Columbia City Council Pushes Back Plan for Roundabout Amid Public Opposition

Jun 22, 2016

Credit KBIA

Dozens of frustrated Columbia residents were appeased Monday when the Columbia City Council pushed back discussion on a plan for a new roundabout on the west side of the city.

The proposed roundabout would replace a four-way stop at Fairview Road and Chapel Hill Road.

Dozens of residents turned out at the City Council meeting to criticize the plan. Although many who were there said they were supportive of roundabouts generally, they said this intersection was different.

Some of the factors that were discussed included the intersection’s uneven traffic flow, its spot in an established residential neighborhood, and the preschool that sits right next to the intersection.

Rebecca Scott, the director of Countryside Nursery School on Fairview Road, said she was “concerned about the safety of the children” if a new roundabout were to be put in place.

Council members said the strong turnout by residents was an important factor in their decision.

“If there were a lot of folks in this area who feel very strongly and bring arguments against that kind of traffic improvement – even over the advice of some of the engineers – I think we ought to listen to that,” Ward 3 Council Member Karl Skala said.

Supporters for the roundabout included Boone County Commissioner Karen Miller, who said in a public letter that the roundabout could prevent rear-ending accidents and keep traffic flowing more effectively.

Ward 4 Council Member Ian Thomas, who presides over the intersection, said the roundabout plan would need to have more detailed data on the intersection’s traffic patterns when it was brought up again.

It was not clear exactly when the council would revisit the issue.