COLUMBIA — A year and a half after an MU visiting scholar was killed by a car crossing Providence Road, the Missouri Department of Transportation will conduct a traffic study on a section of the state highway.
MoDOT will examine three details about a stretch of South Providence Road, also known as Highway 163: the average speed cars drive, the accident history and the number of access points to the road.
Trent Brooks, central district traffic engineer for MoDOT, said the agency could also take pedestrians into account.
"Whenever there are pedestrian facilities along the route, then that's something that's taken into consideration," Brooks said.
Kui Zou, 24, was struck and killed on Jan. 22, 2015, when crossing Providence Road near Carter Lane, according to previous Missourian reporting.
Carter Lane is situated within the stretch of Providence Road to be reviewed, from Stadium Boulevard to the intersection of Old Plank Road and Route K.
The traffic study will take place within the next two weeks on a date yet to be determined.
Jason Patrie of the city Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission recommended that MoDOT study this stretch of South Providence Road.
"We wanted to do this study because the circumstances for when this road was originally planned, zoned and constructed are vastly different than they are now," Patrie said.
While Patrie was pessimistic that reducing speed limits will dramatically change the way motorists drive on that stretch, he said the commission will work to find ways to continue to improve safety after MoDOT delivers its results.
"If they did rezone the speed, we would look to find ways to try and encourage, through recommendations of the commission, stepped up enforcement to try and create behavior change." Patrie said.
To judge the speed of passing cars during the study, Brooks said, MoDOT may use radar devices like those police use or mechanical devices that are installed on the road.
He also said MoDOT usually avoids releasing the exact date of a study due to concerns that driver knowledge of the study could influence the way they drive on that particular day.
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