Properly so, Johnson County’s elected officials are pressing state officials to take action that would protect lives along Kansas 10, which connects the county to Lawrence.
However, the solution preferred by some County Commission members — installing cable barriers along the highway — is not supported by Kansas Department of Transportation officials at this time. That’s unfortunate.
The barriers have been installed on Kansas City area roadways, especially on the Missouri side.
Studies show they help prevent deadly crossover accidents and save lives, but they are not universally loved. Motorcyclists, for example, say the barriers are especially dangerous to them.
On a more positive note, state officials said they would try to get additional money to ramp up increased enforcement of the speed limit along K-10. And a safe-driving ad campaign might be possible, too.
Both efforts make sense, and it would be great if they could prompt big changes. As The Star reported last week, the median speed on K-10 is 79 miles an hour, or almost 10 miles an hour over the posted speed limit on the highway in much of the county.
Notably, previous anti-speeding programs on K-10 have failed to prompt drivers to slow down. And without the threat of heavy fines or saturated policing, motorists likely are not going to follow the law in the future, either.
Johnson County officials said they could try to look for funds from other sources to help the state pay to install the barriers. That’s reasonable. Eventually, the state and county need to work out an agreement that allows the barriers to be built and to start saving more lives.