COLUMBIA — GetAbout Columbia is making changes aimed at making Providence Road a safer place to cycle.
The addition of a bike trail parallel to Providence Road and changes to its intersection with Green Meadows Road is intended to make the road safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Construction has already begun on both projects.
Intersection upgrades include the addition of three “right turn pedestrian havens,” crosswalk markings, countdowns on crosswalk signals and rerouting right turn lanes to pass around rather than through intersections.
Jill Stedem, public information officer for Columbia Public Works, said 52,000 cars pass through all four directions of the intersection daily. The speed limit on Providence Road at that intersection is 55 mph. Stedem said the speed limit will not be reduced.
Michelle Windmoeller, director of communications for the PedNet Coalition, said that there was a worn footpath in the ground between Providence Road and the outer road where people walked because there was no sidewalk. The path was close to the road, which has no shoulder.
Windmoeller said the new trail will be much safer and that she hopes it will entice people to walk more.
It could also give people like Sam Budzyna, 24, a more direct route to campus. Budzyna said he avoids the intersection of Providence Road and Green Meadows Road in his commute from Old Plank Road to MU by using side streets. Still, he said, he gets honked at a lot.
Budzyna said he looked forward to using the new trail as well as the Greenbriar Trail connector less than a half mile away to get on the MKT and ride to campus.
The Providence Bikeway South is expected to be completed this fall, Stedem said. It was initially set to be finished in March but was delayed because of weather. Cost of the bikeway construction is $881,000.
The intersection redesign is expected to be completed in December, weather permitting. The improvements are expected to cost $645,000 for design and construction.