Stefan Streeter, the District 5 Administrator of Montana Department of Transportation, celebrated his retirement last Friday with more than 200 MDT employees, plus guests from City of Billings Planning and Public Works departments, and Billings TrailNet and others.
Stefan has become a friend and supporter of Billings TrailNet over the past few years and has championed the Skyline Trail among several bike/ped projects in Billings. His commitment to the Skyline Trail helped to facilitate the pedestrian underpass recently installed at Zimmerman Trail during the road’s reconstruction and the roundabout at the intersection with Highway 3.
With Stefan’s help, we created a team consisting of our Public Works department, City/County Planning, Billings Parks and Recreation and the engineering firm Sanderson Stewart, to create a plan of action and agreements to begin engineering and planning the Skyline Trail. Through Stefan, we have come as far as getting an underpass and her Zimmerman Trail and a paved path for a few hundred yards in either direction in both directions leading to the underpass east and west, which is a major accomplishment!
As MDT’s State Director, Mike Tooley gave an introductory speech during Stefan’s retirement party he touted Stefan’s “innumerable” accomplishments, including the relationships he has formed with Billings TrailNet. “What he has done for bike/ped has been unprecedented in Montana,” remarked Director Tooley.
During many conversations with Stefan it has become clear that he cares deeply about the safety of travelers: whether in cars, on foot or two wheels. During his retirement speech he talked about his goal for Vision Zero- MDT’s goal of eliminating deaths and injuries on Montana highways. “We are seeing the numbers moving in the right direction and we need to keep pushing them in that direction,” said Stefan, and he asked that his colleagues continue the work to realize that vision.
“It’s amazing what we can accomplish if we don’t care who gets the credit,” said Stefan as he made his heartfelt goodbye to MDT’s crew.
We wish Stefan well and will be sure to keep up with him, as he has become a member of Billings TrailNet!