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'They are clowning around': Kansas Citians hope pavement grooves help stop sideshows

Bannister and Raytown Road
Posted at 4:57 PM, Apr 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-23 18:11:34-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, has ramped up its enforcement of sideshows in recent months.

Two weeks ago, the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department said in a social media post it is “working hard to counter” the impromptu events.

That same weekend officers executed a large-scale bust of multiple sideshows resulting in 59 citations.

“They are clowning around and around,” Geraldine Wigfall said.

Wigfall works near an intersection that is a popular spot for sideshows.

Late last week, she saw crews installing grooves in the pavement and praised their work.

“So they won’t be able to make the doughnuts anymore,” she said. “How nice. You don’t have to hear all the squeaking and the noise.”

The city started installing the grooves in 2023. They are expanding their efforts across the city, including the following locations:

  • Blue River Road and Grandview Road
  • 13th Street – 14th Street and Hickory Street
  • 12th Street and Liberty Street
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Eastwood Trafficway
  • Red Bridge Road and Blue Ridge Blvd
  • Bannister Road and Raytown Road (in progress) 
  • Coal Mine Road and Manchester Trafficway
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Coal Mine Road
  • 69th Street – Gregory Blvd and Prospect Ave
  • NE 41st Street and Kimball Drive
  • NE 41st Street and Pleasant Ave
  • Red Bridge Road and Hickman Mills Drive
  • Longview Road and Blue Ridge Blvd
  • 19th Street and Main Street
  • 19th Street and Baltimore Ave
  • Westport Road and Broadway
  • Westport Road and Mill Street
  • 47th Street and Broadway
  • Truman & 15th (installed) 
  • Truman & Grand (installed) 
  • Swope Park (installed) 
  • West Bottoms under 670 (installed) 

Sherae Honeycutt, press secretary for KCMO's city manager office, said the changes are a part of the city’s Vision Zero campaign, seeking zero pedestrian deaths.
Honeycutt said the grooves can do more than stop sideshows.

“We really want to change how people use the roadways and by slowing drivers down, helping them think about how they are using the roadways,” she said. “It will help deter behaviors and also keep people safe in other ways.”

The city did not have data available that supports there has been a decrease in sideshows at the intersections where the grooves are in place.

They plan to monitor progress throughout the year to track the success of the project.

“I think as we continue on, especially in the warmer months, we will see how that goes and we will see if there is any visible change," Honeycutt said.