first before opening it. Also available below is a copy of the final summary report of the “Montana Transportation Choices” study Charlier Associates completed in 2004 for the Montana Smart Growth Coalition and the Western Montana Alliance for Sustainable Transportation.
Also speaking on Thursday evening was Roger M. Millar, PE, AICP, Director, Missoula City-County Office of Planning & Grants, who provided information on the Envision Missoula transportation planning process underway in Missoula as well as perspective on growth management issues for Montana’s cities.
For more information on the Town Hall series, contact:
Jim McHugh (DHI / BID)