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Columbia Parks & Rec comments on Mid-Missouri trail safety

The director of Columbia’s Parks and Recreation Department spoke out on trail safety Tuesday, in the wake of the terror attack in New York City.

In that attack, a man allegedly plowed a truck into pedestrians and bicyclists on a recreational path, killing eight people and injuring 11 others. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is now stepping up security efforts for mass transit systems across the state as a result.

In light of the attack, ABC 17 News checked in with Columbia Parks and Recreation officials to see if they have any devices in place along local trails to prevent vehicles from driving onto them.

Director Mike Griggs says they have installed tall curbs, bollards and gates at trail head parking lots, to prevent cars from getting onto the trail. However, he says it’s impossible to block off the entire trail, and people could still drive onto them from private property. He added, “The good thing about our trails is that people can quickly get off of the trail into the trees and be protected from a speeding vehicle.”

As far as special events, Griggs told us public safety vehicles are used to block access to streets where large amounts of people might be standing or walking, and escape routes are limited.

Griggs says the Parks and Recreation staff also keeps an eye on what’s happening around the country, and will adapt when necessary to make sure park users are safe.

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