Public provides new vision for Business Loop Corridor

Related Story

COLUMBIA - The Business Loop Corridor revitalization project took its first major step on Thursday, as the public offered their input at an informal session.

Carrie Gartner, The Loop Executive Director, said this session, held at Parkade Plaza, was a great opportunity for the public to come in and tell them what they think about Business Loop.

“Business Loop is an important corridor for the city of Columbia,” Gartner said. “Columbia can’t be a truly great city if you have an entire section of it that’s been neglected so our goal is to provide a better gateway into Columbia, a more economically vital corridor and a street that we can all proud of.”

The Loop had people write on a comment sheet about things they would like to improve, and offered examples of streets and infrastructures from other cities that people were able to vote on. 

Gartner said this is the next step in making a street that people really want to visit. 

“And really get a sense of what is possible to improve the street,” Gartner said. 

The Loop is working very closely with the city, the Missouri Department of Transportation and Arcturis, the design firm working on the project. 

Russ Volmert, the planning director for Arcturis, said he is really excited about the project. 

“There’s a great spirit amongst the existing business owners and property owners,” Volmert said. “They want to see the loop kind of regain its vibrancy that it had many, many years ago.”

Gartner said they surveyed the community and what people asked for most is a street that looks better, has better infrastructure and accessibility like sidewalks and bike lanes. 

One resident said there’s a huge need for better sidewalks. 

“What bothers me is so many people go and you cross the country, you get off the interstate and come through the Business Loop and think that’s all there is to Columbia and we need to make a better impression than we do,” Allen Tacker said. 

Gartner said the consultants will take all of the ideas the public provided and start planning on a master plan for the street.

She said they hope to have the master plan completed by late fall.