Deadly Paris road being safety audited. Acceleration of a main complaint
Four of the six fatal or serious traffic accidents this year in Colombia have occurred on Paris Road.
This was among the findings of a study of traffic patterns and crash data conducted by CBB transport engineers and planners since April.
This organization is working with the City of Columbia to conduct a safety audit this fall, which will be submitted to the Missouri Department of Transportation with suggestions for safety improvements. Paris Road/Route B is a state maintained road.
The safety audit doesn’t just focus on crash data, but what people see daily as they travel on this major thoroughfare in Columbia, with connections to US Highway 63 and the Interstate 70 Business Loops.
Previously: Survey available for Route B/Paris Road safety audit after recent fatal motorcycle accident
The audit is part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative to reduce fatal or serious traffic accidents to zero within the city limits. Vision Zero was adopted in 2016.
Columbia Public Works and CBB held a community stakeholder meeting Tuesday at United Community Cathedral. A meeting of business stakeholders was held on Wednesday. Many manufacturing companies line Paris Road/Route B, including Schneider Electric, 3M, Kraft Heinz and newcomer Swift Prepared Foods.
A public survey is available through July 31 on the city’s Be Heard website. City and CBB staff implored the community to complete the survey, hoping to get at least 1,000 responses. About 600 have been received so far.
Once the survey responses have been compiled, the next step is for a small team of experts to carry out the road safety audit in September by driving down the road.
The final report will be presented in October.
Speed is a top driver concern
Among those who attended the community meeting was Jenn Perez, who shared a mutual friend with motorcyclist Mark Lamont, who was killed in an accident on Paris Road at Vandiver Drive on July 1.
Perez recently moved from Hallsville to Columbia, but she still has family in Hallsville and travels the road regularly, she said. She also wants her adult daughter and grandchildren to be safe when traveling on Route B.
“I’ve been on Route B for 2 1/2 years, and it feels more like a NASCAR race than a road,” she said, adding that one of her Hallsville neighbors died in an accident. frontal on the road in January. near the FedEx facility. The driver of the other vehicle also died, the Columbia Police Department reported.
“I would like to see something change,” she said. “…I had to alter my own schedule to get away from crazy drivers.”
Plus – subscriber only: Stadium and I-70 Diamond Interchange among Columbia’s most traffic accident-prone areas
Perez’s main concerns include speeding motorists and problems at the Interstate 63 and Route B interchange, such as the left turn on the ramp for northbound 63.
Community members, through an informal poll, placed stickers on posters on Tuesday identifying their top concerns. The top four were speeding, distracted drivers, corners at traffic lights and businesses, and drivers at red lights.
Perez echoed those concerns.
“The flashing yellow lights need to go. I think that leaves some people with too much interpretation and they just don’t understand,” she said. “I think that would alleviate a lot of those severe crashes on the northbound route.”
The first of many security projects
Paris Road was the first route identified by the Vision Zero Initiative action plan in 2019 to improve safety, said Krista Shouse-Jones, Vision Zero coordinator at Columbia Public Works.
It took three years to reach the point where the city could expand the safety audit process because of the initial preparatory work required and the revenue available from state and federal sources, she said.
Preliminary data revealed that 85% of motorists were traveling at 73 mph north of Highway 63 where the posted speed limit is between 55 and 60. This is in the manufacturing area where there are five lanes, four intended for driving and a left turn lane in the middle.
At the freeway interchange, drivers were still driving about 8 mph over the posted speed limit. As drivers encountered more built-up areas along Paris Road closer to the business loop, 85% of driver speeds matched those posted.
Accident data for the past five years shows that the majority were left-turn incidents.
The study area was between the Paris Road connections with Business Loop and Oakland Church Road north of Highway 63.
“We really look at this road as a system to find ways to make it safer,” Shouse-Jones said.
Improvements will not only be about road safety, but also about equitable access, said Jacque King, multimodal planner at CBB. This includes pedestrians and cyclists, among other means of travel.
“The goals of the project are to improve space for pedestrians, safer riding conditions, improve cycling facilities and reduce injuries and fatalities from accidents,” King said.
Charles Dunlap covers local government, community stories and other general topics for the Tribune. You can reach him at [email protected] or @CD_CDT on Twitter. Please consider subscribing to support vital local journalism.