Merle Brockhoff of Kansas City said he is impressed with some of the changes made recently at Interstate 29, Northwest Prairie View Road and Northwest 64th Street.
“A really lovely job of adding a pedestrian walkway,” he said, “but as a person who frequently uses that intersection, I have noted a potential problem that has me scratching my head.”
Sometimes, westbound traffic gets a turn arrow to get on the southbound I-29 ramp, but when there is a solid green light, drivers are never quite sure whether the oncoming eastbound traffic will be stopped at the light or not. Sometimes eastbound drivers have a red light, but sometimes both directions get the green, and those turning left must yield.
“I have watched as confused motorists started, stopped, hesitated and careened quickly through the light when the eastbound traffic was held waiting, but having no way of knowing when that oncoming traffic would be let loose,” said Brockhoff, who has seen near-collisions there.
“It seems to me it should be a left-turn green arrow and a left-turn red arrow at that location to keep people from making a fatal mistake.”
Simply put, the signal system is outgunned. A fix is in the works, but unfortunately it can’t happen right away.
“During the construction project, we found out that our existing equipment could not handle everything being added,” said Erin C. Ralovo, senior traffic studies specialist at the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Ralovo said Kansas City is working to realign Prairie View so it connects to Northwest 64th at North Chatham Avenue to the west of its current location. That will give traffic more room to maneuver.
“Once this work is complete, the existing equipment that runs the traffic signals in the area will be updated to handle the additional movements,” Ralovo said. “We understand your concern and will find the best way to resolve the situation once Prairie View is reconstructed.”
The Watchdog asked Kansas City when Prairie View might be relocated, but after a couple of months no answer was forthcoming. If this were a bone he was waiting for, the Dog would have bitten someone’s hand by now.
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