Jefferson City's bike plan nears the finish line

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JEFFERSON CITY - A pedestrian and bike plan for Jefferson City is another step closer to implementation.

On Thursday, the plan will go through the city's Planning and Zoning Commission. If approved, it will be voted on by city council as soon as early May.

The plan has several goals aimed at improving safety for walkers and bikers. Aspects of the plan include:

  • Develop signaled bike lanes and routes.
  • Improve trail connectivity.
  • Improve sidewalk connectivity between schools, residential areas and businesses.
  • Review city ordinances to include bicycle and pedestrian-friendly language.
  • Improve tourism and economic development.

Katrina Williams, a transportation planner for Jefferson City, said the plan comes in response to community concerns about the conditions of sidewalks and roadways, as well as an increase in bikers in the city.

"It's becoming more-so a walking community, a biking community," Williams said. "We've definitely seen numbers go up on cyclists using our roadways."

The Capitol Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, or CAMPO, developed the plan over an 18-month period and approved it in October of 2016. CAMPO wanted its plan to reflect the wants and needs of the community.

"This is something the public has said is a need. We did an extensive amount of public outreach, held a lot of public meetings, went to festivals, and held booths to actually get that public feedback," Williams said.

CAMPO has no direct control over implementation of the plan, acting as recommenders. They will rely on the city to address the plan's projects over the next one to five years. Williams, a member of CAMPO, said the organization hopes to provide guidance on educational programs for the city.

"If they wanted to educate young people or citizens in general on how to bicycle properly within the city, and also how to educate the public motorists how to deal with cyclists on the roadway, that's one aspect that could be implemented," Williams said.

Jefferson City has already made strides to become a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly area, and its efforts are being recognized. Earlier this month, the League of American Bicyclists awarded the city with a bronze award and named it a Bicycle Friendly Business.