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State to add bicycle lanes to Route K south of Columbia

Thursday, March 3, 2011 | 6:34 p.m. CST; updated 9:54 p.m. CST, Thursday, March 3, 2011
Proposed bike lanes on Route K from Katy Trail to Missouri 163.

COLUMBIA — Tom Mendenhall is happy to hear Route K will get some bicycle lanes.

Mendenhall, president of the Bonne Femme Neighborhood Association, said the group is eager to see bike lanes on a seven-mile section of the rural highway south of Columbia. It is about to get its wish.

Beginning in spring 2012, the Missouri Department of Transportation will widen Route K by eight feet, four feet on either side, to allow for two-way bicycle lanes between Missouri 163 and the Katy Trail at McBaine. At the same time, that stretch of Route K will be resurfaced, District Planning Manager Mike Dusenbergcq said.

The bike-lane project will cost $2 million.

Dusenberg said he had not yet received a schedule from the project’s design team, but he anticipates the work will be done by fall 2012.

The Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization, a group of city, county and state planners who assess Columbia and Boone County's street and highway needs, first asked the Missouri Department of Transportation to consider the project.

“We had inquired about bicycle and pedestrian needs in various regions in our district, and that was one of the locations that was brought to our attention by the group as a priority,” Dusenberg said.

State highway planners thought the project was of “statewide significance” because of its connection to the Katy Trail.

“We had determined there were a number of bicyclists who live in the area and use Route K quite a bit to get back and forth between the city and their neighborhoods, or they use it to access the Katy Trail,” Dusenberg said. “Route K is a two-lane, minor road. Typically, it would be called a rural road, but it carries a heavy amount of traffic."

Mendenhall said neighbors will be glad to see the project complete. “We’re lucky we haven’t had somebody run over. It’s just a great, big, necessary improvement.”

Mendenhall is also a volunteer with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation Committee, which advocated for the new bicycle lanes and shoulders.

Eighty percent of the money required for the bike lanes will come from federal enhancement funds that are intended for community transportation projects other than highway improvements. The other 20 percent will come from district money.

The district will pay for road resurfacing separately.


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Comments

Bill Fisher March 3, 2011 | 7:27 p.m.

Sweeeet!! This is one of the scariest roads to ride on, so I pretty much always avoid it. Can't wait 'til it's finished.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire March 3, 2011 | 7:35 p.m.

I'm just surprised that some of the local morons haven't yet got on here to complain about it.

(Report Comment)
Bob Hill March 3, 2011 | 7:37 p.m.

Local moron alert! I so love having a title!

So will we start taxing bikes to pay for this huge expense? With significant winter damage to roads, wouldn't this money be best spent on improving the roads which are funded by automobile traffic.

It seems to me that bikers should drive to the Katy Trail and use their facilities. And before you start ranting, I am an avid biker.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire March 3, 2011 | 7:56 p.m.

Why would I drive anywhere to use a bike?
Why would you?

(Report Comment)
Bob Hill March 4, 2011 | 7:15 a.m.

Quote: Why would I drive anywhere to use a bike? Why would you?

Answer: Because the roads are made for vehicular traffic, not bikes. Many are simply not safe for bike travel. Why? Because I wouldn't risk my life on Hwy K when I can get in my car, travel a few miles and get on the Katy Trail ... which the good citizens of Missouri built for me so that I could have a safe, enjoyable place to ride.

(Report Comment)
Steve Adkins March 4, 2011 | 8:20 a.m.

Bob, first, "Eighty percent of the money required for the bike lanes will come from federal enhancement funds that are intended for community transportation projects other than highway improvements." why not bike lanes?

second, there is a difference between road biking, trail biking, mountain biking, and cyclocross. your being an "avid biker" on the trail does not amount to much to those who are avid road cyclists. each has their place and there is as much difference there as there is between riding a motorcycle on the highway and motocross.

last, the hypocrisy in your statements regarding taxes and bikes is a bit interesting. reread your comments. first post: "So will we start taxing bikes to pay for this huge expense?" next: "travel a few miles and get on the Katy Trail ... which the good citizens of Missouri built for me"

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm March 4, 2011 | 10:16 a.m.

@ Bob

"Because the roads are made for vehicular traffic, not bikes."

Yes they are and it is a problem; this is why they are spending $2 million to fix that problem.

"So will we start taxing bikes to pay for this huge expense? With significant winter damage to roads, wouldn't this money be best spent on improving the roads which are funded by automobile traffic."

You are obviously very misinformed about the facts of the situation. First, cyclists subsidize road cost for automobile drivers. If you want it to be fair you need to start raising taxes and fees on car owners so that they actually start paying their fair share.

"The study estimated that automobile users pay an average of 2.3 cents per mile in user fees, including fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees, while they actually impose 6.5 cents per mile in road service costs. Who pays the difference? It's picked up by general taxes and property assessments. So while bicyclists pay an equal share of those taxes, they impose costs averaging only 0.2 cents per mile in road service costs."- "Whose Roads" Todd Litman 1995

http://www.vtpi.org/whoserd.pdf

Moreover, bike infrastructure is incredibly cost efficient. Portland put in 300 miles of bike lanes and infrastructure for the same cost as a single mile of urban highway. Moreover, studies show that the investment Portland made in bike infrastructure will lead to health care cost savings that will more than pay for the investment...

http://journals.humankinetics.com/jpah-s...

(Report Comment)

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