Webb City sidewalk, trail improvement projects are aimed at pedestrian, cyclist safety | joplinglobe.com

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

A pedestrian bridge on Madison Avenue over Sunset Creek in Webb City that officials have said has been needed for many years is finally nearing completion. . . .

“The pedestrian bridge was needed for many years because pedestrians had to go out into Madison Street to continue going north or south on that side of the road near Walgreens,” said Francis. “Since the project called for a sidewalk over that bridge, it was in the original plans when they built it.”

As part of the project, the east/west sidewalks along Madison extend up to Stadium Drive and Webb City High School. . . .

The second project will include sidewalks built along Stadium Drive from Madison leading west to Golf Road. The last project will run along Route D/North Main Street from Robin Ridge. . . .

“Those are just areas where we’ve never had good sidewalks or never had a sidewalk, period,” said Francis. “There’s been an increase lately with foot traffic and bicycle traffic. We’re just trying to improve our sidewalks and trails to prevent any further pedestrian accidents. We’ve had pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents over the years, and those had been some areas that were identified as being worthy projects to request funding from MoDOT.”

MoBikeFed comment: Webb City is one of dozens of communities across Missouri working to improve their bicycle and pedestrian safety and connectivity after decades of neglect.

Particularly heartening here is the cooperation with MoDOT.

About a decade ago, MoDOT worked with dozens of smaller communities across Missouri to identify their existing sidewalk systems and the gaps in them, and to prioritize sidewalk needs.

That statewide project has led to hundreds of miles of sidewalk construction across Missouri--most often focusing on the most-used and most-needed sections of missing sidewalks, such as those connecting neighborhoods to schools, parks, shopping areas, and other high-use areas.

Much of the funding for Webb City's sidewalk construction has come in the form of MoDOT cost-share grants. You may remember that MoBikeFed and allied organizations across Missouri have worked for many years to ensure that MoDOT's cost-share grants included a fair share of funding for needed bicycle, pedestrian, and public transportation projects alongside the traditional highway projects.

https://mobikefed.org/2016/06/modot-announces-historic-20-million-missou...

The progress in Webb City shows how important--even groundbreaking--this type of advocacy can be. When funding is offered for bicycle, pedestrian, and public transportation projects on equal grounds with other transportation projects such as roads and highways, local communities invariably take advantage of these opportunities, because demand by citizens for safe places to walk and bicycle is high.

Kudos to MoDOT and to Webb City for some really positive progress here.