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Columbia leaders propose projects to improve sidewalks


City leaders in Columbia are looking into ways to make streets safer for pedestrians.

A sidewalk master plan is up for a vote at Monday's Columbia City Council meeting. Mitch Skov with Columbia Community Development wrote the sidewalk master plan. He said the plan prioritizes building and improving sidewalks along busy streets, such as Broadway Street and Business Loop 70.

Lawrence Simonson advocates for Como Livable Streets, a campaign that pushes for street design that encourages people to walk around outside.

"People want to work and live in places that have a vibrant, high quality of life," Simonson said. "And so, when a community designs in a livable way, they tend to we tend to see more businesses become attracted to those areas."

Livable street designs like protected sidewalks create a safer environment for people walking around. Highway Patrol statistics from last year show there were 1,249 pedestrians in Missouri hurt when hit by a car; of those, 35 were on sidewalks.

"Safety is a huge part of livability. I think it goes without saying if you don't feel safe, you're not going to use it," Simonson said.

Columbia is considering building a new sidewalk on the corner of Scott Boulevard and Wales Drive, where there is a number of neighborhoods that would be able to use it.

"There needs to be some improvements for the people that are walking between those neighborhoods and those businesses and this sidewalk is a necessary piece to connect those," Simonson said.

While adding another lane for cars costs on average $10 million per mile, according to the Federal Highway Administration, a new bike lane is between $5,000-$50,000 per mile.

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.


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