The Lawrence Traffic Safety Commission decided Monday to keep stop signs at an intersection where a boy was fatally injured while walking home from school in 1981.
"They just felt like that was the best solution they have for getting people across the street right now," said Terese Gorman, city engineer. "They felt there were pedestrians crossing the intersection school children and elderly people."
Benjamin B. Bjorge, 7, was struck by a car headed north on Kasold Drive Nov. 20, 1981, while he crossed the intersection of Eighth Street and Kasold. He died the next day.
Nancy Bjorge, the boy's mother, said this morning that pedestrians need the safty afforded by the signs.
"I know how much grief and suffering we went through, and we don't want anyone else to go through that," she said.
"I just feel that we need to make sure that these places are safe. There is a lot of traffic on that street, and the schoolchildren and other pedestrians need the protection," she said.
JOHN WEBB, a TSC member when the commission recommended installing stop signs at the three-way intersection, had asked the panel to re-examine the intersection.
"It seems really disruptive to traffic flow. My opinion has always been we are restricting our arterials too much. That's why it's so hard to get around in the city," Webb told the Journal-World last week.
Several parents of children who attend nearby Sunset Hill Elementary School spoke in favor at the meeting of keeping the signs, Gorman said. Discussion of the issue lasted for more than an hour.
In a 6-1 vote, TSC members decided to recommend to Lawrence city commissioners that the stop signs stay at the intersection. The TSC is an advisory body to the city commission.
IN OTHER action Monday, the TSC:
Recommended denying a request from Alkiviadis Akritas to install stop signs at the intersection of Overland Drive and Sierra Drive, creating a four-way stop at the intersection.
Recommended approving a request from Brad Garlinghouse, Kansas University student body president, to paint a crosswalk across the south leg of the intersection of West Campus Road and Stratford Road.
Heard a report from the city engineer concerning 23rd and Iowa streets. The report explained how traffic signals are activated by vehicles at the intersection.