COLUMBIA — The possible removal of the Cunningham Road extension from city street plans will be one of the main topics at the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission's meeting Thursday.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers at the Daniel Boone City Building, 701 E. Broadway.
Cunningham Road runs from Chapel Hill Road to a point just north of Bray Avenue in the city's west side, but the city's Major Roadway Plan reflects plans to extend the street north to Rollins Road. That extension would pass through Bonnie View Park property, which was donated to the city in 1999 by the Russell family. A short section of the road would also pass through Audubon Society property.
Neighbors in the area don't want a road through the park, said city planner Mitch Skov.
The Cunningham extension has been in city plans for years, said Mike Snyder, senior planner for the city's Parks and Recreation Department.
"The road master plan showed Cunningham Road going through prior to us receiving the donation from the Russell family," Snyder said, adding his department is prepared for either decision the City Council eventually makes.
"We presented concept plans several years ago, and we showed the park working both ways, with Cunningham going through and with it not going through," Snyder said.
The plan favored by both the Planning and Zoning and the Parks and Recreation commissions does not include Cunningham, Skov said.
"In Option A on the Parks and Recreation Web site, there's no Cunningham Road included," Skov said. Two alternatives include the road. All four options can be viewed here.
Skov estimated 1,000 to 1,200 vehicles per day would use the extension.
"That's typically what a neighborhood collector would handle," he said.
Snyder said he believes the road will affect the atmosphere of the park. But "we can make the park work with or without the road," he said.
Decisions about the park can be made after the road extension has been decided, Snyder said.
"As part of the design process we show all options that are on the table to stimulate this kind of discussion," Snyder said in an e-mail. "Once the road determination has been made, we can design the park."