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Clark Lane reopens in Columbia with wider shoulders

There is more room available for pedestrians walking on the side of Clark Lane. The road just opened Tuesday evening in northeast Columbia, after shutting down last week.

Crews installed wider, five-foot shoulders between Ray Drive and Ballenger Lane near the roundabout.

The street still does not have sidewalks, but officials say they went with a cheaper, faster option they still think will improve safety.

Overall, the project cost roughly 1.1 million dollars.

Residents along the road told ABC 17 News they’re glad to city is addressing the problem, but that sidewalks are the only way to eliminate the danger.

“The people who don’t have to walk it don’t see it the way I see it because they don’t have to deal with it and it’s dangerous to me,” said Brenda Tisdell, who walks along Clark Lane every day to get to the bus stop.

Tisdell said every day she makes it home, she feels it’s because an angel was looking out for her.

“I praise God, I have God around me,” she said. “Lord help me, because like I said before, that car almost hit me a while ago and the didn’t stop, look back, do nothing.”

Because of concerns like Tisdell’s voiced to the city council, one council member is making some suggestions to the city.

“I asked city staff if they could write a report as to what it would cost to make a few fairly modest safety improvements,” said Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas.

Thomas said he feels there are some more cost-effective ways to lessen the dangers.

“I’m looking at some short-term, lower cost things we can do, such as simply grinding the rumble strips,” he said.

The idea is that cars would not inadvertently cross the line, getting too close to walkers or bikers.

And the other idea is providing reflective vests to those who walk along roads like Clark Lane, I-70 Drive Southwest or Carter Lane.

While many residents are happy the city is proactively working to find a solution, some feel there’s only one way to fix the problem.

“We need sidewalks more than anything, that’s my opinion,” Tisdell said.

Thomas told ABC 17 News he wants residents to know the city is doing everything it can to make sure everyone can get to work safely, whether it be by car, bike or walking.

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