COLUMBIA — A bicycle boulevard that would connect the Parkade neighborhood to the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail is moving toward its final planning stages.
Cliff Jarvis, Columbia Public Works Department engineering supervisor for transportation design, said the project is meant to encourage bicyclists to use streets with low volumes of traffic and promote a safe route.
The bike boulevard would run from the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail west of Providence Road at Lathrop Road and extend north along Edgewood Avenue and Madison Street, then cross Business Loop 70 to Parkade Boulevard.
There would be two branches off the route, including one along Forrest Avenue to Hickman High School.
Lanes on streets along the route will be re-striped to accommodate both cars and bicycles, Jarvis said.
The following safety projects are also in the plans:
- Raised concrete medians that restrict turning movements and provide refuge to bicyclists and pedestrians at the intersection of Broadway and Edgewood Avenue.
- An 8-foot wide pedway adjacent to Worley Street between Alexander and Banks avenues, along with a raised concrete median, to restrict turning at Alexander.
- Raised concrete medians to restrict turning, as well as accessible ramps and crosswalks with pedestrian-activated signals, near Hickman High School at the intersection of Forrest Avenue and Providence Road.
- Accessible ramps and crosswalks with signals and a potential bicycle staging area on Business Loop 70 at Parkade Boulevard.
- Stop signs on Thilly Avenue at Lathrop Road, Westwood Avenue at Maupin Road, Glenwood Road at Maupin Road, and Grand Avenue at Forrest Avenue.
Costs are estimated at $520,000 and will be paid for with GetAbout Columbia funds. Construction is expected to begin next spring. The project's public hearing in front of City Council is set for June 2.
The project has had two interested parties meetings in the last year, one in February 2013 and another in August.
Steven Sapp, public information specialist for the Public Works Department, said the department has gotten generally positive feedback from the public about the project, though some have voiced concerns. There was particularly concern with the restriction of traffic on Edgewood Street, and Sapp said engineers on the project were considering alternatives.
"People seem to be happy with the project overall," Sapp said. "Just some minor nuances that need to be worked out."