Cunningham Road extension to be removed from roadway plan

Monday, November 17, 2008 | 10:16 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The City Council approved the removal of the Cunningham Road extension from the city’s Major Roadway Plan at Monday night’s meeting.

The extension would have run from Cunningham Road’s current end, north of Bray Avenue, to Rollins Road. The extension would provide residents of Bray Avenue with north-south access to Rollins Road. Tim Teddy, city planning and development director, said that the Cunningham Road extension would also help relieve traffic on Fairview Road.

The major argument against the extension is that the majority of it would have gone through the underdeveloped Bonnie View Park, donated by the Russell Family in 1999. In 2003, the Planning and Zoning Commission and Parks and Recreation Department favored a development option for the park that did not include the Cunningham Road extension.

The removal of the extension was recommended to the City Council by the Planning and Zoning, Parks and Recreation and Bicycle and Pedestrian commissions. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission also suggested that a pedestrian connection be added, to offset removal of the roadway. The connection would accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians so they would not have travel to major roads. The Parks and Recreation Department also agreed with the addition of a bicycle and pedestrian trail.

A detailed analysis of the bicycle and pedestrian trail has not yet been completed, but it would mainly function as a pedestrian route connecting Rollins Road and Bray Avenue . The trail has not yet been added to the city’s bicycle and pedestrian map.

There was some discussion at the meeting about the necessity of the trail, as there is already a tentative plan to develop a trail along the creek in Bonnie View Park. Some City Council members expressed concern that a trail may not be in the best interest of the animals that live there.