Traffic Alert: Drivers need to watch for new median along Oak Street on UMKC Campus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A change to the road cutting through the UMKC Campus is catching some drivers by surprise, and has already caused costly damage to some cars.

The university installed a new raised pedestrian median at the crosswalk on Oak and 50th Streets last week.

It was built for safety, but because it's unmarked, many drivers are running right over it. But that's about to change, thanks to some investigating by Mitch Weber.
 
Robert Simmons, associate vice chancellor at UMKC, said that any traffic changes in an area would be met with some resistance because people are creatures of habit.
 
But he checked out the median for himself after we contacted him.
 
"One of the tire marks goes right through the center of the median, so that must have been quite a shock," Simmons said.
 
The median was built as part of the new UMKC Parking Structure Project. It was even reviewed and approved through Kansas City's Public Works Department.
 
"Rather than a pedestrian having to step off of one curb and have three or four lanes of traffic to get across like that old game Frogger, it gives them a midpoint where they can rest, if you will; they are in a more protective safe environment," Simmons explained.
 
He cited a traffic study as the main reason the median was considered in the first place.
 
"It just takes a period of time for people to become accustomed to something new being in place there,"  Simmons said.
 
But drivers will soon get some help adjusting. The contractor who built the raised median told UMKC officials they will place traffic cones around it until they finish marking it.
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