Archive for Wednesday, June 6, 2001

KDOT to upgrade light on highway

June 6, 2001

By Joshua Roberts, Basehor Sentinel

The Kansas Department of Transportation is taking steps to prevent additional accidents at the intersection of 155th Street and U.S. Highway 24-40.

Within two or three months, a left-hand turn signal will be installed at the intersection.

"There have been a number of accidents along that intersection," said Paul Gripka of the transportation department. "I live in Tonganoxie and I see (the intersection) everyday. We are going to do what we can to prevent those accidents."

Basehor Police Chief Vince Weston said the police department has worked several traffic accidents at the intersection.

"The dangers of that intersection is that there is eastbound traffic turning north on 155th Street, crossing west-bound lanes without a guarded arrow," Weston said.

Some residents have asked the Basehor Police Department to take action, but the state has jurisdiction, Weston said.

He said some traffic accidents are caused by drivers attempting to go through a yellow light.

"When that light turns amber, the tendency is not to lock up the brakes and skid through the intersection, but to step on it, and try and make the light," Weston said. "This makes for a dangerous situation. That possibly could be a contributing factor."

After a fatal accident several weeks ago at the intersection of 158th and 24-40, KDOT officials said it's possible the department will conduct a traffic study at the intersection to determine whether to place a light there.

The accident occurred when a school bus that was traveling west on U.S. Highway 24-40 collided with a car that was traveling east. The accident occurred as the bus tried to left onto 158th Street. A 19-year-old Lawrence woman, who was a St. Mary College student, died in the accident.

KDOT officials said having two stoplights so close together on a highway is rare.

"It is not something we have planned, but I would think it is something we will look into for the future," Gripka said.

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