Columbia hears traffic concerns

Despite an otherwise straightforward agenda for Monday’s Columbia City Council meeting, the public input portion took up a majority of time as residents discussed concerns with traffic – especially speeding – in and around Columbia Lakes.

The first to speak was  Andrew Cornish, who lives on Lakeshore Drive in the Fox Run subdivision. Cornish’s major concern was the safety of the large amount of children in the area. 

Cornish and other residents of Lakeshore Drive reported excessive speeding on the street, with one speaker saying motorists use it as a “raceway.” 

Residents also reported several recent incidents of mailboxes being struck as evidence of unsafe conditions there.

Shannon Gastreich, another parent who resides  on Lakeshore Drive, reported being passed by a car in the residential area.

“You certainly don’t expect to be passed in a subdivision,” she said. 

Each speaker said he or she did not feel comfortable letting children play near the street.

Cornish suggested many of the speeding vehicles use the entrance to Fox Run – Lakeshore Drive via Old Route 3 – as an alternate route to get in and out of the adjacent Columbia Lakes subdivision.

He added there are several blind spots on that section of the street.

Cornish also suggested a reduction in the speed limit from 30 to 20 miles per hour might help the situation. 

Columbia Police Chief Jason Donjon told the council his officers have been patrolling the area, although he admitted potential speeders are less likely to do so when there is a police presence.

Donjon expressed a desire to collaborate with Columbia City Engineer Chris Smith to conduct a speed study in the area.

Alderman Kevin Martens suggested, and Mayor Bob Hill concurred, that the two subdivisions’ homeowners associations advise residents of the traffic situation in the area as the first step in addressing the issue.

Hill also asked Cornish to provide the research he referenced in order to identify other possible solutions.

In other business, the council voted to set the salaries for elected city officials.

As in years past, alderman approved a 0 percent increase in pay for the first two years of the terms and a 4 percent raise for years three and four.

Other action items included accepting easements  for the upcoming Valmeyer Road reconstruction project. 

The council also approved a bid to award the Old Route 3 and Veterans Parkway resurfacing project to Kilian Corporation in the amount of $243,381.82.

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Scott Woodsmall

HTC web