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Billings residents want change following traffic deaths on busy street

Shay Reiser, lives near Broadwater
Posted at 5:36 PM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 19:36:01-04

BILLINGS — Following two separate traffic deaths on Broadwater Avenue in Billings Tuesday, residents want change.

The first death was a pedestrian killed in a hit-and-run, and the second death was a motorcycle crash.

One neighbor, Shay Reiser, says that after almost getting hit on the street near Broadwater Avenue, and now these two deaths, she is ready to push for change.

“It’s heartbreaking that somebody had to die, and hopefully that changes some things on this street and other streets, but I’m going to try and remain optimistic about it and ultimately I’m going to do my part to get some changes made to prevent that kind of stuff going forward,” Reiser explains.

Residents want adequate lighting, re-painted crosswalks, and more signage on the busy street.

But the city of Billings wants concerned citizens to know that change takes time.

Public Works Director Debi Meling provided MTN News with a written statement on how the process for change works.

"Any time we hear of a fatality or even a severe accident, we look at the circumstances and try to determine if there is something that can and should be done to help alleviate the potential for it happening again. In other words, is the cause of the accident something that we can address through physical changes to the street. Sometimes that answer comes very quickly based on the facts of the accident and sometimes, like Lake Elmo, it requires a relatively extensive study of the corridor. So for Broadwater, we will look a the details of the two occurrences yesterday and determine if there is something that can and should be done to reduce the chance of it happening again," writes Meling.

And on top of accident follow-ups, concerned citizens can also file a complaint with the city if they have a problem that needs to be addressed.

Many Broadwater residents said on social media they plan on filing complaints and attending meetings with city transportation officials.

While the city works to make changes, they ask for patience from the public. Data analysis, traffic surveys, and funding all take time.

If you have a complaint needing to be addressed with the city, please click here.