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Crashes plague Northland intersection despite safety steps

Cookingham and Woodland Intersection.png
Posted at 10:14 PM, Apr 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-11 23:38:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A driver who was critically injured at a Northland intersection on Easter Sunday remains hospitalized one week later, his family said. The intersection, Northeast Cookingham Drive and North Woodland Avenue, is one residents said has a history of reoccurring crashes.

"I just don't pay much attention to it anymore," Roberta Roberson, who lives near the intersection, said. "Because there's so many times I don't know, I don't know if they can even stop it."

Neighbors rallied to have city leaders to install a $6,000 flashing light last year, along with the stop signs already at the intersection.

However, last Sunday, police said a teen driver heading south on Woodland Avenue blew through the intersection, hitting a pizza delivery driver who was traveling west on Northeast Cookingham Drive. That delivery driver remains in critical condition.

"People just don't pay attention," Roberson said.

Officers responded to 10 crashes at the intersection in 2020, according to KCPD, and two resulted in injuries.

"They just think because it's an open highway, I guess, that they can just go as fast as they want to," Roberson said.

The numbers back it up -- nine of the 11 tickets KCPD issued during enforcement last year were for speeding.

Some neighbors would like to see a roundabout installed at the intersection to make it safer for drivers. But lawmakers said it might take a few years for that to happen.

"We’re probably talking two years because you have to do engineering design, traffic design, traffic study, and then you'd have to go through the process of designing it and then issuing a request for bids," said Dan Fowler, a Kansas City, Missouri, councilman who represents District 2.

Fowler also said he's seeing increasing data that shows roundabouts reduce crashes because of their design.

"But there’s no one size fits all solution to traffic accidents," Fowler said.

Roberson just wishes there weren't so many accidents, and that people would slow down.

"But whether that's going to happen or not, I don't know," Roberson said.