The Watchdog

Driver finds the timing of traffic lights ‘terrible’ on a stretch of Barry Road

The problem

The Watchdog digs synchronicity.

Michael Grabowski of Kansas City, North, does too — at least when it comes to traffic signals.

Grabowski told The Dog about stretches of Barry Road west of U.S. 169 and east of Interstate 29 whose traffic signal timing was “terrible.”

“If you drive the speed limit, you are able to stop at almost every light,” he said.

He usually drives the stretch west of U.S. 169 around 11 a.m. on weekdays, but he said he had seen no other pattern regarding time of day or signals at specific streets intersecting with Barry Road.

The solution (sort of)

Kansas City Public Works Department spokesman Sean Demory checked with the Mid-America Regional Council, which runs Operation Green Light (OGL), a signal-timing system designed to improve traffic flow and cut emissions on major routes.

“Barry Road is only part of Operation Green Light in that we have the interchange around I-29,” said Ray Webb, MARC’s manager of traffic operations. “The city handles it from there to 169.”

MARC wanted specific information on the times of day, days of the week, direction of travel and signals where Grabowski faced his signal-timing woes, Demory said.

“Barry from Congress (Avenue) to Green Hills (Road) is part of OGL,” MARC said in an email. “The signals by 169 are not. Congress to Waukomis is coordinated as of last winter and should flow pretty well. … Green Hills is too far away from the other signals west of it for coordination to be a benefit.

“… There are some rough parts by Roanridge (Road) and I-29 and Prairie View (Road) which all have very heavy side-street traffic, which limits our ability to provide smooth flow through the (east-west) corridor.”

The Dog thinks Grabowski might find more solace listening to “Synchronicity” by The Police than looking for it on Barry Road.

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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