Residents Unhappy With Roads
According to a survey released on how well the Columbia City Government is doing its job, 39 percent of residents are unhappy with the roads in Columbia.
West Boulevard between Broadway and Stadium Rd., for example, is a great shortcut through Columbia, but it's also a neighborhood.
"More speed limit signs, a sign that shows children at play, anything that tells people that, you know, it's a great way to cut across town but there are also kids in the neighborhood that we'd like to keep safe," said resident Tony Rafakowski.
Columbia Public Works says signs and safety are priorities.
"You've gotta have a stop sign up where it's supposed to be so you don't have safety problems out there," said May Ellen Lea, Public Works operations manager. "Our priority, if we get a call about a pothole, and we get a phone call about a traffic signal out, we're going to take care of the traffic signal first as a safety issue."
But road conditions in Columbia, including potholes, are also a major concern. Eighty percent of people surveyed want the city to focus on the condition of city streets during the next two years. The survey highlights four key areas in the city where people are "dissatisfied" with the overall conditions of the streets.
"The budget we have to work with hasn't really increased in the past few years so we're seeing that impact, I think," Lea said.
West Boulevard is one street where even spot maintenance can cause a lot of problems.
"It's a high traffic area so when you get those localized spots where they're doing a little bit of patching work, it really messes up the traffic flow," Rafakowski said.
Traffic flow might continue to be messed up for a little while because the city plans to completely resurface West Boulevard between Broadway and Rollins in the next few months. They also plan to work on Worley, Bernadette and Rock Quarry this summer.
In the past two years, Columbians have become less satisfied with the condition of city streets. In 2005, 35 percent were satisfied, and this year only 28 percent are.