Columbia to See Millions of Dollars Worth of Sidewalk Improvements
COLUMBIA - The city is part way through spending a $28 million grant for sidewalk and other non-car transportation, with $6 million more to spend. Plans exist for sidewalk construction through 2020. GetAbout Columbia helped get the original federal grant for sidewalk, bikepath, and trail improvements in 2006. The FY 2013 city budget allocated $401,860 for the annual Sidewalk/Pedway account, and $120,000 in Community Development Block Grants to improve sidewalks and ramps downtown.
The 2013 City of Columbia Survey Report completed this spring says residents' satisfaction with the condition of city sidewalks decreased 7 percent from 2011 to 2013. Forty-three percent of residents who took the survey said they are satisfied with the condition of the sidewalks.
Columbia resident Angie Claas said she uses Columbia sidewalks regularly.
"My children and I come to the park, we like to go walk around downtown, and the neighborhood sidewalks are great for the kids to ride their scooters on or walk, so the sidewalks are definitely a benefit," Claas said.
Columbia resident Sally Foster said she lives downtown and thinks about the sidewalks often.
"I know some people have found Columbia more wheelchair accessible than other places they've been, but that's something I notice in my neighborhood. When there's a fault, I wonder if it's difficult for a wheelchair to use," Foster said.
The city is planning to poll residents on how the city should spend $200,000 of its 2012 budget surplus money. Five of the eight projects residents can select are sidewalk related. Residents may also be able to suggest a project not listed.