New Bike Boulevard Routes Headed for City Council Approval

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COLUMBIA - Columbia's Public Works Department is gearing up to present a proposal for a new "Bike Boulevard" to the city council. The new routes would begin at Lakeshore Drive and go north to Business Loop 70. 

Columbia currently has one operating bike boulevard, a bike route on low volume and low speed roadways.

"It is intended to attract bicycles and discourage motor vehicles," Getabout Columbia program engineer Cliff Jarvis said. 

So far the program has held two meetings to inform residents who live on the streets where the new boulevard would go. Edgewood Avenue resident Virginia Muller said the bike boulevard would be a good addition to streets in the community. 

"I think some people are uncomfortable riding in traffic," Muller said. "And this might give people an opportunity to get out and try biking." 

However, Jarvis said some residents on Edgewood were concerned the the road markings would make the streets less attractive, meaning the white lane markers and bike symbols.

The proposed bike boulevard is budgeted for just under $500,000. Jarvis said the funding comes from the Non- Motorized Transportation Pilot Project, which is a federally-funded program. 

The money would pay for intersection improvements at Edgewood Avenue and Broadway, Worley Street and Aldeah Avenue, Business Loop 70 and Madison Street, and Business Loop and Parkade Boulevard. Improvements would also be made at Forest Avenue and Providence Road to connect the bike boulevard to Hickman High School. 

Jarvis said as of now, the project is at about 40 percent complete. The best-case scenario for supporters would have the council give the project authorization and construction could then start.