HELENA – The city of Helena is moving forward with plans to expand parking access at the most popular entrance to Mount Ascension.
The city commission decided Wednesday to move forward with “alternative one” which would add a parking lot with room for about 20 spaces just south of the current lot on Beattie Street.
At present, cars must park in the street right-of-way to access the trails, and during peak times, the lot is often over crowded.
In February, the city held public meetings about how to fix the parking situation and resident appeared divided over the different options. However, the city said most preferred alternative one.
Now, Helena’s Parks and Recreation Department needs to come up with a proposal about how to pay for the improvements and whether or not they will use a contractor to complete the work. A parking study is also underway to determine if there is an issue with too much traffic and speeding along Beattie Street.
In addition to adding more parking, there is also plans to put in a new, vaulted restroom at the trailhead similar to the one found on Mount Helena. The Beattie Street Trailhead would also include a new kiosk containing information about Mount Ascension trails and Helena’s open lands.