New Project Added to Columbia's Sidewalk Master Plan

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COLUMBIA - After months of discussion, the city council voted to add one more sidewalk project to its Sidewalk Master Plan.

Barbara Hoppe, sixth ward representative, suggested to add a sidewalk on Carter Lane, which east of Providence Road. This update will make the city's Sidewalk Master Plan have a total of 42 projects.

Hoppe said Carter Lane is a connector between many residential areas to retail markets and it desperately needs a sidewalk.

"There is a gap between sidewalks. There is a sidewalk to the north with Grand Cru restaurant; then where the residential area is, there is no sidewalk at all. The streets are very narrow; there are school buses that stop there, where kids have no sidewalk to stand on," Hoppe said.

Dean Andersen, a MU researcher who lives near Carter Lane, said he walks or bikes to campus every day, but he doesn't feel safe walking or biking on the Lane.

"For lots of us, Carter Lane is the only way in and out of our subdivision. So there isn't really a choice of other ways to go; you have to use Carter Lane. Because so many people have to use it, it becomes a high traffic area," Andersen said.

Andersen said he was glad that the project has been on the plan, and he hopes it would be done sooner than later.

"The longer they wait, the longer the risk of someone will be injured, because it is a narrow road with a lot of pedestrians and a lot of automobiles, and because it connects high-density areas. It's actually preventing a dangerous situation and we think a sidewalk will help prevent an accident in the future," Andersen said.

Hoppe said she would also try to keep looking at the project and make sure it will start as soon as possible.

"I'm gonna push it right away. Because there is a lot of development there, it's been needed for a long time, and it will rate 5 or 6 as one of the highest priority areas on the priority rating list, and it is not that expensive," said Hoppe.

The Sidewalk Master Plan aims to build sidewalks in the existing area. Hoppe said the city uses a rating system to rank each project, and whenever money and funds become available, the city will look at projects that are on the top of the priority list.