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Following road deaths on a busy route, Billings residents seek reform



Billings, Montana – Residents of Billings want reform after two separate car fatalities on Broadwater Avenue on Tuesday.

The first fatality was a hit-and-run pedestrian, while the second was a motorcycle accident.

One neighbor, Shay Reiser, claims she is prepared to press for change after nearly being struck on the street near Broadwater Avenue and now these two fatalities.

“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 more signage, updated crosswalks, and appropriate lighting for the busy street.

However, Billings wants worried residents to understand that change takes time.

Debi Meling, director of public works, gave MTN News a detailed explanation of the procedure for change.

“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.

In addition to following up on accidents, worried individuals can also lodge a complaint with the city if they have an issue that needs to be resolved.

On social media, a lot of people from Broadwater expressed their intention to meet with local transportation officials and lodge grievances.

The public is urged to exercise patience as the city makes changes. Time is required for data processing, traffic studies, and finance.

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