Columbia Public Works is seeking public feedback on plans to reduce the ability to commit suicide at the Fifth and Walnut parking structure.

According to a news release, Public Works staff will be available to receive comments and questions from August 17-31. People can also review the city's preliminary plans.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Public Works is holding the "online interested parties meeting" at como.gov/publicworks/enhanced-fall-protection-and-other-self-harm-deterrent-measures-within-fifth-and-walnut-parking-garage/

"It’s an important issue and one we want to address it as quickly as possible,” said Steve Sapp, director of community relations for the city, according to previous Missourian reporting.

As recently as March 2020, a police negotiator talked someone down from the edge of the structure. The city is considering preventative measures like fencing — both physical and invisible — along with hotline signage, an increase in security and landscaping changes.

The Parking Utility Enterprise Fund will pay for the initial costs of the project, estimated at around $300,000. The city contracted Walker Consultants to engage the public in a conversation about fall protection and industry data.

Preliminary plans will be developed and presented to the city at a public hearing after the interested parties meet.

The nine-story parking structure at Fifth and Walnut streets has claimed seven lives through suicide since its opening in 2011, according to previous Missourian reporting.

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