Columbia City Council approves Shepard-Rollins trail - KMIZ

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The Columbia City Council approved a multimillion dollar trail that supporters hope improves safety.

The council voted 6-1 to build the $2.3 million Shepard-Rollins trail. The project would create a new concrete path from Bluffdale Drive to Rollins Street, near the University of Missouri Veterinary School. The city would also extend the Hinkson Creek trail from Stadium Boulevard and Old 63 South to the new trail.

The council fielded public comment for two hours, as a steady line of speakers filled the city hall on Monday night. Supporters of the project said the trail would be helpful for those trying to make it to MU without driving. Opponents feared the project would disrupt wildlife in the area and cause harm to the Hinkson Creek.

Those opponents asked the city council to consider making pedestrian and bicyclist facilities safer on Stadium Boulevard instead. Many members of It's Our Wild Nature said a connection between east Columbia and campus already exists with Old 63, Stadium Boulevard and Ashland Road. Councilman Ian Thomas pushed back on that idea, saying fast-moving car traffic on Stadium Boulevard makes it unsafe for people to use as a reliable route.

"Nobody is going to take up bicycling or walking to university or their jobs if that's the route they have to take," Thomas said.

MoBikeFed comment: This project was a priority of the PedNet Coalition, which did a great job communicating with citizen supporters and city leaders to help move the project forward.

The new trail connection, which has been under discussion for years, will help complete a 30-mile trail loop around Columbia:

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