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Parents, neighbors demand speed bumps and crosswalk near King Elementary

Speeding King Elementary
Posted at 7:37 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 23:48:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Parents and neighbors say the speeding near King Elementary School at 48th & Woodland Avenue is getting worse.

"We have got to do something about this because we're not waiting on an accident to occur, we're trying to prevent one from happening," Linda Brown, president of the Blue Hills Neighborhood Association said.

KSHB 41 News spoke with multiple parents who gathered outside of the school concerned about the issue.

"I've been almost hit twice," Kara Huff said.

All the parents said they have similar experiences.

"Yesterday morning, we almost had an accident with a car coming up here and dropping off our child," John Allen said. "And it's ridiculous out here."

Another parent shared a similar experience.

"My main concern is the safety of our children going back and forth across the street," Diana Anderson said. "We do have kids that walk."

Huff said steps are needed to improve the safety of the children in the area.

"We need crosswalks or police presence cause you got the hill up there and once you top that, you can't see the kids crossing on the other side of it," she said.

The neighborhood is called Blue Hills for a reason and these parents say once you come down the hill in front of the school, people don't slow down.

"They need something right here at the top of this hill before they get down this, 'cause you got buses and cars coming in and out," Pamela Wilcox said.

Tammy Taylor walks her seven-year-old son to and from school every day.

"It's always been like that, and I would really appreciate if they had a safer thing for the kids, security or something," Taylor said.

Brown wants better signage that people will pay attention to.

"We constantly are dealing with this so it's not something new that we're bringing to the front, it's been going on, but it's got to be a change," Brown said.

Brown said the neighborhood association has already asked the city to install speed bumps, but it hasn't gone very far.

Neighbors have to go through several steps for the city to consider their neighborhood.

First, they have to fill out a request form through 311. The city's traffic team will come out and take a look.

Then, the neighbors need 75% of the affected property owners to sign off on it. That doesn't mean people who live in the house, but the person who owns the house. Brown said a lot of people rent in the neighborhood so it might be hard to contact the landlords.

There's a long list of criteria, including that 85% of traffic should be going at least 7 miles per hour over the speed limit and the traffic on the street must be between 500 and 1000 cars a day.

Parents say regardless of what the city thinks, they know what they see every day.

"It's scary, it's scary," Allen said. "So, they need to something about it. Let's do something about it as a community."

The city announced they are trying to reduce pedestrian traffic accidents and fatalities with its Vision Zero initiative.

Some of the work already underway includes traffic signal upgrades at 50 locations, installing speed bumps at 50 locations where neighbors have already requested them, and making options more available to residents.