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Our Opinion: Sidewalk will enhance well-traveled boulevard

Our Opinion: Sidewalk will enhance well-traveled boulevard

News Tribune editorial

June 16th, 2012 in News

One of Jefferson City's most heavily traveled thoroughfares is becoming more pedestrian-friendly with the addition of a sidewalk.

Sidewalk Installation along Missouri Boulevard began in late May in the area of Virginia Street and is now progressing in the area of Washington Park.

Missouri Boulevard is Jefferson City's "strip" of restaurants, department stores and retailers.

"I've seen people walking along the side of the road," said David Bange, director of the city's engineering division. "It is the heaviest transit area in the city in terms of traffic and bus passengers being picked and dropped off."

In addition to the safety component for pedestrians, Bange said the sidewalk will improve accessibility for the handicapped.

He also said the project will include amenities for bus passengers. "We plan to construct landing pads for bus traffic and shelters to protect bus riders from bad weather," Bange said.

The sidewalk project now underway will continue west to Heisinger Road, near Alexandro's Restaurant, and is scheduled for completion in August.

The $340,000 cost will be paid with $180,000 from the city's capital improvements sales tax and $160,000 in federal funds available through the state.

Now in the design phase is a second Missouri Boulevard sidewalk project that will begin where the first one ends and continue west to Kohl's. It's $400,000 cost also will be paid by a city sales tax money combined with a federal-state grant.

Progress on the Missouri Boulevard sidewalk project is encouraging.

As a public safety enhancement, this roadway so popular among motorists also will be safer and more accommodating for pedestrians.