The Trails and Open Space commitee concentrates on the development of new trails within the neighborhood and appropriate connections to other trails and amenities. It can also assist with the general upkeep of existing trails such as garbage collection during Bozeman's Clean Up day. If you would like to be involved in this working group, please write NENABozeman@gmail.com or update your profile.
Front Street Pathway
The northeast neighborhood is soon to have a long-anticipated pedestrian and bicycle pathway connecting at Oak St and Rouse Ave. Starting at the Depot Trail on North Wallace, the new Front Street Pathway will follow the unused Front Street right of way, cross Bozeman Creek, and connect with Rouse. The project includes constructing a new 50-foot bridge crossing the creek and creating an asphalt, multi-use path that connects with the Story Mill Spur Trail, Story Mill Community Park and the Path to the “M.” Gallatin Valley Land Trust extends its thanks to northeast neighborhood residents and NENA for supporting the project, which is a cooperative project of GVLT and the City of Bozeman. The project was initially approved for funding from the Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOP) bond in 2015 but was delayed until MDT completed the Rouse Ave project. Now that Rouse is complete in the area, the pathway project can move ahead! Neighborhood support was critical to approval of additional funding by the City Commission on October 13 th . The Commission agreed that this project is an important link in the City’s trail system. The City is administering the project. Construction is anticipated for summer 2021.
The Aspen Street Pedestrian Bridge Update, April 15, 2021
The proposed pedestrian bridge would be located on the Aspen Street public right-of way, which runs east and west between Rouse Street and the Church Street Trail that runs from E. Cottonwood to Tamarack. It was approved by the City Commission in 2011. Investments in the bridge total $22,992 to date, for engineering and design.
Progress on the pedestrian bridge halted because the limited tax increment funds were diverted to Peach and Tamarack Street improvements, completed within the last two years. The Northeast Urban Renewal District (NURD) is starting to accumulate revenue again; since the Bridge project is one of the NURD’s less costly projects it is now within reach.
For the NURD’s 2021-2022 Budget, the City's economic development staff supports earmarking $208,000 for improvements (including curb, gutter, and sidewalks) to the section of Front St. that runs in front of the train depot. It proposes that the pedestrian bridge construction—budgeted at $170,000 to include sidewalks on E. Aspen St.—be moved to the “future projects” column (see Northeast Urban Renewal District 2021-2022 Budget).
It is unfortunate that these are competing projects for limited funds, as both are desirable for the neighborhood. Given that construction of the Cottonwood/Ida development—which includes improvements to Ida Street between Aspen St. (the current trail across from the climbing rock) and Cottonwood—isn’t scheduled to begin until the Fall of 2021, could the Front Street improvements wait until next year’s budget to allow the Aspen Street Pedestrian Bridge to be completed sooner?
As a mixed residential and commercial zone, the Northeast Urban Renewal Board (NURB) charter states that improvements using TIF funds need to serve both resident and development interests. Should this resident-focused trail amenity be prioritized in the NURB budget?
If you would like to see this pedestrian bridge finally become a reality for our neighborhood and community, please let the NURB members know. The contacts for the NURB are David Fine (DFine@bozeman.net) and Michael Veselik (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You can also provide public comment at the Thursday, April 15 NURB virtual meeting. This is the final opportunity for the NURB to consider their recommendation to the City Commission concerning the Work Plan and Budget for the Northeast Urban Renewal District for Fiscal Year 2022 (July 2021—June 2022).
Join the webex meeting Thursday, April 15 at 6:30 pm.