During the Feb. 6 Columbia City Council meeting, a report was up for approval for a hearing on creating an open road closure on Bourn Avenue in order to slow traffic for the two schools, a church and a quiet neighborhood with many children.
The report, to my understanding, should have been a simple nod toward a formal hearing. Any questions that the council members had could have been answered by the two attending representatives of the Bourn Avenue Neighborhood Association.
Instead, Mr. Daryl Dudley side-stepped the simple "yea" vote by saying that he "would get in touch with the Bourn Neighborhood to get further input from them." Mr. Dudley also affirmed that a street monitoring system had found that most of the traffic on Bourn Avenue was "was from the neighbors."
- First, Mr. Dudley has had two years of "input" from the neighbors. He knows that 50,000 cars cross the Broadway and Stadium Boulevard intersection daily. He knows from a city study that many non-residents use Bourn Avenue to cut through to Rollins Road. He knows that the majority of cars on Bourn are speeding up to 15 mph over the speed limit. He also knows about the churches, the schools and the children.
- More than 50 percent of homeowners on this quiet street have signed a petition for a formal hearing. I and others have spent hours knocking on doors to talk with these neighbors. Those who approve of this plan are hearty in their desire to protect our neighborhood from business traffic and cut-through traffic off Stadium Boulevard and Broadway.
- Open road closure on Bourn Avenue will cost $12,000. Aaron Smith, the developer of the new business construction on the corner of Broadway and Bourn, promised $10,000 for traffic calming costs, so the city will only have to pay $2,000.
- The city has spent much time and effort in analyzing the necessity, cost and design for the open road closure, which, to my understanding, has the approval of the Columbia Fire Department and the city planners.
Julia Williams is a Columbia resident who lives on Bourn Avenue.