Once Gabrielle Beam drops her kindergarten pup at school in Prairie Village, she would like to get downtown as quickly as possible in the morning.
“One way we are considering is Roe (Boulevard) to I-35, but many times when I have taken it in the morning, I will get a red light at every intersection,” said Beam, who lives in Mission Hills. “I don’t understand why the lights wouldn’t be better synched through that area for gas savings.”
She asked the Watchdog to bark at Roeland Park on her behalf.
The handsome hound did just that and learned that for budgetary reasons, Roeland Park is not part of Operation Green Light, a regional effort to synchronize traffic signals along major routes.
But that doesn’t mean the city hasn’t tackled the problem.
After receiving a lot of complaints about too many red lights on Roe, the city synchronized the signals last year, said Jose Leon, the director of public works.
Leon said he purposely drives on Roe in the morning and evening rush hours and hasn’t seen the problems that Beam encountered. Often he gets green lights all the way.
“At this time, we do feel the timing is very functional,” he said.
While in the neighborhood, the Watchdog took the opportunity to learn about John Roe, the city’s namesake.
JocoHistory.org says Roe was an Irish immigrant who bought 270 acres in that area in the early 1880s. Sadly, his large Victorian house was razed in the late 1950s for the Roe interchange to what is now Shawnee Mission Parkway.
Do you have a problem or a question about a public issue? Write to the Watchdog in care of The Kansas City Star, Newsroom, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, phone number and city of residence.