More trail connectivity for our area is a major plus
New Front Street connection provides a safe pathway to trails in northeast Bozeman By Helena Dore Bozeman Daily Chronicle Staff Writer Dec 17, 2021
Walking from the Cannery District to Wallace Avenue just got a little easier thanks to a brand new “Main Street to the Mountains” trail connection.
Staff from the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Bozeman Mayor Cyndy Andrus and a host of others met Friday to cut a ribbon over the Front Street Connector Path— a short but important walkway that stretches between Rouse and Wallace Avenues.
The new paved pathway will allow pedestrians and bicyclists to safely reach trails on the northeast side of Bozeman.The path starts at the intersection of Oak Street and Birch Street. A little while later, pedestrians can cross Bozeman Creek via a new footbridge, then head toward Wallace Avenue. The path connects users with the Story Mill Spur Trail, which leads to the Path to the “M,” Drinking Horse Trail and more.
“It’s so amazing to see what a little piece can do for the community,” said Chet Work, executive director of GVLT. “For those of us who move from one side of town to the other, this is that lynchpin and these are the kinds of projects that make so much sense for us to get involved in.”
It’s been a long road to get the short 1,800-foot path completed, according to the land trust.The Front Street project was approved for funding in 2015, but it was sidelined because of the reconstruction of Rouse Avenue, staff from GVLT wrote in a news release.The pathway is the first project to be completed in the city of Bozeman through the Trails, Open Space and Parks bond, and Collin’s Coalition and the Northeast Urban Renewal District provided additional funding, the land trust wrote.“If you don’t think this is connected to our Climate Action Plan, you’re wrong,” said Jeff Mihelich, city manager of Bozeman. “It absolutely is in every way, because we have to get people out of their cars. If we have safe trail connections, we are certainly doing that.”
Mitch Overton, the city’s director of cemetery, forestry, parks and recreation, said developing the trails has “been an exercise in perseverance.“It’s stormwater outfall in the way of the bridge. It’s (the Montana Department of Transportation) is doing Rouse Avenue and a bunch of other things that have put us back …. We’re just super excited to open it.”