New citizen advocacy group to address pedestrian concerns

Saturday, February 11, 2012 | 4:19 p.m. CST; updated 5:54 a.m. CST, Sunday, February 12, 2012

COLUMBIA — A new citizen advocacy group is organizing to discuss mobility problems affecting everyday transportation.

CAMIO, an acronym for Columbia Ambi Mobile Interact and Outreach, will address unsafe pedestrian pathways such as sidewalks, crosswalks and curb cuts.

The group’s mission is specifically focused on pedestrians, including persons with disabilities such as wheelchair users.

“We will focus on the people that have to walk for essential transportation purposes,” said group member Joe Alder.

A former board member of the Columbia Safety Council, Alder said he was asked by Deputy City Manager Tony St. Romaine to take photo documentation of pedestrian pathways in hopes of finding ways to better the pathways for pedestrians. The idea for CAMIO started there.

“Even brand new construction is having problems, such as concrete crumbling,” Alder said. “These (sidewalks and crosswalks) are poorly designed and inefficient in high traffic areas.”

Alder said PedNet and GetAbout Columbia have already focused on leisure and recreation and CAMIO will instead focus on day-to-day basics.

“We will take the problems our group finds to the city manager and public safety office to get the issues addressed,” Alder said.

Currently the group consists of just two or three people, Alder said, but he hopes to get more citizen volunteers.

To get involved, email or attend the next Disabilities Commission meeting at 3 p.m. March 8 at 300 S. Providence Road. 


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