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Fri October 19, 2012
Council Says 'Stop' On Stop Light Removals
A little over a week ago, the city of Kansas City, Missouri switched 37 stoplights to flashing and announced they would be removed in a month.
The flashing signals started telephone lights flashing at City Hall.
City staff said they were ready to set 144 more stoplights flashing, and told callers and reporters they wouldn't back down on that because reduced traffic meant those stoplights are no longer needed, and research said stoplights where stop signs are sufficient encourage people to race or run red lights, causing accidents.
On Thursday, all the council members expressed concern about the plan and the way it was being implemented.
John Sharp warned the staff, "If you think we've seen a storm of protest about 37 signals, just wait till we start talking about almost 200."
Sharp agreed with the other council members that the process should have involved recommendations from the citizenry, not just federal guidelines and traffic counts.
Melba Curls agreed, and added that all up and down 39th street the traffic lights are just flashing. City Manager Troy Schulte said most of the signals slated for removal are in the core city, which includes Curls' district.
The council voted to put the traffic light removal plan on hold for 60 days and start a communication program about the plan that involves listening to the public and being willing to respond to their suggestions.