Ash Street Improvements Project

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The Public Hearing to discuss the design of the Ash Street Improvements will be held at the Oct. 17 City Council meeting. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 701 E. Broadway.

The Ash Street improvement project was initiated following the passage of a quarter-cent sales tax proposition in August 2015 which allocated funds for capital improvement projects related to street and sidewalk maintenance. The Ash Street improvement project could potentially include bicycle and pedestrian improvements, intersection improvements or a combination of both types of improvements.

The City has contracted with Bartlett and West, an engineering consulting firm, to provide planning and design for the project. The project budget for the improvements is $2,600,000, which includes design, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and construction costs.

The initial interested parties meeting for this project was held on March 8, 2022 and a second interested parties meeting was held on July 26, 2022. Both were open house meetings where concept plans of both intersection improvements and bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Ash Street were available for residents to review. City staff also completed two walk-throughs along Ash Street on April 12 and 30, 2022 to meet with property owners with frontage on Ash Street and other interested citizens.

From the public comments, the bicycle and pedestrian improvements are the most favored, but there was also support for the intersection improvements, and there were comments requesting the City to not make any improvements. In summary, there were a large variety of comments including those related to tree loss, encroachment onto properties from the construction of any sidewalk and/or intersection improvements, making the sidewalks Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, safety for all users, snow removal, and other concerns.

The following summarizes the improvements that may be made to the corridor as part of this project. Not all the improvements can be made due to budget constraints:

  • The pedestrian improvement concept plans include an 8-foot wide sidewalk along the north side of Ash Street to better address the ADA design and to provide a green space between the sidewalk and the curb. The plans also show construction of a 5-foot wide sidewalk along the south side of Ash Street to fill in sidewalk gaps. The pedestrian improvement plans include crosswalks with flashing beacons at the intersection with Redwood Road, Anderson Avenue and Alexander Avenue.
  • The intersection improvement concept plans include either the stop control intersection improvements or the roundabout improvements to be made at the Clinkscales Road and West Ash Street intersection, the West Boulevard North and West Ash Street intersection, and/or at the North Garth Avenue and West Ash Street intersections. Either type of intersection improvement would require widening the intersection.

It is recommended to move forward with the pedestrian and bicycle improvements, as these types of improvements were favored during the interested parties meetings and project walkthroughs.

The next step will be a public hearing held during the Oct. 17 City Council meeting. At the public hearing, staff will present the proposed design concepts and the public will be given the chance to comment on the project. Council will then discuss the project and provide guidance to staff on how to move forward with final design for the project.

The Public Hearing to discuss the design of the Ash Street Improvements will be held at the Oct. 17 City Council meeting. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 701 E. Broadway.

The Ash Street improvement project was initiated following the passage of a quarter-cent sales tax proposition in August 2015 which allocated funds for capital improvement projects related to street and sidewalk maintenance. The Ash Street improvement project could potentially include bicycle and pedestrian improvements, intersection improvements or a combination of both types of improvements.

The City has contracted with Bartlett and West, an engineering consulting firm, to provide planning and design for the project. The project budget for the improvements is $2,600,000, which includes design, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and construction costs.

The initial interested parties meeting for this project was held on March 8, 2022 and a second interested parties meeting was held on July 26, 2022. Both were open house meetings where concept plans of both intersection improvements and bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Ash Street were available for residents to review. City staff also completed two walk-throughs along Ash Street on April 12 and 30, 2022 to meet with property owners with frontage on Ash Street and other interested citizens.

From the public comments, the bicycle and pedestrian improvements are the most favored, but there was also support for the intersection improvements, and there were comments requesting the City to not make any improvements. In summary, there were a large variety of comments including those related to tree loss, encroachment onto properties from the construction of any sidewalk and/or intersection improvements, making the sidewalks Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, safety for all users, snow removal, and other concerns.

The following summarizes the improvements that may be made to the corridor as part of this project. Not all the improvements can be made due to budget constraints:

  • The pedestrian improvement concept plans include an 8-foot wide sidewalk along the north side of Ash Street to better address the ADA design and to provide a green space between the sidewalk and the curb. The plans also show construction of a 5-foot wide sidewalk along the south side of Ash Street to fill in sidewalk gaps. The pedestrian improvement plans include crosswalks with flashing beacons at the intersection with Redwood Road, Anderson Avenue and Alexander Avenue.
  • The intersection improvement concept plans include either the stop control intersection improvements or the roundabout improvements to be made at the Clinkscales Road and West Ash Street intersection, the West Boulevard North and West Ash Street intersection, and/or at the North Garth Avenue and West Ash Street intersections. Either type of intersection improvement would require widening the intersection.

It is recommended to move forward with the pedestrian and bicycle improvements, as these types of improvements were favored during the interested parties meetings and project walkthroughs.

The next step will be a public hearing held during the Oct. 17 City Council meeting. At the public hearing, staff will present the proposed design concepts and the public will be given the chance to comment on the project. Council will then discuss the project and provide guidance to staff on how to move forward with final design for the project.

Please leave us a comment!

Please leave your thoughts regarding the Ash Street improvements project below. If you have already provided your comments via the comment form or by email, it is not necessary to tell us your opinion again. That is, unless you want to.

The Ash Street improvements project is the first street project that Public Works is presenting to the community through the brand-new Be Heard Como. We look forward to using Be Heard Como as one of the key ways that we hear from and communicate with residents in the future. Keep in mind that we will still remain committed to continuing to meet with residents via in-person interested parties meetings to hear your concerns.

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I was very disappointed to see round-a-bouts presented at the second meeting. The traffic study presented during the first meeting eliminated the need for them.

Extending the project to Providence was a positive change. However, the 8-ft "pedway" or "side-path" as an alternate to a westbound bike lane is still very dangerous. On paved surfaces, cyclists can travel 10-25mph easily. If you were to insert ASHTO visibility triangles at each driveway for cyclists traveling 10mph, it would be obvious that it is not safe and potentially a liability hazard for the city.

I would strongly recommend cost cutting the project to simple improvements as complete 5-ft sidewalks on both the south and north side of Ash Street, with 2-3 feet of landscape buffer. The current north sidewalk is only 4-ft in most places, so the extra 12 inches would be a great improvement. Also keep and complete 5-ft bike lanes on both sides of Ash Street. Savings for the reduced and more balanced scope might allow funds for improved storm water infrastructure and/or LED street lighting at intersections.

These improvements will be well received and used.

MBoehner about 2 months ago

Thanks to the City of Columbia Public Works for providing this forum. I am generally a fan of SINGLE LANE roundabouts and would like to see the proposed roundabout happen at Ash and Clinkscales. I live on Gary St and am a frequent pedestrian, biker, and driver through this intersection. I went to see the display at the ARC in March and I was pleased to learn that the mid-lane island was 6 feet in length. That's enough room for a bike, stroller, or power wheelchair.
As a pedestrian or biker, I will feel more confident crossing the proposed roundabout because you only have to look in one direction at a time 1) to your left to get to the island, 2) to your right, before leaving the island.
In contrast, the current 4-way stop requires the pedestrian to look to the left, ahead, to the right, and to the rear, all at the same time before leaving the safety of the sidewalk. I think high-traffic 4-way stop are hazardous (we've had 2 fender benders at that intersection - the only accidents we've had in town).
p.s. tangent issue: please stop planting any vegetation in the center of any roundabout. Having clear, unobstructed, 270 degree visibility is necessary for safe entry.

proste 2 months ago

Also reading Dawn Zeterberg and JackieS’s comments from about 2 months ago. The situation with holes in the bike lanes along Ash due to utility work has not improved much. There appear to be more holes now since utility work (by Ameren?) has been on going through the summer. Some holes have recently been filled with what seems like a temporary asphalt fill, but the fill is extremely uneven. Others still remain with gravel filling and there is a large steel plate that has been there for at least a month. I have damaged bike wheels on these in the past I’m not surprised to hear that these conditions would be a significant issue for wheelchair users. There are many members of our community who do use the bike lanes on Ash for this purpose. We need to ensure that streets and sidewalks are safe for all who use them regardless of their mode of transportation.

ValerieCarroll 2 months ago

Thank you again for the many opportunities to discuss and provide feedback. A few questions.
1) Could the versions of the previous concept diagrams that were presented at the first Interested Parties meeting also be uploaded so that we can see how the plan has evolved. I’m now seeing only the most recent concept diagrams on the CIP page as well.
2) will the addition of the green space between the curb and the 8 ft pedestrian path on the north side require the path to be built closer to the existing homes. (Take up more of what was front yard space)?
3) does the current plan still narrow the width of the driving lanes between Park and Redwood? Could the road width at a few key points be marked on the concept diagrams?
4) Is a marked crosswalk with a pedestrian island planned for the intersection at Park/First and Ash Street?

ValerieCarroll 2 months ago

I'm a big fan of the roundabouts at these intersections. Traffic is always heavy especially at Clinkscales and Ash and I don't see that it would be a problem for pedestrians.

ewinutg 2 months ago

Roundabouts are fantastic.

They do not confuse pedestrians, nor are they complicated for traffic. If these are truly issue for you, as a person when encountering a roundabout, you just need some practice. Circles are a very easy shape.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46mOPz3rhHs here is a great tutorial on using a roundabout

joedino 2 months ago

Does the 8 ft multipurpose sidewalk contain a bike lane within it? The roundabout intersections look difficult for pedestrians to navigate. Therefore, I do NOT favor the roundabouts.

PamM 2 months ago

can the documents have explanations....like what will happen at ash/.west....no 4 way stops? then what?
are there only to be painted crosswalks where there are striped lines at interesections? Are there NO roundabouts in the revised newest plans?
having a document for the public that does not have a key to explain what different symbols, etc mean is rather useless.

carolrogers 3 months ago

Hello. I see the comments re: the holes in the street and have been informed of your response. I am finding the response inadequate. If there are not useable sidewalks for persons with disabilities, and the bike lane is their only option for relatively safe mobility throughout the community, making those roadways impassable is infringing on their rights for public accessibility. I would ask that if you have not already, that you reach out to the City's ADA Coordinator, Adam Kruse, for his input on how to make sure this does not continue, is not repeated and is immediately corrected. I would also invite you to attend the City's Disabilities Commission meeting scheduled the 2nd Thursday of each month, beginning at 3:00pm in the Council Chambers. Please do provide an update from the responsible parties when this issue has been resolved. Thank you.

JacqueS 4 months ago

To Dawn Zeterberg - I have sent you an email about the hole issue.

siansays - Thank you for your comment. A roundabout is only one of the possible designs that may be implemented. The engineering team has been made aware of your feedback and I appreciate your time in leaving it.

john.ogan 4 months ago

Another roundabout? Please leave the intersection of W Ash and Clinkscales alone!! Roundabouts cause confusion and bumper accidents. That would be a huge mess and it might affect my address.

siansays 4 months ago

I live on Hunt and travel on the bike lanes in my wheelchair. When the city dig 4x4 holes in the bike lanes it effect me big time. Please make sure they cover them quickly and smooth! I travel the bike lanes because the sidewalks are very bad shape!

Dawn Zeterberg 4 months ago

Thank you for allowing this opportunity for the citizenry to leave their thoughts on important issues.I live on ash street and am invested in the ash street improvements project.

I have long thought the sidewalks are poor and inconsistent block-to-block all along ash. At the least, sidewalks should be on both sides of the street (level and assessable for the disabled). I don’t really see the need or added benefit of a multi-use sidewalk ( maybe I could be convinced otherwise). My biggest concern is for the trees. I really don’t want to see any established trees cut down and replaced with concrete. Hopefully any and all healthy trees can be protected, take priority and be grandfathered in.

I have a hard time seeing roundabouts working except at Clinkscales. I think the footprint is too large for the other intersections. The enhanced stops sound like a better option.

That’s all I can think of for now :)
James

Dietzelhoff 6 months ago
Page last updated: 20 Sep 2022, 05:11 PM