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Petition calls for MDT to address safety of Frontage Road intersection

By Grace Ditzler, KTVM Reporter, gditzler@ktvm.com
Published On: Apr 19 2014 06:45:33 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

A movement to make changes to a deadly intersection west of Bozeman is gaining momentum.
More than 100 people now have signed a petition after a woman died in a crash at the intersection on Wednesday.

It happened at the East Valley Center Road spur.
The spur is where East Valley Center Road crosses under I-90, and connects up with the Frontage Road.
The speed limit on Frontage is 60 miles an hour.

"I've been worried about it for years because my daughters used to drive that route to go to school in Belgrade, and I thought it was only me being paranoid," said Mandy Fitzsimmons, the Bozeman woman who started the petition. She says she is always been wary of the Valley Center Road spur near her house, but never felt like she could do anything about it, until this week.

"I was driving home on Wednesday from a hike," she said, "and I was on the Frontage Road and I came upon the intersection at the spur road of Valley Center and the Frontage Road and I noticed there was an accident."

On Wednesday, a 30 year old Bozeman woman died after turning left onto the sixty mile an hour road and getting hit by a pick up truck.

In 2012, someone else died at this same intersection, and the family of that person is suing the Montana Department of Transportation.

"That accident kind of spurred me to do something," Fitzsimmons said, "and I thought the best route might be a petition."

And since Mandy started the petition directed at the Montana Department of Transportation on Thursday, more than 120 people have signed it.

Mandy explained she had no idea how many people share her view about the danger, often avoiding the intersection all together.

"A common theme is that people have noticed near misses frequently, that's what most of the comments say," Fitzsimmons said.

The people who signed this petition say they want a three way stop, a traffic light installed, or have the spur closed all together.

"I would just like them to look at it and figure something to do to make it safer, because it's not going to go away," Fitzsimmons said.

Mandy, and fellow petition signers, say they hope something is done, and soon, so no more lives are lost.

"I think it took this latest accident to really make people more aware," Fitzsimmons said.

Department of Transportation officials told us changes to make the intersection safer are under consideration.