$25 million Columbia non-motorized pilot project moves forward

The non-motorized pilot project funded by the recently passed federal transportation bill, will give Columbia, Missouri, $25 million over about 4 years to develop a complete walking/bicycling/wheelchair network.

The pilot program is designed to test whether making a complete community bicycle/pedestrian friendly can have a real impact on reducing traffic congestion, fuel use, and pollution while leading to real increases in the number of residents walking, bicycling, and using transit to travel.

Columbia residents and leaders have been in limbo since the program was first announced. Because no guidelines or procedures have been put in place, no decisions about particular projects, goals, or priorities can be made.

This article from the Columbia Tribune outlines the next step:
Columbia officials hope a meeting with federal highway officials next month will clear up uncertainties about a pilot project aimed at improving trails, sidewalks and bicycle lanes to make the city more pedestrian-friendly.

Federal Highway Administration officials are tentatively scheduled to meet Dec. 13-15 in Washington, D.C., with Mayor Darwin Hindman and representatives from three other communities taking part in the project. The agenda features discussions about the implementation of the project.

Columbia was selected earlier this year to participate in the Non-motorized Transportation Pilot Program, which allocates federal transportation dollars to connect trails, bicycle lanes, sidewalks and neighborhoods. Since then, specific information about the project has been scarce, and no plans for the money have been made.