Kansas City's efforts to get rid of old traffic signals and save money may have back fired. Residents in the third district are voicing concerns about driver and pedestrian safety.
Drive through the third district, and several traffic signals are flashing red, with stop signs close by. In October, the city changed 37 intersections from traffic light to stop sign intersections. It was a change that upset some residents in the district.
"We returned six signals to full function earlier this week," said Sean Demory, the public information officer for the city's Public Works Department.
The signals that were returned to full function were those that received the most attention from concerned citizens after stop signs were installed. Stephanie Smith, executive director of the YMCA on Linwood Blvd., was among the concerned citizens.
"We are really excited that the city has decided to make a different choice. In regards to this intersection in particular, there has been times when we have seen collisions. We want to make sure everyone in this community is safe," Smith said.
Safety was the number one complaint from neighbors after the signals were turned off, so the city agreed to turn traffic signals back on at six intersections, despite the city's data.
"We're seeing a reduction in accidents across the 37 signals that were removed. We're seeing a 17 percent reduction," Demory added.
The Public Works Department decided to host community discussions to answer questions and to dispel misconceptions about the stop signs.
The first meeting with be held at 6 p.m. on June 24 at the Gregg Klice Community Center.