Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Task force identifies solutions to reduce crashes on 152 Highway


After months of study, a task force has come up with solutions to reduce crashes in the most accident-prone area of Kansas City.

The Reducing Accidents on Highway 152 Task Force looked at the area of the 152 Corridor from Flintlock Road to Highway 291. Last year, two intersections in this corridor ranked No. 1 (152 and N. Flintlock) and No. 3 (152 and N. Church Road) in the top five crash locations in Kansas City.

The task force, convened by Kansas City Police, included police and city leaders from Kansas City and Liberty, the Liberty School District (school buses travel the corridor 100 times daily), business representatives, the Missouri Department of Transportation and concerned citizens.

“We needed to get the stakeholders in the places affected by this together at one table to identify the problem and look at solutions from every angle,” said Major Rich Lockhart of the Shoal Creek Patrol Division.

Liberty City Councilman Jeff Watt said the work of the task force benefits both Liberty and Kansas City by highlighting the issues faced by drivers in the northeast part of the Kansas City metro area.

“With over 60,000 people living on either side of the highway, everyone benefits in these efforts,” Watt said.

The task force began meeting in March 2011 and learned more than 30,000 vehicles travel the corridor every day. From Jan. 1, 2010, to March 15, 2011, 88 crashes occurred just in the area of N. Flintlock and N. Church. Twenty-five of those crashes involved injuries, and 62 were rear-end collisions.

The report states the solution that will have the greatest effect is the “Flintlock Flyover.” This flyover would take at least 7,500 cars a day from the 152 corridor by diverting traffic from Highway 152 and Flintlock south and crossing over Interstate 35, connecting on the east-side of I-35 near Pleasant Valley Road.

Kansas City Councilman Scott Wagner said the flyover idea had been around before, but it’s received new momentum with the task force’s work.

“MoDOT, Liberty and Kansas City are working together to get that done,” Wagner said. “The task force brought forward why it was needed in the first place and reinforced the reason to move forward.”

Other solutions the task force identified include improvements to the I-35 overpass, improvements to the Highway 291/I-35 interchange, reducing the speed limit on eastbound 152 at Shoal Creek Parkway, rumble strips and more. Click to see the entire report