This fall, we partnered with the Project for Public Spaces for a technical assistance project in Anaconda, Montana. Anaconda’s history is storied, serving as a company town for the copper mines in Butte well into the mid 20th century. Today, Anaconda is pivoting to a future economy and is seeking ways to enhance its mobility infrastructure and generate business downtown.
Working with the Anaconda Local Development Corporation, Anaconda-Deer Lodge County, and many business owners and community members, we examined Park and Commercial Avenues – a one-way couplet that bisects downtown. Straddled by historic structures and serving as the gateway to the Anaconda-Pintler wilderness to the west and the regional attraction of Fairmont Hot Springs to the East, Park and Commercial Avenues are poised to capture new interest and growth as the region develops.
Currently, both Park and Commercial are wide, two-lane thoroughfares that prioritize vehicular traffic. The project team explored options to optimize automobile traffic at the same time new options are created for pedestrians and cyclists – of which many were observed during our site visit. Engaged business owners made a wide variety of suggestions to slow automobile speeds, including bulb-outs in the yellow areas of the street and beautification projects along the street face, which encourages people to stop and shop.
Learn more about the project and the people of the town through this video, a part of our On the Ground video series.
Next time you’re passing by Anaconda, take a few extra minutes to get out of the car and explore this Rocky Mountain gem.