Kansas City puts brakes on traffic signal decisions

07/11/2013 6:09 PM

07/11/2013 6:31 PM

The effort to get some traffic signals turned back on in Kansas City hit a speed bump Thursday.

Two members of a City Council committee raised doubts about a resolution that would restore 23 of the 37 traffic signals, and the resolution will hold for at least another week.

The city has felt pressure from some members of the public, who dislike the four-way stops that have replaced those traffic signals, saying the signals are actually safer for their neighborhoods.

The city originally turned the signals off because they were no longer needed under federal criteria and were outdated –– and replacing them would take funds the city just doesn’t have, officials said. Those intersections were operating 1940s-era equipment, they said.

If the city decides to reinstate the traffic signals, public works officials said they need to run at least 1970s equipment, which could cost about $1 million per intersection.

A previous draft of the resolution called only for 16 intersections in the council’s 3rd District to be turned back on. But after complaints from school officials and others, the resolution added seven more lights.

It could see more changes in the near future.

Councilwoman Cindy Circo said the city needs to explore more options.

“This city has great infrastructure needs, with limited money,” Circo said.

The committee will meet again next Thursday.


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