City communication snafus keep proposed pedestrian improvements in limbo

Monday, October 4, 2010 | 9:21 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The proposal to make pedestrian improvements at Providence Road and Business Loop 70 failed to move forward again at the Monday City Council meeting.

For the second time, property owners at the intersection were not notified.  The project was previously tabled at the Sept. 7 meeting.


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The pedestrian improvements would include crosswalk signals, clearly marked crosswalks and two pedestrian islands.

The council will consider the proposal at its next meeting on Oct. 18.

Beatrice Smith and her brother-in-law own the land where Taco Bell sits at the intersection’s southwest corner.  She said she was not contacted before Monday’s meeting.

“I learned of this agenda item three days ago because a friend happened to see it in the City Council minutes,” Smith said.

First Ward Councilman Paul Sturtz said it was unfortunate that the city was still having communication problems.

Smith's property would lose two parking spaces under the proposed plan. “Parking places have very real value,” she said. “I want to know if you are discussing something that will diminish the possible value of my property.”

Sharon Lynch, a trustee for the land on the northwest corner, was not notified before the Sept. 7 meeting. In response, city staff met with Lynch on Sept. 23 and showed her that her property would lose approximately 10 parking spaces.

When the council discusses the issue at its next meeting, Mayor Bob McDavid said he will question the need for improvements on the northwest corner.  Many students cross Providence on the south side of the intersection to get to Taco Bell from Hickman High School.

“I don’t see how that (corner) impacts pedestrian traffic from Hickman High School,” McDavid said.

Lynch asked the council at Monday's meeting to table the proposal indefinitely and not proceed with the project.

The project's estimated cost is $600,000 to $700,000 and funding would come from a $22 million federal non-motorized fund grant. 

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