Alexander Avenue residents ask City Council for a safer street

Monday, June 1, 2009 | 10:21 a.m. CDT; updated 10:17 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 1, 2009
Speeding cars and lack of sidewalks on Alexander Avenue prompted residents to ask the City Council for help with the problem. Residents will speak at 7 p.m. Monday during the City Council meeting.

COLUMBIA — Alexander Avenue residents are fed up with cars speeding down their street and they're prepared to make them stop.

"We're not a pass through street, we're a neighborhood," said Ginny Chadwick, an Alexander Avenue resident.


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Residents will speak at the City Council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday night about the speeding and amount of traffic on their street and will ask the council to implement traffic calming measures.

Alexander Avenue resident Shannon Canfield said many residents are concerned about safety and the lack of sidewalks on the street.

"We have a large portion of residents that will walk, bike or use wheelchairs and there's nowhere for us to be," Canfield said.

Chadwick said there are a lot of small children living on Alexander and the amount of traffic that uses the street at high speeds poses a threat.

Resident Fergus Moore said he wants to get his street back from all the traffic.

"I feel like we're reclaiming the street and stopping the craziness," Moore said.

Residents have been working with the City Council prior to the meeting about the traffic problem. First Ward City Councilman Paul Sturtz said he is familiar with the street and has worked with residents before.

Sturtz said the council doesn't allocate money for short term solutions, but wants to find a long-term solution for traffic problems.

"I don't know if traffic calming as a priority is reflected in our budget just yet," Sturtz said.

But Sturtz does agree there is a problem."The City Council has a unanimous opinion that we need to do something about this," Sturtz said.

He said the council doesn't know what the solution will be.

Most Alexander Avenue residents who plan to be at Monday's meeting said they are optimistic about working with the council. Chadwick said the council has been receptive to the traffic problems on the street.

Though most residents are hopeful, some are concerned about the time it will take the city to react.

The street currently has speed humps as a traffic calming measure and Canfield said the city took about two and a half years to install them.

"There is something wrong when it takes two and a half years to see a measure implemented," Canfield said.

She said she hopes that won't be the case this time, but acknowledges that there is a lot of bureaucracy paperwork and red tape to work through.

The speed humps worked for awhile, but Moore said when the city repaved the street, it didn't repave the speed humps, making the humps less effective.

The council is considering various solutions for the street, Sturtz said. He said the city designs residential streets in the same way as main streets: to move traffic through.

"We all recognize the need for traffic calming in neighborhoods all over the city," Sturtz said.

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Ray Shapiro June 1, 2009 | 1:58 p.m.

("The speed humps worked for awhile, but Moore said when the city repaved the street, it didn't repave the speed humps...")
Why not? I can practically guarantee you that after Paris Road gets repaved those nasty bicycle tattoos are going to be repainted...

(Report Comment)
Grumpy One June 1, 2009 | 3:35 p.m.

hey Ray and whadaya bet they paint those darn stripes down the middle of the road too! I even bet they repaint the friggin' turn arrows at the stop lights!

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking June 1, 2009 | 3:53 p.m.

"He said the city designs residential streets in the same way as main streets: to move traffic through."

That is not correct. Alexander Avenue would never have been designed this way if it were being built today.

The problem with it, and the streets that run parallel, is they are long (almost 1/4 mile) and straight. Now, the city tries not to permit streets that are more than about 700 feet long without some type of curve or bend to keep speeds down.

Sanford and McBaine (the streets immediately parallel to Alexander) have an even greater speeding problem than we do. The residents there simply haven't been as vocal about it.


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