Fed Funds for Columbia Pedways
The federal grant will let the city build a mile-long walking and biking path from Jefferson Commons on Old Highway 63 to MU. And, that could mean fewer motor vehicles on Columbia streets.
Starting next spring, Mayor Darwin Hindman wants to build more bike paths, walkways and trails to reduce motorized traffic.
"Well, they're all kinds of things we might be doing," he said. "One of them is to build sidewalks, more sidewalks. More what we call pedways, places that can be shared by both walkers and bicyclists, but off the road."
Hindman wants the new paths to connect neighborhoods, businesses and schools. He's especially interested in helping student commuters.
"In many cases, they live close together and they all are going to campus," the mayor explained. "And if they could have a safe, comfortbable route that would take them directly into campus, we believe that a lot of them would switch to bicycles."
Hindman's an avid biker, and his peers are excited to have their own roadways.
"Well, riding on a cycle path, on a dedicated path, is always more pleasant than riding in high-congested areas," said bike store manager Todd Guess, "as long as the paths are efficient and go where you need them to go."
Hindman plans to hire an advisor or outside firm to help with the pilot project. The state transportation department will reimburse Columbia for all construction expenses.
The MU-Jefferson Commons trail is just one project that's in the works, but Hindman wants ideas from citizens for other ways to spend the grant money.