COLUMBIA — City engineering staff will be on hand Tuesday evening to answer questions and present design concepts for the proposed MKT to Parkade Bike Boulevard project.
Residents are invited to attend the informal meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in meeting room B at the Columbia Public Library, 100 West Broadway, and their input will be considered as the design is developed, according to a news release from the Columbia Public Works Deaprtment.
The proposed plan includes a bike boulevard from the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail north to Business Loop 70 and Parkade Plaza. The plan also includes minor intersection repairs, such as adding countdown timers at crosswalks.
Since the last interested parties meeting in February, a branch off the main trail boulevard was moved north from Sexton Road to Forest Avenue in order to give bikers an easier route downtown, Cliff Jarvis, project engineer for GetAbout Columbia, said. The branch will run into the south parking lot at Hickman High School, Jarvis said.
GetAbout Columbia manager Ted Curtis said that the current cost estimate for the project is $460,000, which will come from funding through the Federal Highway Administration's Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot program.
The purpose of a bike boulevard is to separate vehicle and bicycle traffic as much as possible, Jarvis said. This is done by displacing vehicle traffic to a parallel road, and drawing bicycle traffic from busy roads to residential streets.
"The idea with a bike boulevard is to give the preference to bicycles," Jarvis said. "Bikes have a safer route to travel and vehicles are encouraged to find alternate routes."
Construction on the trail is scheduled to begin summer 2014.
Supervising editor is Hannah Wiese.