The Watchdog

June 18, 2014

Squirrelly signal gets straightened out in Independence

David Thompson of Independence encountered a strange traffic signal at Missouri 291 and 32nd Street. Upon turning south onto the highway from Hidden Valley Road, Thompson encountered a red light at 32nd, even when there was no cross traffic to activate it.

The problem

Besides helping Kansas City Star readers solve their problems, the Watchdog has one other mission in life: pouncing on squirrels.

But, dang, he’s never caught one.

The best he can do is to run down squirrelly traffic signals like the one Independence resident David Thompson encountered at Missouri 291 and 32nd Street.

Upon turning south onto the highway from Hidden Valley Road, Thompson encountered a red light at 32nd, even when there was no cross traffic to activate it.

“No matter how much I bark at the light, it still does this,” said Thompson.

Lately he noticed the same problem hindering northbound traffic.

The answer

Mission accomplished, David.

The handsome hound had to bark only once at the Missouri Department of Transportation, whose crews investigated the Independence intersection and resolved the problem in the field.

However, senior traffic studies specialist Erin Ralovo said the agency is working to determine if equipment upgrades are needed to prevent the signal from going squirrely again.

The Watchdog says God knew what he was doing when he created canines and put squirrels on earth solely for their pleasure.

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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