Columbia City Council members have agreed to backtrack on previous development plans for Providence Road. Council members voted 5-2 last night to reconsider options after listening to over a dozen concerned citizens.
In November, the council got all parties to come to a consensus and unanimously voted for Option Nine. Option Nine would cost about $3.2 million dollars and includes adding a light at Turner Avenue and Burnam Road and the removal of one at Providence Road and Rollins Road. That also would have involved the possibility of knocking down a few college student rental homes along Providence Road.
Grassland resident Bryan Struchtemeyer says Option Nine is the best bet for the future of Columbia: “If they go ahead with option nine they are preserving the flexibility for future councils and for future needs of the city to make Providence wider where it is narrow, where traffic is dangerous, where pedestrians are at risk, and it’s a road that does so much for the town,” he said. “It’s the only one that goes all the way north to all the way south. It is expensive, but it preserves the opportunity to do the most good for the entire town.”
Another Grassland resident, Ali Price, compared the street to the video game Frogger and says she is disappointed in the city council: “Frogger goes on daily in front of our neighborhood and I'm not exaggerating at all,” she said. “ And so, just this whole, there’s such a lack of political will that it is disheartening and it’s heartbreaking because we have a great solution.”
Council members say they will continue to look at options for Providence Road development, considering their concerns about heavy traffic flow and safety at Providence Road and Rollins Road.