Monday evening Missoula City Council members passed an emergency ordinance to deal with dangerous roads.
High speeds have led to accidents on two stretches of road, one claiming the life of 18-year-old Missoula high school student Chance Geery. Now council members say enough is enough.
NBC Montana was in the council chambers Monday when members voted unanimously to reduce the speeds on Mullan Road between Reserve and West Broadway and on Rattlesnake Drive north of Creek Crossing.
Speed limits on both roads will be reduced by 10 miles per hour to 35 mph.
We asked the council why they decided to act so quickly. They tell us they’re very concerned about public safety and they don't want to wait for anyone else to get hurt before changes are made.
The idea behind the emergency resolution is to allow transportation officials to conduct traffic studies along both roads, but meanwhile council members say a lack of pedestrian lanes and safe crossing areas make them hazardous to pedestrians.
We asked city council member Cynthia Wolken why she put in the request to reduce the speed limit on Mullan Road.
“There was a recent very tragic pedestrian death,” she said. “I think it's a no-brainer that we need to go through the steps and accelerate the process of reducing that speed limit.”
“Higher speeds kill,” said council member Dave Strohmaier. “Lower speeds you may injure someone but have a less chance of permanently maiming or killing someone.”
Strohmaier tells us reduced speed limits are effective immediately. Signage is expected to be changed within the next few days.