Columbia will host public overview of its Natural Resources Inventory Project

Monday, October 13, 2008 | 12:07 p.m. CDT; updated 2:37 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 13, 2008

COLUMBIA —The City of Columbia will host a public overview this evening of the city’s Natural Resources Inventory Project, giving citizens an opportunity to learn about the project and give feedback. 

The event from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Activity and Recreation Center will showcase data on the city’s natural assets and explain how the information can help guide policy decisions on issues such as development and land preservation.

During the first hour, Timothy Haithcoat, director of the Geographic Resource Center, is scheduled to give a detailed overview of the project and a basic inventory of the city's assets.

The second hour will consist of a facilitated question and answer session between the audience and panelists. Sarah Read, president and owner of The Communications Center, will be the moderator. The panel includes Haithcoat; John Fleck, coordinator of the city’s geographic information systems; and Tom Vernon, member of an Imagine Columbia’s Future citizen topic group.

“This is an opportunity for stakeholders to express how they want the city’s natural resources used,” Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine said.

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Charles Dudley Jr October 13, 2008 | 2:32 p.m.

Why do they always do these types of events when the city buses do not run? This just shows how much the bus lines need extended hours and the need for extended routes.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 13, 2008 | 3:20 p.m.

Look into getting a bicycle, Chuck. It's a bit more than two miles from Paquin to the ARC, and it's a fairly easy ride. I do comparable rides all the time.

The problem with the buses is the city is already having a hard time subsidizing the routes they have. They can't afford to extend routes and hours at this time. Remember, the only routes that pay for themselves are the MU shuttle routes.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 13, 2008 | 5:27 p.m.

You miss the point once again when you address these issues back onto me. I know how to get around this city. This is about all of the citizens of Columbia being able to get to these events which most cannot since the buses do not at the times most of these are going on.

Mark you really need to stop focusing on me so much as a problem or the problem when I go to address issues that effect all citizens of this entire community as it comes off like you are obsessed with me to the point of are you stocking me?

Think about it Mark and stick to solving the issue and less about trying to make it like this is only about one person who is stating the obvious lack of infrastructure in this city that alot of citizens are genuinely concerned about as I sure do not see you stepping up for citizens in general but you sure do alot of complaining or downsizing of the issues that concern this entire community.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 13, 2008 | 8:08 p.m.

Actually, almost everyone drives to these things, and expanding bus hours wouldn't change that. Hardly anyone rides the bus unless they have to. That's why the city can't expand the hours, or routes.

Why do you feel the bus is the only way that you can get around? Can you get rides from other people? Walk? Get a bicycle?

If you depend on public transport, you depend on an entity that could change, or stop its services at any time. If you depend on yourself, the only one that makes you stop is you. Riding a bicycle liberates me from schedules, and governments.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 14, 2008 | 4:22 a.m.

You still so miss the point. People are not riding the bus due to it is not expanded in hours all of the days of the week it is running. That is why bus ridership is low. Some people cannot ride bikes or walk that far to those meetings so you think it is ok to exclude them from the processes of government on those basis? Same thing with the City Council Meetings as more would probably show up but the buses do not run late on those days. This was even presented as such at the September 15th City Council Meeting by concerned riders. Not every citizen in this city has a car nor can afford one Mark so what about them? Do you make them go with out since they do pay into city taxes just like everybody else does? You and others in this city just totally miss the entire point about the entire public transit issue to the point of just being uneducated,unwilling to listen,complacency or to the point of you think public transit is only for a "select group of people". Well you know what I think your bike trails and bike paths are only for a select group of people but yet they are getting more attention that the bigger public transit city wide bus system which moves more citizens per,hour day,month,year and year round in all weather conditions than your bike trails and paths do. So what is wrong with that picture? The public transit bus line is for every citizen in Columbia and more would use it if hours were expended each day it does run and routes expended as well. Sure it takes money to do these things but even as Mayor Hindman expressed himself about the bus subsidizing issue that some things are necessarily subsidization's for your citizens in your city.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 14, 2008 | 8:56 a.m.

Well, except no one subsidizes my bicycle. It costs the city nothing to let me ride on the streets. The non-motorized transportation grant is for specific purposes, and cannot be used to expand bus service. This is where the attention is coming from at this time. It really has nothing to do with buses.

I'm not saying don't push for expanded hours and routes. But the main reason that people don't ride the bus is that it is not as convenient. They have to wait for it, it may not take them exactly where they need to go, and it may be crowded to the point (not usually, I admit) that they can't get a seat. If they can drive (and almost everyone can around here), then they will.

THe next oil price shock may get more people on the bus (and more demand for buses) especially if there are gas shortages. Until then, I'm just saying that you (and others that can) may find alternatives to the bus more immediately useful than trying to get the city to expand service. It really has nothing to do with you personally.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 14, 2008 | 9:11 a.m.

You still miss the point on the over all issue of these times they put these meetings at and transformational availabilities. The private cab companies do not run handicapped equipped vans,Services for Independent Living only runs to certain hours in the evening during the week unless a special trip is set up. People who do use powered wheel chairs or scooters have hard times getting to those meetings due to our horrible sidewalks this city has allowed to deteriorate over time. Mark how are these citizens to get to some of these meetings if they have these obvious stop gaps in place and they cannot ride a bicycle or drive due to they cannot afford to as you suggest they do.
This issue comes down to better planning of these types of meetings,more public transit work on expanding the times and routes and a better understanding of the citizens of this city on the needs of all citizens in this city as a whole.
This is not about getting on a bike and riding here or there as you suggest some do. It is about our public transportational system coming up to the needs of the citizens of this community for the total betterment of not only citizens but employers,all businesses in general and also those seeking work but due to limited bus hours they are faced with are limited themselves in types of jobs they can get to and apply for thus crimping down on the employers as well.
This picture is much bigger than you realize and it needs to be addressed in the future by not only citizens but by the employers of this community as well.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 14, 2008 | 11:01 a.m.

I realize exactly how big the problem is. The reason bus service is not expanded is there is little new demand for it at this point. The fact that you know some people that might benefit does not mean their extra participation would pay for the expansion. The buses that run now are quite underutilized as it is.

Meetings are held at the times they are held because that's when most people can attend them. They try to accomodate the most people.

What I would like to see is virtual city council meetings (and other government public meetings), where the meeting is televised in real time, and people could call in and address bills, or give a scheduled public comment, without ever leaving their homes. We have all this great connectivity, why not use it to save people trips? That would address your concern about public access, and be relatively cheap to implement and operate.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 14, 2008 | 11:49 a.m.

Point is Mark the entire city would benefit. That is the point.

I do like your idea of the virtual City Council Meetings and other meetings as well and maybe after the addition of that fancy new city hall that could be brought up as a proposal as they already have the cameras and land lines as well as email capabilities in place.

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