A lot of barking about a south Kansas City intersection

08/23/2014 8:09 PM

08/23/2014 8:09 PM

The problem

A pack of you have been howling about changes at Wornall and Red Bridge roads in south Kansas City.

Previously, both northbound lanes continued across Red Bridge and the inside lane doubled as a left-turn lane. Now, the inside lane is just for left turns and only the outside lane proceeds north across the intersection.

“Unfortunately, the only indication of this change was an easily missed sign placed about a half a block south of the intersection,” said Linda Stewart of Leawood.

The city, she said, made only a feeble effort to obscure the straight-ahead arrow in the left lane, and she doesn’t see a left-turn arrow.

She’s seen motorists continuing to go north from both lanes.

“The poor preparation and notification of the change may only lead to continued confusion and accidents for some time,” she said.

The Dog heard similar complaints from Kansas City residents Ed Cash and Steve and Pat Coleman.

The answer

When the Watchdog wants answers about Kansas City roadways, he usually gives a friendly growl to public works spokesman Sean Demory, who said the intersection had been a challenge for drivers wanting to go left.

That’s why it was changed.

After citizen input and public discussion at the June 14 meeting of the South Kansas City Alliance, the city decided to create the left-turn-only lane to make turning easier and safer, Demory said. Within days, the intersection was re-striped.

But the striping faded, Demory said, making it difficult for drivers to know what’s going on. He wasn’t sure why but noted that rain fell shortly after the paint was applied.

“Our short-line striping crew is aware of this need and it’s on their schedule to re-stripe as quickly as possible,” Demory said.

Pick a dry day, sayeth the Watchdog.

Do you have a problem or a question about a public issue? Write to the Watchdog, The Kansas City Star, Newsroom, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108, or send email to watchdog@kcstar.com. Include your name, phone number and city of residence.

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