Some of these answers to "What would you change about Bozeman?" are ones we certainly didn't expect. They're all over the place and they definitely demonstrate the variance in priorities Bozeman locals have.

There was one simple caveat to the question and it was "ASIDE from housing prices." The cost of rent and homes is sky high. We can all agree on that. So just to be clear, we wanted to know (big or small) what would be the one thing locals would change about Bozeman if they could.

There were so many great suggestions of things the town needs, not necessarily what people would change. Very interesting and not what we expected.

Some of the answers aren't realistic and some were surprisingly small and very do-able. Those responses got us thinking about why so many in our community don't do more to advocate for such changes. There are many who are vocal and active in public/community service but the vast majority don't really get involved. Perhaps this list of responses might inspire some change? Here's what they had to say:

  • More murals on buildings. Seems like Bozeman has added a few recently and they're really cool. More of that. Public art without taking up sidewalk space.
  • Some sort of social media account that tracks and reports local politics, votes and proposals. It should be just the facts and nonpartisan. Like that Twitter account that reports where Elon Musk's private plane goes. It would be huge.
  • Property tax rebates or discounts for city-related community service. Doesn't seem that hard to implement. You could get "paid back" for "giving back". It seems like the city is always short on workers in so many areas. Or instead of paying third party vendors so much, locals could do some work to get rebates on their tax bills.
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  • More community gardens with small plots. There aren't enough around here and the ones that are downtown aren't good anymore because the sun is blocked by a huge new building.
  • Another parking garage. The one downtown is nice but another on North 7th or some place like that would be very great.
  • Way more public benches. They can be the heavy duty kind that are easy to clean or whatever but some of us need to sit down often and can't walk that far. I don't know how to keep people from sleeping on them but someone has to make them.
  • Something for the future: When the city plants trees, plant fruit trees. Less trimming maintenance and the public could benefit from this. People would volunteer to bring the fruit to the food bank. Apples grow well here.
  • More RV/Camper parking at the fairgrounds. Reservations required, fees, whatever. Not a homeless camp but for real visitors. Huge shortage of proper, safe places to park overnight for a couple of days. The fairgrounds parking lot is frequently empty. Could be a decent money-maker if done correctly.
Togo RV - Unsplash
Togo RV - Unsplash
  • More community classes like yoga, Tai Chi, basic fitness. Easy and cheap ways to get people, especially older people, moving. Could be held in city parks, the High School lawn, or soccer fields. Very little cost but big benefits.
  • Limit the number of Airbnbs and VRBOs. I don't know what the rules are exactly but I know there are way too many of them and they have destroyed the long-term home rental market in the whole area. Bozeman is terrible and there are Airbnbs everywhere.

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