Preliminary data from a regional survey found nearly 80 percent responded more sidewalks or bike lanes are needed to encourage human mobility.
About 600 people answered a survey from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which is seeking input on non-motorized travel. Some 39 percent said they felt uncomfortable using bike lanes and preferred riding on trails.
The survey is being utilized by Jefferson City and CAMPO to overhaul an expansive plan improving infrastructure and policy for pedestrians and bikers. The survey will remain open until mid-October.
On Thursday, more details of the plan debuted in a public meeting. Around 20 people listened to hired consultants from Crafton Tull discuss the approach and the long-term goals for what is deemed the Capital Area Active Transportation Plan.
At City Hall, oversized poster boards displayed initial statistics from the CAMPO survey, as well as maps of trails or various sidewalk options for cyclists.
The entire plan itself will not be completed until fall of next year, as it seeks to combine other city strategies involving transit, bicycles, sidewalks, the Parks department’s Greenway Master Plan, as well as merge other plans in the region.
CAMPO said the plan addresses all communities in its service area, which include Holts Summit, Jefferson City, St. Martins, Taos, Wardsville, and parts of Cole and Callaway Counties.
The focus is active transportation, otherwise known as a concept that considers human-powered mobility, like walking, running, using a wheelchair or skating.
After guests mingled, Julie Kelso from Crafton Tull shared a presentation.
“People are very enthusiastic about cycling, and that’s great,” she said. “But what we’re really looking to do is accommodate folks who use their bicycles for everyday trips to get back and forth to work or for circulating around the store.”
Several various factors are considered in providing a safe network of non-motorized travel, Kelso said, but they are grouped into two main categories.
“The first is very technical data we can measure and see,” she said. “The second piece is user preference. Where do we want to ride? How do people choose a route? And those are things we can’t measure with data, so we really need your input.”
Based out of Arkansas, Consultants from Crafton Tull will host another round of public meetings seeking input in late November and early December in Jefferson City. This plan is not trying to take anything away from cars, Kelso said.
“Ultimately, the goal is to provide options and provide safe spaces along our corridors for people to have that choice in terms of how they travel,” she said.
The survey can be found here.