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City will reroute Green bus stop for safety reason

The change is not expected to affect the No. 3 Green Route bus schedule.
Monday, April 23, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:47 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Because of a resident’s concern, Columbia Public Transit will be moving the Green Route bus stop to a safer location parallel to Services for Independent Living on Hathman Place.

“(The city) can’t say yes if you don’t ask,” said DeAnna Noriega, who issued the complaint.

Noriega recognized the bus stop’s dangers while walking her newly received seeing-eye dog Olsen in SIL’s industrial area.

The male German shepherd could not safely guide Noriega across Hathman Place to the city bus stop. The hustle and bustle coming from Interstate 70 covers the sound of traffic on Hathman Place. A seeing-eye dog uses sound to estimate the distance and speed of oncoming traffic. A large cedar tree nearby also blocks the dog’s view of the street, which makes crossing a dangerous gamble.

Noriega needs to get to the bus stop from her workplace at SIL every day to go downtown where Olsen can exercise. There are no sidewalks by SIL for the dog to walk on.

Aimee Wehmeier, executive director for SIL, called Mark Grindstaff of Columbia Public Transit and asked for the relocation of the inaccessible bus stop.

Within 15 minutes of the phone call, Grindstaff and a bus driver met Wehmeier, Noriega and Noriega’s dog trainer to come up with a solution.

Grindstaff called Wehmeier back later that day to say he would implement the bus stop relocation.

“In my opinion, that’s about as good as customer service gets,” Wehmeier said.

The re-routing of the No. 3 Green Route bus will be complete by April 30 and will not affect the current schedule.

Jill Stedham of Columbia Public Transit said the department granted the request because it was seen as a win-win situation.

Stedham encourages residents to voice comments via e-mail at transit@GoColumbiaMo.com or by calling 873-7282.


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