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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Commissioners discuss traffic safety Approve installation of new signs

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  • After receiving complaints about two potentially hazardous intersections in Harvey County, staff recommended the installation of stop signs. Although there have not been any serious accidents recently at the two locations, Jim Meier, county Road and Bridge superintendent, said he'd rather take action before something bad happens.
    "That's not how you want to go about it, after the fact," he said. "... I'm hoping this is being proactive and preemptive."
    The first intersection is at Southeast 24th and South Oliver, Newton Township. Meier said he received a complaint from a concerned citizen about a lack of visibility at the intersection, due in part to cedar trees growing on private property. The roadway also happens to be a school bus route.
    Meier is concerned that if people travel 55 mph down the road, they won't have enough time and space to see a hazard and stop.
    "That does not give you much of a chance," he said.
    Even if the trees were cut down, Meier still believes there would be a safety issue.
    "Removing the trees will not remove the problem," he said.
    Meier also received a complaint about an intersection at Southwest 72nd and South Emma Creek Road, Sedgwick Township. Although the intersection is currently controlled by yield signs, Meier does not believe they are adequate. Large trees, brush and low road elevations impact the visibility.
    The person filing the complaint said visibility was very limited for northbound, eastbound and westbound traffic; a vehicle needs to virtually stop at the intersection in order to proceed safely.
    Commissioners approved the installation of the new signs and also asked the Road and Bridge department to notify the townships and property owners one mile in each direction from the intersection.
    "I think something needs to be done," Commissioner Randy Hague said. "... It's a safety issue."
     

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