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Columbia leaders review public feedback on Route B, Paris Road

The city of Columbia surveyed more than a thousand people for a safety audit of Route B and Paris Road.
KMIZ
The city of Columbia surveyed more than a thousand people for a safety audit of Route B and Paris Road.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

More than a thousand people took part in a safety audit survey on Route B and Paris Road in Columbia.

Leaders held a virtual presentation Thursday to review the survey results.

Krista Shouse-Jones, the Vision Zero Coordinator with Columbia Public Works Department, says some of the top concerns were traffic congestion, drivers not paying attention, drivers failing to follow traffic control devices and speeding. 

"And that input from the community is a really important part of that process." Shouse-Jones said.

Of the people who took the survey, 56% said they feel unsafe driving on the road. 78% said they feel unsafe biking there and 75% feel unsafe as a pedestrian.

Results of the study showed that speeding along the Route B/Paris Road Corridor was highest on the north end where the road expands from two lanes to four lanes. 

"That was not what I expected, I expected to see the highest speeds on that really wide portion, kind of between the north junction of Brown Station Road and US 63," Shouse-Jones said.

The data showed that drivers on average had driven at speeds higher in the north part of the corridor before the county line at around 13 miles per hour higher than the posted limit. 

U.S. Highway 63 proved to be the most common site for crashes along the corridor, with more than 24% of the total number of crashes happening at the Route B and U.S. Highway 63 interchange. 44% of the crashes involved drivers attempting left hand turns on Route B/Paris Road.  

"At the beginning of the audit process we were actually hearing from people that they had concerns about left turns specifically, at Route B and 63 and MoDOT made changes at that signal as a result of getting that feedback," Shouse-Jones said.

The corridor has also proven to be the deadliest section of road in the city limits of Columbia.  Of the six traffic deaths that have happened in Columbia this year, four of them have been on the Route B/Paris Road corridor.  In comparison, from 2017-2021 the same section of road only had four deadly crashes.  

"This is just a good reminder of why this road was selected in the first place.  And I think that this is a real indication that we need to do something," Shouse-Jones said.

The next phase of the audit will be site surveys where members of the team will go out and walk, ride, and drive along the road.  The goal is to have the full report of the audit completed and available in November.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

Katie Greathouse

Katie Greathouse is the assistant news director for ABC 17 News.

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