Columbia residents concerned about pedestrian safety

2 years 9 months 1 week ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 11:39:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
By: Anthony Holtschlag, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - The road to Providence Hill is a trivial journey for a car, but the walk to and from the apartments can be dangerous for pedestrians who make the trek daily.

Old Route K, which runs along Truman's Landing and past the MU Tennis Complex, is an unlit, winding, and narrow road, frequented by pedestrians and motorists alike.

But those who walk down the road daily are significantly less safe than those who drive. Day or night, pedestrians walk to and from work, bus stops, and even school down Old Route K. There are no sidewalks, so these walkers are left with only a couple of feet of clearance between the road and a steep wooded hill on either side. 

The road also features sharp curves, giving few lines of sight to motorists who travel down the road. Neighbors say those drivers are also often speeding. People who are walking down the route often go unseen until drivers pass by these curves, resulting in a short reaction time for the drivers to swerve away from the walkers.

This is further complicated by the lack of street lights along the route. The road is left nearly invisible to pedestrians and drivers alike when night rolls in, and the potential for a pedestrian to get hit is greatly intensified. 

James Eichholz, a resident of Providence Hills for more than a year, says he thinks the danger is clearly present.

"It's like a dangerous intersection, they only change it when somebody gets hurt," Eichholz said. "And they need to do something soon before something like that happens."

Eichholz says he's reached out to the Columbia Department of Public Works, which said it may have plans in place to put lines and reflectors down the road toward the edges, to keep cars from swerving too close to the sides where pedestrians walk.

But KOMU 8 also spoke with Public Works project manager Barry Dalton, who said they have no plans for any pedestrian services pertaining to the road.

According to Dalton, projects of any kind first need to be approved through a public process. That process already passed for 2017, and Dalton claimed no knowledge of any upcoming projects for Old Route K.

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