Study ranks crossings as unsafe

Commission’s report says nine intersections are high priorities
Monday, April 25, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:55 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Mary Getz jogged in place for several minutes at Stewart and Providence roads, waiting to cross the street to get to the MKT Trail.

“I hate this part of my run,” she said between breaths. “It feels like you have to wait forever to go, and when you finally do, you have to dodge cars.”

When the light changed, Getz scurried across the street while cars turning right onto Providence from Stewart inched up only feet away and drove past, right at her heels.

“I’ve almost been hit several times because of cars flying around that turn lane,” she said. “The city needs to fix this problem.”

The Bicycle/Pedestrian Commission agrees and wants to do something about it.

At the April 18 City Council meeting, a commission report addressed Columbia’s problem intersections.

The commission compiled three categories of problem intersections, based on level of priority. Commissioners took into account factors such as heavy or high-speed traffic, previous accidents and pedestrian problems such as visibility issues, missing crosswalks or short traffic lights. Nine intersections were placed in the highest priority category.

Several problem intersections were identified based on responses to e-mails sent by commission Chairman Steve Kullmanto other members of the commission and of local track and bicycle clubs.

“I received about 19 responses in regards to one intersection, Scott Boulevard and Gillespie Bridge,” Kullman said. “From Columbia MultiSport, that was overwhelmingly the No. 1 priority. The second-highest response was about the intersection at Forum and Stadium.”

Commissioner Rebecca Beach said several intersections stood out at the commission meeting.

“We took all of those and made them the priority intersections,” Beach said.

Now that the city has identified these intersections, the next step is finding out the cause of the problems.

“The commission is now working on trying to explain the details of why we feel these are problem intersections, which will probably be a longer process than just pointing out the locations,” Kullman said.

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