No easy answer to Columbia’s traffic dilemma - Republic-Times | News

No easy answer to Columbia’s traffic dilemma

By on March 7, 2018 at 2:57 pm

Chief Jerry Paul

Traffic along the Route 3 corridor has been a frequent topic of discussion since vehicles started traveling the stretch of roadway, with speed, terrain and traffic control all hotly debated.

The topic reared again last week in the aftermath of the crash in Columbia on Admiral Parkway (Route 3) at Veterans Parkway that claimed the life of Emily Webb, a mother of six from Columbia.

Columbia Police Chief Jerry Paul spoke at Monday’s Columbia City Council meeting and took questions about traffic along the Columbia corridor of Route 3.

“As far as the traffic crash that occurred last Tuesday, that is something that is actively under investigation,” Paul said. “(Because) of that and because we haven’t presented anything to our state’s attorney, it’s something that I cannot comment directly on.”

IDOT estimates of traffic flow on Route 3 through Columbia range from 26,000 to almost 30,000 cars a day. And data Paul presented at the meeting gives a glimpse into what officers are up against. 

From October 2017 to March 5, 2018, there were 608 traffic stops resulting in 27 arrests, 195 citations, 546 written warnings, 82 verbal warnings, eight officer-initiated DUIs, and 20 citations for revoked, suspended or unlicensed drivers.

“Of the citations, 42 percent were for speeding,” he said. 

There were also 13 citations for disobeying a traffic control device.

In more longitudinal data, over the past 10 years, traffic crashes have increased by 16 citywide, from 250 in 2008 to 266 in 2017.

The Facebook group “Citizens Demanding Change on Illinois Route 3, Columbia, Illinois” has amassed nearly 4,000 members over the years. With some members from that group in attendance, Paul acknowledged he has read many of the concerns expressed on the page, and held discussions with several members who were in attendance at the meeting…>>>

Read the rest of this article in the March 7, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times newspaper.

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Andrea F.D. Saathoff

Andrea is a graduate of Gibault High School and the University of Missouri School of Journalism, the University of Missouri Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Education. She lives in Columbia with her husband and their twin toddler sons. When she isn't cheering on St. Louis Cardinals baseball or riding the emotional roller coaster of Mizzou Tigers football, she enjoys attending and participating in the many family events the county has to offer. email: