A Watchdog update
There was nothing roundabout about the opinions generated by Sue Sommer’s concern about high native grass on a traffic circle at Northwest 72nd Street and Waukomis Drive.
From George Ferris of Kansas City, North: “I use the traffic circle daily in my car and on my motorcycle. You CANNOT see oncoming traffic because of the tall prairie dropseed grass.”
He said the city spent millions to improve Waukomis and then planted tall grass “that creates an unsafe traffic hazard for the citizens of KC.”
But Harry Sievers pronounced himself satisfied with conditions there. He said that after he complained, crews replaced native grass with brick in the small triangle-shaped medians at the approaches to the roundabout.
“It made all the difference,” he said. “There is no problem seeing oncoming traffic in the circle.”
Sievers blames any difficulty on drivers who refuse to yield to vehicles already in the roundabout.
At any rate, the city promised to look at the roundabout more closely. After being apprised of Ferris’ opinion, Kansas City Public Works sent its design engineer there.
Department spokesman Sean Demory reports that with eight feet of sod on the rim of the roundabout, the visibility is sufficient, even if drivers enter at 20 mph, just above the 15 mph limit.
“More importantly, the grass serves an important purpose, as it keeps oncoming headlights from blinding drivers and provides a safer obstacle than a more durable barrier.”
The Watchdog says the circles he travels in consist mostly of individuals you wouldn’t want your daughter to date.
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