Medians restricting left turns into private driveways and side streets off West Broadway were among suggestions presented to the Columbia City Council at Thursday night’s work session to alleviate congested traffic.
Medians were just one part of the solution to the congestion and substandard sidewalks along West Broadway from Garth Avenue to West Boulevard presented by St. Louis-based traffic and transportation engineering company Crawford, Bunte and Brammeier at Thursday’s meeting.
The city has considered plans to widen the street from two to four lanes since the 1970s, but residents have expressed concern about preserving the road’s historic atmosphere. Also a concern of residents were what they called the narrow and dangerously corroded sidewalks along West Broadway.
Residents have expressed interest in landscaping the proposed 10-foot medians to enhance the area’s historic character, which the council asked the firm to look into.
The engineering company also proposed roundabouts at several locations to keep traffic moving and to cut down on accidents.
Residents living along West Broadway have said walkways are too narrow and dangerously corroded, the Missourian reported in August 2006. The engineering firm suggested adding new sidewalks and a six-foot bike lane to fill gaps in the pedway created by the PedNet Project that could double as a hazard lane for stalled cars.
Fourth Ward City Councilman Jerry Wade asked the company to provide more detailed projections of accidents along West Broadway if the proposed changes are made and details of other possible solutions, so he can provide his constituents with solid reasons why one plan would be chosen over another.
City Manager Bill Watkins stressed that this report is only a starting point. The next step, he said, will be to meet with neighborhood groups and surrounding businesses to talk about the plan. Then he said he would like to hold public forums beginning in September.
The report can be found at gocolumbiamo.com/Corridor_Study/index.php.