Community input sought for Forum and Green Meadows intersection

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COLUMBIA -The City of Columbia Public Works Department held an informal open house Tuesday, giving people a chance to ask questions and offer input on design options for the proposed Forum Boulevard and Green Meadows Road intersection improvement project.

People had the opportunity to look at the preliminary design concepts, which included roundabouts, full signals, J-turns, and pedestrian crossings. 

The intersection was identified for improvement due to both safety concerns and traffic congestion. The Green Meadows Preschool sits at the southwest corner of the two roads.

"The very original plan was three feet from the corner of the crayon fence that brings traffic right up to the playground. The only thing separating it was a few feet and the crayon fence, which was not going to stop a vehicle, and right behind that is where all the kids play," said Damian Shroeder, whose wife owns the center. "We don't want pedestrians, when we don't know who they are, three feet from the playground either."

Some residents think the issues need to be addressed sooner rather than later.

"I don't think there really is a big problem right now, the traffic really isn't that bad. It's full, but if we are going to continue there's going to be more problems," Lou Hart said.

Some of the five designs presented attracted more praise than others.

"I am in favor of the roundabout. I just think that it's the simplest and will move traffic faster," Hart said. "I live just on Green Meadows Road and I think that is the best way to get traffic moving.

Some taxpayers are upset nothing was done sooner.

Resident Eleanor Wickersham said, "Most of the people who live in these homeowner associations along here are elderly and they've been paying the city tax for decades, generations. They deserve the best solution. They don't deserve the trendiest or the cheapest, they deserve the best."

There were 13 collisions reported at the intersection between January 2011 and December 2015. 

Construction on whichever improvement is approved is expected to begin in 2019.

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