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Plan to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety moves forward in Jefferson City

The Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission approved a resolution Thursday to adopt the Capital Area Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan to the city’s comprehensive plan.

There have been 20 pedestrian-involved crashes in the past year in Jefferson City, including one deadly crash, according to the Missouri Statewide Traffic Accident Records System, or STARS.

There have also been at least two crashes involving cyclists.

Work on the plan started about two years ago with the goal to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, among other things.

One item in the plan’s implementation strategy is to improve sidewalk connectivity.

“We want people to get to their neighbor’s house, get to a grocery store, get to the places and the services that they want to go to safely,” said Katrina Williams, a Jefferson City transportation planner.

One of the most dangerous areas in the capital city for pedestrians and cyclists is Missouri Boulevard, according to Williams. That was where one pedestrian was killed in a crash last December.

“Missouri Boulevard has improved dramatically over the last few year,” Williams said. “They’re putting in a sidewalk there now, but there are still some gaps along the sidewalk. So you have people who are using different sides of the road.”

The plan outlines numerous other projects and activities set to start within the next five years.

Right now, several pedestrian and bicycle improvements are already in the works, including new bike lanes along Capitol Avenue and a pedestrian crosswalk on West McCarty Street near the Harry S. Truman State Office Building.

The City Council is set to hold a public hearing and vote on the plan at its meeting on May 15.

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