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Midtown road improvements, delayed nearly 1 year, have begun

41 Action News query spurs action, resident says
Delineators at Armour and Charlotte
Posted at 9:28 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 23:38:33-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Getting onto Armour Boulevard from a side street is tricky. Time and again, drivers roll out past the stop sign to make sure the road is clear. People who live in the area have said the situation got dicey when protected bike lanes went up along the corridor.

"You hear the squealing tires and then you wait for the thud that follows," Dodie Jacobi, a midtown KCMO resident said. "And I run out with bottles of water. I mean, I have a whole protocol and so do my neighbors."

For almost two years, 41 Action News has highlighted their concerns and the city's solutions.

RELATED: Citizens concerned over Armour Blvd. blind spots caused by parked cars, bike lanes

Last August, the Kansas City, Missouri, Public Works Department said it would install delineators on Armour Boulevard to improve visibility at the intersections of Central and Wyandotte streets, Baltimore Avenue, Charlotte and Holmes streets, after trying it out at Armour Boulevard and Kenwood Avenue.

RELATED: Changes coming to Armour Boulevard after complaints of blind spots

The intersections west of Main Street were completed, but last week Mike Witmer called 41 Action News about Armour Boulevard and Charlotte Street.

"We've asked before about getting these barricades like they put up down here but they haven't done it," Witmer told 41 Action News last week.

KCPD told 41 Action News during a single week in June there were two crashes at the intersection.

RELATED: KCMO plans to launch pilot program to increase visibility along Armour Boulevard

41 Action News reached out to KCMO Public Works questioning why it has taken this long.

"We have not gotten to it yet," Rod Richardson, a spokesperson for KCMO Public Works said. "It is on our list and we need to do it sooner rather than later."

The department blamed the slow down on COVID-19.

"We're going to do everything we can to get to it before anything bad happens," Richardson said. "So that's our goal."

When 41 Action News pointed out crashes have already occurred, Richardson said, "well, unfortunately, we can't do anything about what has happened."

A block over, Holmes Street is another intersection waiting to get delineators – almost a year later.

RELATED:` Changes coming to additional Midtown KCMO intersections to reduce blindspots

"If I was involved in accident because of these bicycle lanes, I'd be talking to an attorney," Witmer said, "because they [KCMO] own it. They know they're screwed up, messed up. They're trying to band-aid it."

41 Action News asked for a timeframe on when Holmes Street will be complete, and as of Monday night KCMO Public Works had not responded with one.

"It was an experimental configuration--it's not working," Jacobi said. "Experiments are made to be refined."

On Monday morning, there was finally some action on Armour and Charlotte.

"You know, I emailed the city last week and I emailed you," Witmer said, "and you contact the city and once the city found out that you were going to follow up on the story, they jumped right on it and took care of it right now. That's the only reason they did it."