Public can weigh in on plan to control College Avenue pedestrian traffic

Friday, November 15, 2013 | 9:38 p.m. CST; updated 9:31 a.m. CST, Saturday, November 16, 2013

COLUMBIA — In an attempt to control the persistent flow of illegal pedestrian traffic across College Avenue, the city and the university are ready to propose a solution.

They are asking for public comment at a meeting Tuesday on a plan that would channel foot traffic into conspicuous crosswalks with minimal motorist delays.

At a city hall forum Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m., the City Engineering Division will outline a traffic study done on the stretch of road between University Avenue and Bouchelle Avenue, where the majority of illegal crossings occur.

City engineers will also describe a series of possible solutions, including these:

  • Crosswalks with colored or textured pavement and prominent vertical elements that would help funnel the traffic.
  • Flashing signals that would respond to a high volume of pedestrian traffic to stop and start motorist traffic.
  • Hang tags for East Campus streets to alleviate the number of crossings from that side of College Avenue to campus walkways.

  • Another pedestrian bridge over College Avenue, which would be a less likely solution because of the expense and lack of available property.

For the past year, professional traffic operations engineers have been studying the area from University to Bouchelle. They estimated that 19,000 vehicles pass through the area each day and counted  7,500 pedestrians crossing the road over the span of two days.

Of these pedestrians, 5,000 did not cross at the light.

The city and university are acting as partners on the project. Eighty percent of funding will come from a Missouri Department of Transportation grant, 10 percent from MU and the final 10 percent from the City of Columbia. 

The stretch of College Avenue between Rollins Street and Hospital Drive has long been problematic. The pedestrian bridge near the intersection of College and Rollins alleviated some, but not all, of the problem.

After Tuesday's meeting, additional forums and online discussions will be held before  final design recommendation is submitted to City Council.

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