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Officials discuss Missouri Boulevard safety assessment findings

Safety improvements are one step closer to coming to Missouri Boulevard in Jefferson City.

ABC 17 News reported in May, federal, state and city officials examined areas along the busy road looking for safety gaps.

Wednesday, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, or CAMPO, board of directors met to discuss the findings of the study and to talk about solutions.

One of the biggest needed improvements was installing continuous sidewalks and ADA ramps, especially on the north side of the boulevard.

“For those that have disabilities, physical disabilities, it’s very dangerous for those people on the sidewalk on the north side of the street,” CAMPO Transportation Planner Alex Rotenberry said.

Another suggested solution was to put more crosswalks and pedestrian signals along the street as well as”pedestrian refuge islands” or a place for people to stop and wait safely in the center of the road while trying to cross.

“In order to get from the north to south side, either you have to walk, I don’t know a quarter of a mile, or you just risk it and go in the middle of the block and you know jaywalk so to speak to go from the north to south side which can be very dangerous,” Rotenberry said.

People were also seen crossing the road in between intersections and dodging traffic to get to bus stops. A proposed solution was to place future stops at intersections instead of mid-block.

And for bicyclists, a proposed change was adding bike lanes and signage to the nearby Greenway Trail.

The next step of the project will be to finalize the report and hopefully use the study to help get more grant money to fix these problems as its something the city cannot afford on its own.

“All that concrete work can be very expensive and so that’s kind of a hindrance,” Rotenberry said. “We’re starting to look at this and saying gosh this is a really big problem and in order to fix that that’s very, going to be a very expensive proposition.”

Separate from the project, this summer MoDOT is already set to fix one of the problems by making significant ADA sidewalk improvements along Missouri boulevard to make it more wheelchair accessible.

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