Archive for Friday, September 10, 2010

Safety concerns prompt more changes to stop signs at 11th and Indiana

Construction on the Oread Hotel put a four-way stop at 11th and Indiana streets, but then two of the signs were taken down. Residents want them put back up for increased safety.

September 10, 2010


The Lawrence City Commission put the brakes — at least for the next 90 days — on a two-way stop at the intersection of 11th and Indiana streets.

On Friday, stop signs returned on 11th to create an all-way stop at a busy intersection just north of Kansas University.

Concern over the intersection arose at Tuesday’s City Commission meeting during a discussion on The Oread hotel’s recent street closure for a block party.

While neighbors didn’t complain about the street closure, they did have concerns about the safety of the intersection.

“There is general chattering that someone, someday will have a bad accident there because it is confusing and not natural,” Oread hotel general manager Nancy Longhurst said.

“Everyone stops and looks at each other and then goes,” she said.

Her concerns were echoed by the city commission.

Mayor Mike Amyx spent time observing the intersection last Saturday afternoon.

“Drivers really didn’t know how to use the intersection,” Amyx said. “It just didn’t seem like it worked to me. And rather than someone getting hurt, let’s make it a four-way stop.”

For years, the intersection had been a two-way stop with stop signs along 11th. When construction started at the Oread hotel, the intersection changed to an all-way stop.

After the hotel was built, traffic studies showed about twice as many vehicles traveled on 11th than on Indiana. Plus, the city had designated 11th as a collector road and Indiana as a local one, city traffic engineer David Woosley said.

And the intersection didn’t meet the criteria laid out for an all-way stop in the traffic engineering bible know as the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Those factors prompted the city’s traffic safety commission to recommend keeping stops signs on Indiana and taking down the signs on 11th.

That was about a month ago.

The city commission’s decision to make the intersection a four-way stop will be in effect for 90 days, which will allow time for the issue to return to the traffic safety commission, which will make another recommendation to city commissioners. Woosley said he thought staffers would compile additional data to provide to traffic commissioners.


irvan moore 7 years, 6 months ago

how could they have missed the obvious solution, instead of a couple more few hundred dollar stop signs they could have had a quarter million dollar roundabout.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

There are many aspects to consider:

  • The number of cars traveling 11th street which is the overwhelming majority says to keep traffic moving to avoid back up during busy times.

  • The grades are quite steep on 11th which says keep those vehicles moving. Large vehicles or vehicles with trailers on wet pavement can sometimes have a problem with traction. If a bit of ice begins to form before crews can apply salt or clear the intersection it could be difficult for vehicles coming from both directions.

  • Indiana which is relatively level poses no traction problems necessarily plus substantially fewer cars traveling on Indiana says that is the street for stop signs.

  • 4 way stop could induce not necessary back on 11th street

  • Crash history must also be considered. Item number 4 indicates a very busy accident history.

Consider establishing a MULTIWAY STOP at the intersection of 11th Street & Indiana Street.


  1. 11th Street is classified as a “collector” street and Indiana Street is classified as a “local” street.

  2. The criteria for consideration of a MULTIWAY STOP are found in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (attached).

  3. Traffic counts taken on 14-15 April 2010 show that the minimum required volume of traffic needed to consider a MULTIWAY STOP is not met.

  4. Police Department crash records show that there were 2 reported crashes in 2005, 6 reported crashes in 2006, 2 reported crashes in 2007 and 6 reported crashes in 2008, when STOP signs were in place stopping the major flow of traffic.

  5. Therefore, it does not appear that a MULTIWAY STOP can be justified at this intersection.

pizzapete 7 years, 6 months ago

No the stop sign should not be on Indiana. That's what was confusing everyone. The cars coming down or up the hill need to be cautious and stop before crossing Indiana.

pizzapete 7 years, 6 months ago

Yes, no stopping on Indiana until 12th!

skinny 7 years, 6 months ago

Taking it down and putting it back up is more confusing!

Wonder who really complained that made them put the stop signs back up?

I go through that intersection every day and it was working just fine!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

It was not a four way stop prior to the Oread Hotel construction.

With more cars traveling 11th street vs Indiana means more cars stopping on 11th street for no reason. It's best to keep 11th moving.

kansanbygrace 7 years, 6 months ago

The traffic on Indiana was only curtailed by the construction of the skyscraper. Before that, for decades, Indiana was a main access street to the campus. 11th has always been the entrance/exit for GSP/Corbin, and not much more. Stop signs on 11th, as before the project, work much, much better.

Boston_Corbett 7 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

RoeDapple 7 years, 6 months ago

Surprised they haven't put a roundabout in . . .

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

"Get rid of that stupid stop sign at the top of 11th and Lousiana.Stopping on a hill that steep only demonstrates the incompetence of the Traffic Safety Commission."

Except that is a blind spot coming over that hill where many students cross the street.

And those hills at 11th and Indiana both are rather steep grades.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

Consider traffic counts: April 14-15 2010

Indiana South bound 890 North Bound 1715 Total 2,605

11th Street East Bound 2401 West Bound 2326 Total 4727 = 2,122 more vehicles

pizzapete 7 years, 6 months ago

Traffic counts when Indiana was closed? It figures people were using the side streets to get around the construction.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

It would do no good to take traffic counts if one of the streets in question were closed.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 6 months ago

They need a friendly crossing guard who will wave at people.

mdrndgtl 7 years, 6 months ago

I agree with snap, a crossing guard is in order. I'll try and dig up a whistle.

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