Committee chosen to find new modes of transportation

A 35-member panel will decide how to spend $22 million.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:18 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Chris Hayday believes that people will be less reliant on cars for transportation only if they have viable alternatives.

Hayday, a member of the Osage Chapter of the Sierra Club and a member of the PedNet Coalition, thinks the city needs to take a comprehensive look at the flow of traffic in the community in order to determine where the focus on transportation should take place. Hayday joins 34 local advocates as a member of a citizen’s advisory committee appointed by Mayor Darwin Hindman. The committee will help decide how to spend a $22 million federal grant the city received to fund a nonmotorized transportation pilot program.

Columbia is one of four communities the federal government selected to participate in the four-year grant program. The original grant of $25 million has been reduced to $22 million.

The money is to be used to create a network of sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and pedestrian and bicycle trails that connect directly with transit stations, schools, residences, businesses, recreation areas and other community centers.

Hindman said he is pleased with the group of volunteers, who will help to carry out the program’s goal by showing how bicycling and walking can help ameliorate transportation concerns. Hayday applauded the creation of the committee.

“This is a good step to ensure that citizens’ voices are heard and receive the attention that they should,” Hayday said.

“These are a lot of people with a lot of energy and ideas, and I am looking forward to getting started,” he added.

Jim Joy, director of parking and transportation at MU, has also volunteered. His department oversees 23,000 parking spaces but also has been a major player in the development of pedestrian and bicycle trails in the community.

Joy said he’s looking forward to serving on the committee.

“The university is always willing to participate in any joint program with the community,” he said.

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