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Two-year citywide slowdown approved

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The Columbia City Council revised its plan for lowering residential speed limits from 30 mph to 25 mph at its Monday night meeting. Instead of replacing speed limit signs at a cost of $65,000 during the next seven years, the undertaking will now span two years.

City Manager Bill Watkins said the proposed city budget will have to be amended to include the revised cost. That cost remains unclear.

The ordinance was recommended by the Public Works Department after a $10,000 study was conducted by Carlos Sun, an MU associate engineering professor.

According to a previous Missourian report, the study showed that motorists reduced their speed by around 2 or 3 mph on average when signs were changed from 30 mph to 25 mph. The study took place in the Shepard Boulevard and Rothwell Heights neighborhoods, located in the Sixth and Fourth wards, respectively.

“This resolution essentially deals with the philosophy of how to deal with speed limits on all streets,” Watkins said.

Two sets of signs will be replaced or added in the next two years. This year 100 standard speed limit signs will be placed on residential streets at a cost of $26,200. Next year, 500 enlarged signs will be placed on residential streets with traffic of more than 1,000 vehicles per day, at a cost of $38,750.

The proposal to implement the change over seven years would have been handled entirely by current Public Works staff, Public Works Director John Glascock told the council Monday. Glascock said the two-year plan, however, would require outside labor.

Despite the MU study that showed otherwise, several council members doubted the new speed limit signs would produce any benefit, citing a general lack of regard for traffic laws.

“I’d love to see compliance, but we all know how that works,” Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala said.

Despite some skepticism, others looked forward to the idea of slower traffic.

"It's an effective way to encourage people to walk or bike," said Ian Thomas, executive director of the PedNet Coalition. Thomas added that lower traffic volume and speed, if achieved by the ordinance, would mean a safer city for motorists and residents alike.


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Comments

Ray Shapiro August 19, 2009 | 1:28 a.m.

("It's an effective way to encourage people to walk or bike," said Ian Thomas, executive director of the PedNet Coalition. Thomas added that lower traffic volume and speed, if achieved by the ordinance, would mean a safer city for motorists and residents alike.")
How car-unfriendly of a town do you want Columbia to become, Mr. Thomas?
You can try to slow us down, Ian Thomas, chief pednutter, but we still won't give up our cars for a stinking bicycle.
And, Mr. Thomas, how unsafe has the city been with a 30mph speed limit?
Have bicycle riders been frightened by all those 30mph cars on the road?
Will they actually be any safer with a 25mph sped limit imposed on cars, in our scaredy cat town?
A 25mph speed limit, thanks to you Mr. Thomas, just makes me hate PedNet and GetAbout even more.
And as for me giving up my car, I'll give you my steering wheel when you take it from my cold, dead hands.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr August 19, 2009 | 4:42 a.m.

Give the Mayor's son in law a position in City Government and he thinks he is going to be the next Mayor or a future Mayor.

Heaven forbid!

(Report Comment)
King Diamond August 19, 2009 | 8:18 a.m.

No one is going to drive 25, they are going to continue to drive 30-35. All I see this as is another excuse for the police to pull whomever they see over.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking August 19, 2009 | 8:35 a.m.

Chuck wrote:

"Give the Mayor's son in law a position in City Government and he thinks he is going to be the next Mayor or a future Mayor."

He doesn't have a position in city government, Chuck. He's the director of the PedNet Coalition, which is NOT GetAbout Columbia. They're two different (albeit related) entities.

DK

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr August 19, 2009 | 9:31 a.m.

Mark Foecking same smell and as of late now they are obviously scratching each other's back. What PedNutz wants SpendAboutColumbia jumps on and pushed forward.

I am working on another draft for another letter to the editor about this issue of the "Non Motorized Transportation" wording as it is not put into it's proper context as it should have been.

Money has been wasted and continues to be wasted and nothing is being done about it by our City Council.

That Mark is just wrong. It is everybody's tax dollars being mismanaged.

(Report Comment)

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