Heavy Traffic Might Lead to Road Improvements

1 decade 9 months 3 weeks ago December 05, 2005 Dec 5, 2005 Monday, December 05 2005 Monday, December 05, 2005 3:26:39 PM CST in News

They say Stadium Boulevard is a particular problem, but improvements could be on the way.

"I think people are driving crazy because there are too many stoplights and there are too many lanes," said driver Ashley Koopmeiners.

But, drivers also say this is relatively calm, compared to a weekday at 5:00 p.m.

"Especially during rush hour, it is a main concern for me," said driver Kristie Whelchel. "It's really hard to get through all the lights, especially with all the buildings that have popped up."

Columbia officials hope to ease traffic snarls through a new concept which would include widening Stadium Boulevard to six lanes. But not everyone supports the idea.

"The way it is now, there is (sic) a lot of traffic wrecks because of the fact that there are too many lanes," said Koopmeiners.

The project could cost $24 million.  But some drivers say it's worth it to improve the area.

"I get stuck. I kind of get stuck in the middle, and people are honking at you as you're trying to go," said Whelchel. "People are upset because you're in the middle but it was green when you started to go."

Koopmeiners said, "We've been in car crashes because of people who don't know how to drive and have almost lost our lives because of it." She added, "Because of the bad traffic and the speed limits and all of that."

Although they're just concepts at this point, the financing discussion includes a possible additional sales tax at businesses near Stadium, with possible MoDOT funding, too.  At this time, Columbia won't provide any additional funding, but city officials say that could change.

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