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Hyde Park neighbors ask for speed deterrence on 39th Street after deadly crash

39th street crashes.png
Posted at 8:32 PM, Sep 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-06 23:31:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some neighbors who live near Hyde Park in Kansas City, Missouri, believe 39th Street isn’t meant for four lanes of traffic – especially after a deadly crash Monday morning.

“39th Street is a major thoroughfare east and west,” said Barbara Loots, who lives in the area. “The speed limit is 30 miles per hour, but nobody goes 30 mph.”

Kevin Kincaid, who lives across from Loots on 39th Street, has been in his home for about five years and said the street has "always been insane."

There's also frequent speeding and crashes, according to Loots. They said late Sunday night was one of those nights.

“They taped off the road with yellow tape, which they hardly ever do,” Kincaid said.

A KCPD crash report states that a motorcycle driver was killed, and his passenger injured, after crashing into a pickup truck before 1 a.m.

Police said the driver was speeding and didn’t have a helmet or headlights on.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed legislation into law last July that motorcyclists who are at least 26 years old are no longer required to wear a helmet. Just months later, a 64-year-old man who was not wearing a helmet died over Labor Day weekend in 2020 in what authorities said was the first motorcycle fatality in KCMO that involved a driver not wearing a helmet since the change.

Neighbors in the area said they’ve seen similar crashes in the past.

“This is clearly a problem with 39th,” Kincaid said. “I’ve seen three flipped cars. Right here, one car slammed into this stair bank, and the other car hit this pole out here and flipped as well. There’s always tons of debris leftover from these wrecks and hardly ever gets cleaned up. I clean up a lot on this street.”

Others like Loots have awoken in the middle of the night "to the sound of crashing metal."

“I know what it is the minute I hear it and I fly to the window and throw up the sash,” Loots said. “They replaced two telephone poles here about three months ago.”

Often homeowners will call for help, or step up themselves. Kincaid has helped nearly a dozen people change their tires.

“They’ll slash both of the sidewalls of their tires coming up the hill, and the road narrows but everyone is flying up the hill faster than 35 mph," he said, "and they have nowhere to go so it ends up hitting the side of the concrete.”

At this point, Loots and Kincaid said, the people who live in Hyde Park are ready for some help, too.

“It would be nice to maybe fix the road or put a sign there that says the road narrows,” Kincaid said.

“Slow down on 39th Street, save your life,” Loots said.

KCPD said their traffic department will often go out and look into problem areas, people just need to submit complaints.