Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The topic for the ‘Wednesdays with the Mayor’ program will revolve around transportation issues.

Mayor Jordan Hess appeared on the Montana Morning News show on Tuesday to promote the city of Missoula's transportation plan.

Everyone's Talking about Traffic and Transportation says Mayor Hess

“I'm going to be talking about some transportation planning and specifically some downtown transportation safety planning that we've been doing at the city of Missoula,” began Mayor Hess. “I want to put that in the context of our overall transportation plan. We have a long range transportation plan for the city of Missoula that is going to be updated this year, and so there's a great opportunity to get involved in how our transportation planning is shaped in the future and what our streets and roads and transportation network looks like into the future.”

Hess said he hopes the conversation will help attendees understand the transportation issue as a whole.

Mayor Hess wants to Discuss the Issue with the Public at the Library

“What this will do is hopefully draw together everything in a comprehensive manner,” he said. “Sometimes we get to talking about one project, and we hear from one set of businesses or impacted residents, and my goal tomorrow night is to really talk about transportation as a system and to talk about the network holistically.”

Mayor Hess emphasized the importance of using federal grants to help complete local traffic and road projects.

Hess said there are Millions in Federal Grants that Missoula has Applied For

“As you know, there's so much federal money right now through the bipartisan infrastructure law for transportation improvements,” he said. Because of that, we've been applying for a lot of grants. We just received a $9 million grant with Missoula County for safety improvements on South Avenue. Again, that's part of the picture, but there are several grant applications pending and a real opportunity to bring a historic amount of money into our community for transportation improvements.”

Mayor Hess also mentioned a special safety program at the heart of all the improvements to city roads and streets.

“We have a policy called Vision Zero,” he said. “That's the goal that we want to have; zero fatal crashes and zero serious injury crashes on our roadways. Now that's a tall order. I mean, there's always going to be human error. There's always going to be distraction and speed and different things like that, but that's our goal. We want to get to a point where we significantly reduce the number of serious injury crashes and fatalities and ultimately get it to zero.”

The ‘Wednesdays with the Mayor’ program will be live at the Missoula Public Library starting at 6:00 p.m.

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