CPD steps up traffic enforcement for holiday season

Officers will increase patrols on busy intersections.

Drivers in Columbia can expect to see greater traffic enforcement along major streets this holiday season, a Columbia Police Department news release stated.

The increased traffic patrol began on Black Friday and will run through Christmas weekend. Officers especially monitored the intersections at and near Stadium and Ash, Worley, Bernadette and I-70 Drive Southwest.

“What we would like to do is every Friday and Saturday, between this past weekend until Christmas from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., is have officers assigned to stadium corridor to switch light cycles and be in the intersection monitoring traffic,” CPD spokeswoman Jessie Haden said.

The traffic enforcement will be modified to accommodate the type of traffic in the area. On Black Friday, CPD collaborated with MoDOT to put up cones directing drivers travelling northbound on Stadium and I-70 to go southbound, which significantly reduced traffic, Haden said.

“There was one accident on Friday, one on Saturday, and, considering the amount of traffic that flows through there compared to other weekends, we’re pleased with how that all worked out,” Haden said. “So that’s the game plan for the next few weekends. The goal is to get the traffic flowing smoothly so it doesn’t back up.”

Every weekend, three to four officers will be stationed in the areas at a time, directing traffic.

“When we don’t have officers there, it gets way backed up and no one can go anywhere, so drivers get pissed off and they get frustrated,” Haden said. “It has a domino effect.”

Haden advises drivers to slow down and give themselves extra time while driving in busy areas.

“Try not to be a Type-A driver,” Haden said. “If you block the intersection or travel down the shoulder, then that’s an accident waiting to happen. I just urge people to really obey those light cycles. We’d rather have you take a little extra time to get where you’re going than to get in a crash.”

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