HELENA – The City of Helena is working to improve the parking situation at one of the most popular trailheads in the city and is asking for public input on how to do it.
The Beattie Street Trailhead is the main access point to Mount Ascension and as residential development continues in that area, it has become a challenge to provide enough parking and facilities for hikers and bikers.
According to Helena’s Parks and Recreation Department, city engineers have developed two possible solutions. “Alternative 1” would support 24 standard parking spots and two accessible spaces. “Alternative 2” would support 30 standard spots and two accessible spaces. Both designs include a vaulted restroom similar to the one found on the Mount Helena City Park. The added spaces would be constructed to the south of the current lot on city park property.
On Tuesday, the Helena Open Lands Management Committee (HOLMAC) will discuss the pros and cons of both options and is hoping to hear the community’s opinion.
Helena resident Theresa Bousliman was heading up to Mount Ascension Monday and parked at the trailhead. Bousliman knew about the proposed changes and welcomes them, though she said she hasn’t had much trouble parking at the trailhead during the winter.
“I think it will be great. I think it will be great for the hikers to have the restroom, to have the facilities and also as the trail becomes more popular to have more parking. Especially during the summer when the mountain bikers come up,” Bousliman said.
The open house begins Tuesday at 5 p.m. in room 426 of the City-County Building.