The Bicycle Squeeze -- Route K Gets Riding Room

7 years 1 week 6 days ago Tuesday, July 05 2011 Jul 5, 2011 Tuesday, July 05, 2011 5:18:00 PM CDT July 05, 2011 in News
By: Alex Harrison

COLUMBIA- Shoulders may be added to a busy Columbia roadway.  The state highway department plans to add four-foot shoulders to Route K starting in Columbia by Rock Bridge Elementary and ending about seven miles away in McBaine.  That's a direct connection to the Katy Trail entrance in McBaine and to the new bike paths along Providence Road in Columbia.    

Like the idea, because you are a bike rider?  Don't like the idea because the bike riders are a hazard to your driving?  Speak up at an open forum at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia on Thursday from 4-6:30 p.m.  The project will cost two million dollars.  

Route K Construction Project Manager, Trent Brooks, encourages everyone to come to the meeting.

"This meeting is to get input from the community on what we have planned.  So it is something that we plan to do, it is something that we want to do but we will be presenting information to the public, getting comments from the public on what they think of our ideas and then moving forward from there."

Bikers are currently sharing the road with drivers which causes concern for safety for both parties.  

Hannah Pratte started riding her bike when she was around five years old and hasn't stopped since.  She goes on bike rides about three times every week and says it is one of her family's favorite past times. However, Pratte says her brother was put in danger one day when biking on Route K.

"He was coming around a turn, it was a blind spot and another car was coming up behind him, did not see him and basically almost ran him off the road." Pratte said.

Pratte fully supports the idea for the project and says it will be well-worth the money spent. 

"In my opinion, if they built that, it would be a wonderful idea.  And if they did I would definitely use it." Pratte said.

Mo-Dot officials say they hope to receive a grant in February, which would allow them to start constructing the shoulders in the spring of 2012.

 Until the shoulders on Route K are constructed in 2012, Pratte plans to stick to using the Katy Trail for her biking.  

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