COLUMBIA — Plans for the reconstruction of West Broadway should be complete in two months, according to the schedule laid out by the consultants from CH2M HILL, the firm hired by the city to design the changes.
In an open meeting Wednesday that was facilitated by Buddy Desai, one of the consultants, a Community Advisory Committee discussed the redesign of West Broadway between Garth Avenue and West Boulevard.
The 13 members of the West Broadway Community Advisory Committee are:
The project was initiated by the city’s decision to replace some utilities along the street, which led to the question of whether to put West Broadway back the same way after tearing it up. The city began surveying residents of the street on April 2.
The committee brought up many issues with the current state of West Broadway, including pedestrian safety, the ability to accommodate traffic and the eventual aesthetics of the road.
The comments made by observers at the meeting reflected a concern about the lack of data available. The last traffic study was performed in July 2007, resulting in an 130-page report.
“We need to start with the facts on the table,” Dan Goldstein said in response to what appeared to be an absence of unanimity among committee members regarding solid facts and figures about traffic along West Broadway.
Earlier in the day, e-mails sent to the neighborhood associations along West Broadway expressed dismay that the committee members were not elected or chosen in a transparent manner. Desai explained that city staff selected the 13 members of the committee from a list of those who have been “active on the project for a long time.”
The role of the committee, Desai said, is to provide recommendations to the city by representing residents.
Nancy Harter, a resident of the Historic Old Southwest neighborhood, indicated her disapproval that no neighborhood association presidents were chosen to be on the committee.
"It is inappropriate that the side streets are not represented," she said.
Three more Advisory Committee meetings will take place before preliminary plans are finalized. The next meeting will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the ARC, 1701 W. Ash St. Questions can be directed to Buddy Desai at 314-335-3011.