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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Concerns not enough to justify stoplight

  • Despite complaints and concerns from McPherson residents, the Kansas Department of Transportation has no plans to install a stoplight at the U.S. Highway 56 and Old Highway 81 intersection on the west side of McPherson.
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  • Despite complaints and concerns from McPherson residents, the Kansas Department of Transportation has no plans to install a stoplight at the U.S. Highway 56 and Old Highway 81 intersection on the west side of McPherson.
    The intersection is under the jurisdiction of KDOT rather than the city of McPherson.
    City Administrator Nick Gregory said the city receives a number of complaints about the intersection every year.
    “Most have to do with close calls and near misses when vehicles coming from the west run the stop sign or don’t stop properly,” Gregory said.
    KDOT Traffic Engineer Kathleen Deitering said the intersection has been the focus of a number of studies.
    The perceived number of accidents there is higher than the actual number of accidents, Deitering said.
    Although KDOT is not installing a stoplight at U.S. 81, it is installing a stoplight at another intersection in the city.
    The McPherson City Commission has accepted KDOT’s plan to install a stoplight at Interstate 135 and U.S. 56.
    K-DOT’s decision was based on studies showing from 2010 to 2013, there were 22 accidents, resulting in six personal injuries, at the northbound I-135 junction with U.S. 56.
    While data on the U.S. 56 and Old 81 Highway intersection for 2010 through 2013 was not readily available, Deitering said a similar study done between 2006 and 2009 found there had been three crashes, resulting in two injuries, at the intersection.
    Gregory said the city officials are concerned there is a chance of a serious accident at the intersection.
    “We try to address traffic issues over intersections we have jurisdiction over,” Gregory said. “We have a strong relationship and good communication with KDOT, and they have a standard for certain traffic safety measures. We respect whatever decisions they make based on their standard. We certainly wouldn’t attempt to question their decision.”
    Deitering said KDOT welcomes any comments and complaints from concerned residents.
    “We run crash statistics at intersections on a regular basis. Any time a citizen complains, we look into it. It’s important to remember that we only have a certain amount of money every year, and we have to put that money into the areas where the most people are affected.”
    Deitering said those with comments or concerns can contact K-DOT Public Affairs Manager Kristen Brand by calling 785-877-5652, or by e-mailing kristenb@ksdot.org.

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