Driving around Brookside last week, you may have noticed this sign at two key intersections: Gregory Blvd at Main St and Meyer at Oak. The stop signs will be removed, and the stop lights will be reactived and in use as of August 7.
Last October, KCMO abruptly turned off stop lights at several key intersections around the city, including at these cross streets in Brookside (plus Main at Meyer and Wornall at 59th St.)
Residents howled at the changes, because they were not informed of the plans and several of these intersections are near schools. KCMO says it is too costly to operate these outdated signals and doesn’t have the money to replace them. Stop signs, they say, will cause traffic to slow down and stop accordingly, plus save money.
So now we see the posted signs saying ‘we listened’ and the lights are coming back on. I’m in favor of the change back to working signals. The intersection of Main and Gregory gets backed up during rush hour and the Meyer/Oak intersection is a major crosswalk for children attending St Peter’s School. Meyer and Main, an intersection I cross several times a day, seems to be working OK with the stop signs.
But what about the inactive light at 59th and Wornall? This one should be turned back on too. The lights have been covered with fabric, and there is not even a stop sign on Wornall. This intersection is very difficult to cross (east-west) without a working light, especially during rush hour. I have called the KCMO Public Works department twice and left messages to find out their plans–no call back yet. (As a side note, have you noticed there are no published phone numbers on the website for the various city departments? Most of the pages list the Action Center number. Good luck trying to reach a human if you don’t have his/her specific direct line!). This light was turned off several months ago, and something needs to be done–either reinstate the signal or install a four way stop. I prefer the signal. A four way stop would cause lengthy car backups along Wornall.
The good news is we are getting the two working signals back in Brookside, although the City has ‘no money’ to keep them operating. They are ‘outdated’ and expensive to replace. As a resident, I am weary of hearing how the city has ‘no money’ to do something as basic as public safety regarding traffic lights. Besides the usual taxes, we pay an extra 1% earnings tax. Where does the money go? (I think I know…but won’t say here!) . I am grateful the lights will be turned back on, and I’m assuming someone found the money to keep them operating for now.
Now, please let us know what’s happening with the light at 59th and Wornall. I’ll keep leaving messages for an answer…