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Residents frustrated with speeding on East Walnut Street, Columbia looks into traffic calming measures


The City of Columbia is looking into traffic calming measures at East Walnut Street, East of Old Highway 63, after some residents voiced concern over speeding along the street.

An engineer with the City of Columbia Public Works Andrew Briedwell said the city is looking to add speed humps or speed tables into the area to reduce speeding. Briedwell said the city has been looking into the idea since 2021, but are focusing on gaining the public's feedback right now.

Roughly a handful of Columbia residents gathered at City Hall Monday night to share their thoughts on the road, most of which said they found speeding to be a major problem.

Jill Brenkus is a Columbia resident who frequently walks throughout the city. Brenkus said they have been frustrated with the lack of preventative speed measures along the street for some time. However, the day they were hit while crossing the street -- as a result of someone speeding along the road -- recently only made them want to push more for change.

"I see families go down there with multiple children and I'm just like you know, like drivers don't pay attention and kids wander and it's just not safe," Brenkus said.

Brenkus said they were approaching the crosswalk near the Equestrian Center going into Stephens Lake Park and saw a car to their north. Brenkus said they pressed the crosswalk button, only the driver of the vehicle didn't stop and was going about 35 miles per hour in the area with a speed limit of 30 mph.

Brenkus said while they're happy to be alive.

"I was just really angry I was like are you serious?" Brenkus said. "I remember flying onto the car and onto the ground and while I was on the ground I was like, I just couldn't feel my legs or anything and I was just like is this it?"

The aftermath of the crash left Brenkus with a broken hip in five places, two broken legs, a torn ACL and meniscus and more than $100,00 in medical bills. Brenkus said shortly after the accident, their job put them on unpaid medical leave for two months.

According to data collected from the city, near 1911 E. Walnut Street, 85% of drivers in 2024 drove 38.9 mph or lower. Near 2103 E. Walnut Street, 85% of drivers drove 41 mph or lower.

An area near the Hinkson Creek Bridge, where two speed humps are already in existence, showed 85% of drivers drove around 29.7 mph or lower. Brenkus said the issue extends throughout Columbia, and noted there are other roads that aren't safe in the city.

Brenkus said they'd like the city to focus on making Columbia, as a whole, a more "walkable" city.

"The crosswalks are awful. Like, it's really bad. But what kind of fed me up is seeing how hard it is for all the people who are forced to walk to get anywhere," Brenkus said. "I just think that pushing for more walkable cities, in general, is a good cause. And that's something that I think Columbia needs to have, especially being a college town."

According to Briedwell, the city will continue collecting feedback from the public until May 10. The city will then work to come up with a plan that will be presented to the public during another meeting sometime in the fall, before ultimate approval from the Columbia City Council.

Residents can also share their thoughts to the city through a survey here.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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Nia Hinson


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