Kansas City plan to switch traffic lights for stop signs at some intersections in 'holding pattern'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It has been weeks since dozens of traffic lights in Kansas City changed to stop signs. Complaints drove city officials to put the brakes on the project.

The traffic signals at 37 intersections suddenly changed to two-way and four-way stops, more than half of them are in the 3rd District.

After a mountain of complaints, 3rd District council member Jermaine Reed got a last-minute resolution passed to stop this project. The community now has a 60-day holding pattern to weigh in on these intersections.

Public works official Sean Demeri said the city changed these particular traffic lights because traffic flow at these intersections is much lighter than what it used to be. A lot more drivers now take roads like 71 Hwy and I-435. The changes, Demeri claimed, make them safer.

But some drivers say the intersections are more dangerous because other drivers blow through the stop signs.

Reed admits this "holding pattern" is considered damage control. He and other city officials are apologizing for residents not getting the warning they deserved for this major change.

"A study is a study," Reed said. "But when you have people who will work and play every day in these particular areas, that's where the rubber really meets the road because they live it."

"We're exploring all options," Demeri noted. "We're looking at as many ways as possible to make this work with the community and make this work in a way that is as organic and seamless as possible."

The city is still developing a feedback system for community input on the project. Also, while there have only been 37 intersections changed son far, future phases of the project could include up to 20 intersections  stretching from south Kansas City to the Northland that could be changed..

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