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Missouri Boulevard to undergo safety assessment

Officials are preparing to do a safety assessment of Missouri Boulevard later this month.

On May 26, crews will look for gaps in safety measures along Missouri Boulevard from West Main Street all the way to the other side of the Highway 179 overpass.

From 2011 to 2014, there were a total of 1,084 crashes along the 3.4 mile stretch of Missouri Boulevard, according to Jefferson City Senior Transportation Planner Sonny Sanders. Of those crashes, six involved a pedestrian or bicyclist and three of those resulted in someone being disabled.

“Our own studies have shown that, I believe, six out of 10 highest accident intersections in the Jefferson City area are along Missouri Boulevard,” Sanders said.

The goal of the assessment is to make Missouri Boulevard safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users. Crews will look for things such as areas that need crosswalks, pedestrian signals or sidewalks.

“There’s a large stretch of Missouri Boulevard that has no signals, that has facilities that people want to get to and there’s no real way to cross the street,” Sanders said. “There’s also no a lot of pedestrian signalized crosswalks nor painted crosswalks, so it’s very difficult to get across Missouri Boulevard.”

Sanders said not only will the assessment help pedestrians and bicyclists, it will also improve the safety of drivers.

“Studies have shown when there’s safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists and transit users, a side effect is there’s also more safety for the motorists too,” Sanders said.

Officials will give a presentation of the assessment findings to MoDOT and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, or CAMPO, Board of Directors and Technical Committee.

Sanders said hopefully the assessment can be used to secure more grant-based funding to make improvements.

Members from CAMPO, along with MoDOT, Jefferson City police, city planners and engineers, the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration and National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration will all take part in the assessment.

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