Traffic pattern changed under Bartle Hall, but signals didn’t

05/10/2014 11:06 PM

05/10/2014 11:07 PM

The problem

When Kansas City made 14th Street a two-way street in the Bartle Hall tunnel east of Broadway, it left behind traffic signals that commuter Tim Becker said were “inviting a head-on collision for out-of-town visitors.”

Three lanes of drivers on 14th approaching Bartle Hall from the west would see four signal heads at Broadway near the top of the tunnel. Unfortunately, the far-left signal remained above a lane that carries oncoming traffic.

“The city needs to immediately reduce to three lights, with the north light being a left-turn-only arrow,” said Becker, a lawyer who works downtown.

He saw eastbound drivers almost go under Bartle, notice the oncoming traffic in their lane and hang a quick left at the last minute.

The answer

Kansas City has since modified the signals along the lines that Becker suggested.

Instead of four signal heads, there are now three. The left signal has a flashing yellow arrow, along with a sign, advising those turning left to yield on the flashing arrow.

A flashing yellow arrow also was installed for westbound drivers coming out of the tunnel. They cannot go straight on 14th, because it’s one-way the other direction west of Broadway.

The Watchdog says many traffic suggestions he receives fall into the “wouldn’t it be nice?” category. With this one, lives and property could have been at stake.

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