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READER LETTER: Unsafe roads and unresponsive Council members

Lack of safety around Ballenger and Clark Lanes; lack of interest from City Hall

By Linda Little

Editor, the Columbia Heart Beat:
 
With the upcoming election for City of Columbia elected officials, I would like to ask some questions.

1. Why should it be so difficult to get a response from the mayor and the Ward Three Council Person?
2. What is it going to take for the City to reallocate vital funding from frivolous endeavors to a critical safety issue?
3. When is the correct entity going to take responsibility for Route PP and get safety a priority? Heavy traffic and wheel chairs do not mix.

When contacted, I received no response from the Mayor, Council Persons, or person running for Ward Three.
 
I called Pednet and received a response.
 
Karl Skala also kindly responded. "Because of the dangers associated with it, the Clark/Ballenger corridor remains my top infrastructure priority in my bid for the Third Ward council seat this April 2nd," he wrote. "I have lived along this corridor for nearly twenty years."

There may be other parts of the City of Columbia that need street modifications, but it seems that many projects get funded where more affluent households reside. Not only that, could it be that city officials also live in those areas?
 
Mr. Skala is the only person who worked to get round-abouts for Mexico Gravel Road and Clark Lane (both are at opposite ends of Ballenger).

Please help raise awareness of minority, handicapped, and lower-income households in need of at least token sidewalks!

Ed. Note: Skala is running against incumbent Councilman Gary Kespohl, who has since informed Little that "sidewalks on Clark Lane are now number 2 on the city improvement project list. I will try to get a start and completion date from the public works director."

Good luck with that.


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