Are we neglecting an important community?
To: Columbia Mayor, City Council, city manager
RE: Pedestrian facilities on Clark Lane corridor
Greetings from the Mid-Missouri Advocacy Coalition (MMAC). Our organization serves as a rapid responder to people with disabilities needing advocacy as well as a community watchdog. We are also involved in educating disability advocates and supporting in developing their advocacy skills.
We understand a “quick fix” may be applied to the Clark Lane pedestrian facility by extending asphalt to provide a semblance of accessibility.
Such a solution would not be proposed downtown,
or in more affluent areas of the city.
This Clark Lane project will support an extremely high number of people with disabilities, people who are elderly, and people of low income; in other words, people who are most in need of safe and usable accessible pedestrian routes.
It is imperative there be a commitment to providing these routes. It is unacceptable to consider a quick-fix solution that does not meet the standards that we meet for street development and pedestrian facilities in the rest of Columbia.
Such a solution would not be proposed downtown, or in more affluent areas of the city.
The people living near Clark Lane deserve the same high quality pedestrian facilities other citizens in other areas receive. This means dedicated sidewalks, constructed in a way that separates users from motorized transportation and that meet existing and current federal, state and local, standards, and civil rights laws.
Extending the asphalt is not only an unsafe, “Band-Aid” approach, it’s also a disservice and an insult to the people who live in this area.
The City of Columbia has proven repeatedly that it can address
the problems it truly wants to address quickly and thoroughly.
Their safety and ability to access our community is just as important as that of others.
We strongly encourage you to use the model street standards used in other parts of the city when constructing this pedestrian route. We also encourage you to move proper development up on the list of priorities. We can think of no other area of the city that is currently as cut off and in need of pedestrian infrastructure as the Clark Lane corridor.
Our government has the responsibility to take this need into account.
Given the circumstances, our Council and the rest of our city should step up and make this happen through proper development and not just through a quick fix. The City of Columbia has proven repeatedly that it can address the problems it truly wants to address quickly and thoroughly.
A quick fix was not what was described to the people when discussed at Council, and in fact, people were advised that they needed to stop worrying about Clark Lane, that it was all going to be taken care of.
We can think of no other area of the city that is currently as cut off
and in need of pedestrian infrastructure as the Clark Lane corridor.
Please take care of it like we would if this were in the center of our city or in a more affluent area of town.
The people living near Clark Lane matter just as much, and right now they are risking their lives every day trying to access their community.
It’s not right.
Representing the Mid-Missouri Advocacy Coalition (including members John Hinten, Gretchen Maune, Gina Ceylan, Dawn Zeterberg, Joe Machens Jr., and Allison Reinhardt)