Archive for Thursday, April 28, 2011

KDOT secretary to address K-10 safety issues

April 28, 2011


Fatality accident on K-10 diverts traffic

A fatality accident left two dead and three seriously injured Saturday afternoon. The accident on K-10 near Eudora caused traffic to be rerouted through the town. Enlarge video

Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Deb Miller on Friday plans to address a directive from Gov. Sam Brownback related to the study of using cable median barriers on Kansas Highway 10 in Johnson and Douglas counties.

Brownback’s directive came Monday after Eudora Mayor Scott Hopson last week asked Brownback to order KDOT to immediately install the barriers from Lawrence to Interstate 435. Hopson sent Brownback a letter after two Eudora residents, including 5-year-old Cainan Shutt, were killed in an April 16 head-on collision near Eudora.

Miller has scheduled a media event for 1:30 p.m. Friday at KDOT’s Olathe metro office. State transportation engineer Jerry Younger is also scheduled to speak at the event, according to KDOT.

In addition to Hopson’s letter, an area group has lobbied KDOT and the state to install the barriers.

In addition to immediately reopening a study on the use of cable median barriers on K-10, Brownback has also ordered KDOT to immediately begin designing the project to widen shoulders and add rumble strips along the Douglas County stretch of K-10, as has been done in Johnson County.

Miller on Friday is expected to provide more information on the directives from Brownback, according to a KDOT news release.


John Hamm 7 years, 1 month ago

Another waste (oh yes, they'll announce a cable barrier) of money. It's a wide median high quality road traveled by incompetent and inattentive drivers!

davidswayze 7 years, 1 month ago

The vehicle that drifts off the road might not be the only party involved in a cross-over accident. You've totally forgotten about the other vehicle that happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, just like Cainan and his family.

Don't even try to suggest that if they were attentive they could have avoided the vehicle that came across the median into their lanes of traffic.

Your comment is short-sighted at best, sickening at worst.

Cables for Cainan!

mawils 7 years, 1 month ago

Do you care so little for the well being of others that you don't think providing protection for the ones who are not being inattentive?

jackpot 7 years, 1 month ago

What two lane highway has a median?

Thinking_Out_Loud 7 years, 1 month ago

Really, buck? Your argument is that since median barriers aren't appropriate for all highways, they're inappropriate for any at all? That's not a very good position.

napoleon969 7 years, 1 month ago

Looking forward to Deb telling us why a barrier is not needed!!

Chad Collins 7 years, 1 month ago

@OonlyBonly, Do you live your life in misery? I've never seen one positive thing said from you on these forums. Seriously, you need to take a good hard look at your state of mind.

Yes, this is extra money spent. Yes, there are inattentive drivers. The barriers will make K-10 more safe than it is today regardless of cost. They may have saved Cainan's life regardless of who was at fault. How can you argue with that?

ksarmychick 7 years, 1 month ago

Having been placed in a 5 point harness carseat could have also saved his life. Where is the public out cry for following the new government regulations reguarding child safety, that were released just a few weeks prior to the accident???
Anyone that has any child who is under 80lbs and 53 inches tall NOT in a 5 point harness carseat that is properly installed in a car, isn't doing any and everything to protect the lives of innocent children.

mawils 7 years, 1 month ago

How do you know he was NOT buckled in the proper car seat? I have talked with people who are close to the family and have heard that he WAS correctly buckled in.

ksarmychick 7 years, 1 month ago

I never said he wasn't correctly buckled in. He was in a booster seat, which is legal, but according to the latest safety report on child safety restraints, isn't the safest way to have a child buckled in. Many children have died because their little bodies can't take the impact of a crash while in a booster seat, and it has been proven that many children only restrained in a booster seat would have survived had they been restrained in a 5 point harness seat(the kind where they go over both shoulders and snap at the chest and crotch-like race car drivers wear).
Do your research on child safety seats and you will find that it is legal to allow any child over the age of 4 to be placed in a booster seat. But studies have shown a child is SAFEST when placed in a 5 point harness over a booster seat. You will also find that they now recommend that children under 45lbs ride rear facing.

Bridgett Walthall 7 years, 1 month ago

Those new guidelines are exactly that. Weeks old. Luckily, my kid happens to be at an age and weight that didn't shift, but imagine my dismay when I found out that I drove her around as a 1 year old facing forward only to find out weeks ago that it is now considered to be ill-advised. You're being incredibly insensitive in your comments. You're condemning people who were victims of this accident. Look at you! You're an expert on child safety! Get over yourself.

ksarmychick 7 years, 1 month ago

The guidelines were released a few weeks prior to the accident.
I'm not being insensitive. How is trying to educate people about the dangers of the way they have their children restrained in a car, that could potentially save anothers child's life insensitive?
If child safety education is insensitive, so is installing cable barriers. They both have the potential to save a child's life in the event of an accident. But your problem must be that one of the options requires personal responsibility while the other is the governments responsibility.

Bridgett Walthall 7 years, 1 month ago

You're a nut. This isn't about my personal responsibility. And yes, I do think that it is the government's responsibility to provide a safe and efficient infrastructure. That's the kind of thing that I don't mind paying taxes for. I would be really happy if some of my tax money gets spent improving the safety on K10.

StarkyO 6 years, 8 months ago

I do think this is a good point even though I support the cables being installed. I was in an accident and yes it was in part due to over compensating when my back right tire blew. It was dark, and I didn't know what happened. I was driving along just fine when all of a sudden BOOM! my car was out of control. The police investigators reported the accident as a "no fault" accident because I simply lost control of my car and did not have enough time to regain control before I went into the west-bound lane and was struck by on-coming traffic. It was a bad accident and seat belts saved mine and the other driver's life. Unfortunately my dog who was riding in my backseat was thrown from my car and killed and that is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life. I do not know if cables would have saved my dog's life or saved me from the injuries I sustained but I do know the woman who hit me (totally out of her control) would have been spared. I was not speeding, was not on my phone, was not texting, blaring music etc. I was simply driving along, a little on edge cause I was afraid of deer running into the road, and then, Boom! just like that I was fishtailing across the road and didn't have a clue as to why or have enough time to process the possibilities. I agree that more education regarding "what to do when things go wrong" would have helped me in this situation but honestly, how realistic is it to enforce all drivers (especially ones with a perfectly clean driving record such as myself) go through additional training and how do you determine who needs additional training? Even after additional training how can one truly be confident that they will react correctly in a moment of crisis?? As I said, I have driven for years and years. I am approaching age 30 and (other than a few speeding tickets in my teens) have a perfectly clean driving record. I've gone on countless road trips with my dog to TX, CO, MN, NM etc and been perfectly safe. The only thing different this time was a malfunction with my car that temporarily stunned me. As I said before, I do not know that cables would have saved my dog, my car, or my shoulder that was injured in this accident but I do know it would have saved the other driver from being scarred emotionally and physically. Not to mention the total loss of her car. And I do think that on her behalf, the cables need to be looked into.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 1 month ago

And what is your solution for the people that die in crossover accidents who are too old for a car seat? My friend doesn't have her mother because of a crossover accident that could have been prevented by cable barriers not a 5 point harness car seat.

Lisa Rasor 7 years, 1 month ago

If the cable barrier saves even one life, it will be well worth the expense.

davidswayze 7 years, 1 month ago

‎"...cable median barrier has performed excellently and saved many lives on state highways in Washington"

If you're going to have an opinion, try to have it be an informed one. Trinkets, they are not. Cost effective life savers, they are.

davidswayze 7 years, 1 month ago

I assume by saying this you've done studies that show that defensive driving training is a better use per dollar than cable barriers. If you could please link me to your study that would be fantastic.

Unless you're making all of this up on the fly... hmmmmm....

Deja Coffin 7 years, 1 month ago

If you could prove that people given the tools to be better drivers would actually do it, yes I might actually consider it. Even if it costs me money. The fact is, I can't control the other drivers on the road. Because of that, I feel like cable barriers will help to keep me safe from crossover accidents.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 1 month ago

Possibly, yes. Like I said before, this is the issue that is closest to me right now and I am fighting for this. Once this is achieved I would be more then willing to fight just as hard to see that other roads safety are improved. Maybe cable barriers aren't the answer for all roads, maybe they are. I don't know I just know with my personal experience on K-10 I would feel safer with them installed. Once I feel I've done all I can for this stretch of highway, then I'm willing to weigh the options on other roads and willing to fight for what the majority of the people who drive that road daily want. I saw the sadness in my friend's face when she had to say goodbye to her mother. My mother drives K-10 everyday for work, that could have been me. By the way, out of my own curiosity, what is your stance on the issue. You bring up great points about other roads and how dangerous they are but I don't remember reading if you believe they will help or not. It may not change my views but it's nice to know where the other person is coming from and I really do respect your opinion.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 1 month ago

Thank you. I really do appreciate your response. Now I just don't know where to begin. I definitely agree that more needs to be done to stop people from driving so carelessly on K-10. But I feel like if people are choosing to text, drink, put on makeup, read, etc. whatever while driving how can I stop them? I believe I am a good driver. I follow the speed limit, I stay in the right lane unless passing, I always use my blinker, no texting, talking on a phone or anything like that, I wear my seat belt, my kids are all in appropriate car seats, I would never drink and drive, I stay far behind the cars I'm following,and so on. Putting these cable barriers in for me personally isn't so that I can drive any less aware. It's so I don't become a victim of someone else's carelessness. While it won't stop every accident and maybe K-10 for the most part is safer then other roads but I feel like it wasn't built for the traffic and speeds that we are seeing on it. Something needs to be done to improve this road and if the majority of the people believe cable barriers are the solution then let's rally behind one cause, one idea and then maybe we can actually get something done. As far as my friend's mother I know that it wouldn't hurt any less but if there was someway of preventing that type of accident on that particular road to happen to someone else. I know she along with others would fight just as hard for that road to be improved. If I was in a room with all the families of people who have passed away in car accidents on Kansas roads I wouldn't expect them to agree that K-10 is the most important road to be fixed. But I would hope that they would be able to see why I find that road to be so important and why I feel the urgency in that road just as they would feel for the roads that their loved ones passed away on. If someone passed away on Mass. street from a preventable car accident. No matter how safe everyone else in the world believes that road to be, their families would find that road to be the one that needs focused on and changed first. And again, if we can get KDOT to hear us and improve this road then that's only more fuel for us to go forward and bring other dangerous roads to their attention. It doesn't have to stop at K-10. The truth is I no longer live in Eudora. While I know people that drive K-10 daily I drive it maybe twice a month at most. I live in Jefferson county where most roads are two lane and sometimes it is downright terrifying to be on those roads. But I know if I ever want to get my roads changed I need to support this movement that's going on now. One step at a time, one road at a time.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 1 month ago

I would comment on the bus system but I really don't have a need for the bus system where I live. However with the way gas prices are I think it would be a smart thing for commuters to invest in. For now I'm lucky enough that on a good day I can walk to most places I need to get to. Again, I really appreciate getting an idea of where you're coming from and I hope you're able to see where I'm coming from.

BruceWayne 7 years, 1 month ago

let us not forget that early reports indicate the person responsible for all of this was on drugs. seems strange to me that this keeps getting overlooked.

Bridgett Walthall 7 years, 1 month ago

Who cares about the person responsible and what drugs he was or wasn't on? That's not the point at all. The point is the OTHER vehicle that was struck. They weren't on drugs! The 5 year old wasn't on drugs! The 5 year old wasn't driving or speeding or texting while driving or any of these other things that all of you people are griping about! He was completely innocent and a cable barrier would have spared his life.

Bridgett Walthall 7 years, 1 month ago

Once again, the 5 year old who died in this crash wasn't driving. I'm pretty sure that driving would be pretty complicated for any 5 year old, so I'm not sure what your point is.

BruceWayne 7 years, 1 month ago

geez...stop yelling, I am with you 100% on this. My point is the fact it is being swept under the rug that this could have been avoided all together. That was all.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 1 month ago

Out of curiosity what all was proven to be in his system? I also heard at one time he may have been sending a text, was that proven? It's horrible enough to loss a child in a car accident, I can't imagine the pain of knowing it may have been caused by the other drivers bad choices. Both families involved are surely going through a whirlwind of emotions and I pray for all of them.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 1 month ago

Thank you. I didn't know if there had been additional information.

Edwin Rothrock 7 years, 1 month ago

If the cable barriers increased the number of accidents involving people sliding into the median on K-10 by 10x, that would be an argument against installing them. Traffic safety is a complicated challenge, and often times the solution that seems obvious to an untrained person has serious safety consequences that are obvious to those trained to design traffic systems professionally.

What will some of you be saying if the cables are installed, and next winter a van full of kids slides off an icy K-10 into the median, gets snagged in the cable, snapped around, and a kid dies? "If the cable barrier causes even one death, it is well worth the expense to remove."

Let's let the experts decide what is the safest solution we can afford, let's have the humility to know that people trained in these issues know more than we do about what the right decision is, and let's support a system of traffic safety that nationwide has seen the number of fatal accidents plummet to the lowest levels ever recorded.

Bridgett Walthall 7 years, 1 month ago

That's cute. You could be right. Let me go think about it.

davidswayze 7 years, 1 month ago

Ahh the straw man fallacy... love it.

The experts in several other states, including Missouri, have installed the cable-barrier solution and love it. Do yourself a favor and read up on the results of research done by the Washington and Texas departments of transportation on these systems before you attempt to negate their effectiveness with a terrible counter-argument.

Edwin Rothrock 7 years, 1 month ago

I didn't offer an opinion as to whether cables should be installed. I said the issue of whether they should be was complicated and best left to experts. Also, I was commenting on the reactionary nature of public opinion. If you prefer, we can explore the obvious fallacy of the claim that saving a single life is worth any amount of money. As to the complexity of the issue: What is the average medium width on the roads in MO where these barriers have been installed? When were those roads built, and to what standards? Is the cost of installing the barriers the most cost effective use of public funds to improve traffic safety? What other programs would save more lives? If you are referring to the TA&M Texas Transportation Institute study from August 2009, they cite medium width, median slope, barrier type, etc., as key variables in the cost effectiveness of the barriers. Do you think most of the proponents of installing the barriers on K-10 understand those issues? I don't - they're complicated and require expertise to evaluate. I didn't see a description of their "loving it" - not really an engineering description.

Tristan Moody 7 years, 1 month ago

There will always be people on drugs. You have to make the highway failsafe so said drug-addled drivers cause as little damage as possible.

Bridgett Walthall 7 years, 1 month ago

Hey! Great idea! Problem is that I just LOVE commuting on K-10 daily, SO MUCH that I purposely conducted my job search outside of the THRIVING Lawrence job market just so I could get a job in Overland Park and fulfill my dream of driving on K-10 because I want to drive MORE instead of LESS. There are SO MANY job options in Lawrence, what am I THINKING?? I should just quit my stable job in Overland Park and find one in Lawrence! Brilliant! I'll just get started on that right now! Thanks!

/sarcasm OFF

Bridgett Walthall 7 years, 1 month ago

yup, we all want to drive on K-10 to feel luxurious, that's it! brilliant!

Bridgett Walthall 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, I figured you'd pull out the "move to OP" argument. That'd be great if my whole extended family lived in OP and not Lawrence, and family is important to me, so not an option, personally, for me, but thanks again. I do support light rail. I would love to see that happen. I wish I knew how to build a light rail all by myself so that I wouldn't have to depend on someone else to solve the problem for me.

wtff 7 years, 1 month ago

To additionally improve safety, K-10 should really be 3 lanes from K-7 and east at least. Way too much traffic for 2 lanes.

wtff 7 years, 1 month ago

"More lanes add more traffic. Study after study has been done that demonstrates when extra lanes are added congestion increases."

Where is the mystery traffic coming from to be able to use this 3rd lane? This is not a "if we build it, they will come" type of issue. People aren't going to flock to use this short strip of K-10 just because there is a 3rd lane there.

The road no longer accommodates the excess traffic from K-7 and the growth of business, housing, and retail in the area. It is unsafe because of all the merging from the other roads. There has to be other options than slamming on your brakes to let someone in because you can't get into the other lane because it is full of cars. There needs to be a safe left lane for the area since there is so much traffic there.

wtff 7 years, 1 month ago

So I'm sure you have never been nearly rear ended or seen the long, long line of cars from K-7 inching along less than 5 mph headed east trying to accommodate all the people merging from the other roads? You must not get out much to say that there isn't a need for another lane to accommodate the boom of business, housing, and retail in the area. When the road was put there, the excess traffic from the housing, business, and retail did not exist like it does now.

gccs14r 7 years, 1 month ago

They're probably going to install the cables, because that's a politically safe knee-jerk reaction to public outcry, but it will be interesting to watch the accident statistics afterward. We'll go from the occasional rollover and even less frequent crossover accident to very frequent reports of serious injury or death (not to mention the millions in property damage) from single-car (and motorcyclist) entanglements in the cables. Plus we'll have ongoing maintenance to repair the cables and support posts and have to change the way the medians are mowed from simple brushhogging to brushhogging plus manual trimming.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 1 month ago

There would be one bright spot to that. At least the driver that could not keep his car on the road would be the one to wreck - and he would wreck alone.

ksengineer 7 years, 1 month ago

Please remember that there is no simple solution when discussing highway safety. There are multiple, often contradictory factors involved and solving one problem very often creates another. The most improvement will be seen with a combination of engineering, law enforcement, and driver education.

I personally would like to see the "Cables for Cainan" movement continue forward (possibly as "Highway Safety for Cainan") regardless of KDOT's decision. A community-based organization focused on highway safety could be a powerful thing and a great benefit to our area. Possible objectives could be educating the public in defensive driving, promoting saftey by open discussion with state and local authorities, and raising funds to assist accident victims when necessary.

I would also like to see KDOT step up their involvement in the FHWA's "Toward Zero Deaths" movement. We in Kansas have a very well respected highway system and we should be taking a leadership role in eliminating fatality accidents altogether.

ksengineer 7 years, 1 month ago

But there can be a truly effective safety movement resulting from this tragedy. Defensive driving is merely one piece in the puzzle. "Telling people to drive defensively" is not what I am supporting. I do support driver education, actually teaching people to be aware of the dangers around them and to be prepared for what could happen.

I hope that the installation of barriers does not lead to drivers feeling "safe" and actually driving faster or paying less attention to the road. That is why I think an ongoing community initiative is in order. Again, there is no single solution to this complex problem.

Kontum1972 7 years, 1 month ago

lower the speed limit to 55 with no varience....with a 500.00 fine...first offense....2nd offense 1000.00...3rd offense you lose your vehicle and driving prevs for one year....if u cannot pay the fine you lose your vehicle to the State to be sold in auction....i bet u will get some results!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

There is no absolute guarantee that cables will prevent another identical accidents.

This is why I say let the trees grow,stop mowing and give up the golf course look then hire more troopers specifically for the K-10 speedway.

Both AM and PM rush hours could use way more troopers on the K-10 speedway.

Not only is speed a problem so is following too close = multiple car accidents. Reckless driving of a wide variety is also present.

I use K -10 twice every week in which I try to leave before 6AM just to avoid the insane rush hour traffic.

devobrun 7 years, 1 month ago

Trees stop cars. Cars often slide off the road and into the center median (especially when it is icy). Yep, those cars would now be stopped by wrapping around the tree. Deaths would cease for crossover accidents and increase greatly for slide-off-road accidents.

Those slide-off-road excursions happen on a regular basis and do little damage to car or occupants. With hedge trees in the median, those accidents would kill. Remind me not to hire merrill as a traffic engineer.

Also, motorcyclists refer to wire barriers as "cheese slicers", and have movements around the country to have them banned.

Maybe all you folks should stop trying to be engineers. Go to the web and look up engineering sites and learn about the pros and cons of various techniques in traffic control.

Or maybe we should just wait for the KDOT engineers to make a study and recommendation to the governor.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 1 month ago

Imagine the jolly brush fires in the median of K-10 if merrill's plan is followed.

JerryStubbs 7 years, 1 month ago

Crossover accidents are probably in a little different class than many other accidents caused by careless driving.

Who could believe that somebody could drive so far off as to cross a 34 ft median and still keep going, unless they were completely out of it, as in asleep, or passed out?

On a two lane road you could easily cross the line just from drunk weaving, or momentary disattention like when you drop something, or maybe texting, but the wide median on a four lane road gives you quite a bit of time to correct somehow before you are on the other side of the road.

Most people that leave the pavement do manage to get back on or stop without causing major damage. Those rumble strips help quite a bit in these cases.

But if you lose consciousness for any reason, and you keep your foot on the gas even after you leave the pavement, you could end up on the other side of the road at full speed going the wrong way.

Even if you were going 55, even if you locked your cell phone in the glovebox, even if you just passed your driving test with flying colors.

Cable barriers have been shown to be good but not perfect protection against crossover accidents and they are less costly than concrete barriers. There are reasons they aren't used everywhere.

Some medians aren't the right width or type, and less costly isn't free, so the DOT has these things to consider when they make their decisions about where to put them.

I don't think K-10 has as much heavy truck traffic as I-70, for example, and that might be something else they consider.

JerryStubbs 7 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if this Toyota in the accident was a model affected by the uncontrolled acceleration problem.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 1 month ago

That's a legitimate question, and we may never know the answer.

JerryStubbs 7 years, 1 month ago

I would guess it would take a human to know. Why are you asking?

AreUKiddingMe 7 years, 1 month ago

I had brought this up in another article but I will bring it back up over here As someone who rides a motorcycle, cable barriers scare the living ..... Out of me. If I have to leave the road because someone doesnt see me, you are going to need 2 body bags for me. Will be be trading the deaths of cross over victims for the deaths of motorcyclist. No, more than likely a motorcycle is not going to cross all the way over to the on coming traffic. More than likely someone of a bike has to swerve to keep from getting hit by someone not paying attention or who "didn't see" them So the solution? The best thing I have come up with is one we already use to help stop out of control semis and racecars. Sandtraps Put a 12ftish wide ( i am just kinda throwing out lenghts and depths) , 4-5 ft deep strip of sand in the middle of the medium. If it can stop a semi or a race car.... I tried to do some research to see if anyone has tried this but haven't found anything.

JerryStubbs 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes, maybe sandtraps would be good, but I haven't seen any mention of them for this kind of use.

JerryStubbs 7 years, 1 month ago

Plus, you have a good point about the danger to motorcyclists, which as you mention suffer from not being visible to people driving much bigger vehicles.

There are often two sides to these things. Concrete barriers are obstacles to wildlife and emergency vehicle, and cars bounce off them back into traffic. Trees would be dangerous and they spend a lot of money on those signs that hang overhead so there aren't dangerous poles in the median.

I have seen road barriers constructed from big yellow plastic barrels, filled with sand, but I don't think they are used for median strips.

In a perfect world, the best solution would be careful driving, but sometimes these accidents result from unpredictable medical situations or freak weather conditions.

Trains use a hand control to prevent unattended train runaways. If the operator is not there or loses consciousness, the control drops the power automatically.

If a person driving a car goes loses consciousness and goes limp, they might end up putting all of their weight on the gas pedal.

I know from now on I'm going to keep a careful eye on traffic on K-10.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

It will not matter what type of object is placed in the medians there may be more car damage and possible injuries. Is this worth saving a few lives and anguish? That will be the question.

Cables and motorcyclists? Hmmmmmmmmmmm

Why not volunteer tree growth instead of spending millions if a choice for median obstacles is chosen?


Again there are stiff fines for speeding through construction zones. Why not stiffer fines for speeding and tailgating during rush hours? Rush hours are trouble zones. Stiff fines to help support more traffic control!! Put some teeth in speed control!

Is rush hour mania on highways worth a commute?

Flap Doodle 7 years, 1 month ago

You know what? I'd swear that I saw this exact same post on another thread.

jayhawkaholic 7 years, 1 month ago

There's a bumper sticker for'll be a great day when schools have all the $ they need and the government has to hold a bake sale for a missle/Bomber. I'm more than happy to have my taxes increased for this cause! At least I know where the $ would be going and it wouldn't be mismanaged by the government!

ksengineer 7 years, 1 month ago

I would be careful about reading too much into the KS price figures. The relatively short cable barrier projects and the inexperience of Kansas contractors probably inflated the price significantly.

KDOT has two (yes, two) cable barrier projects. How many projects have been done by MO? IA?

From what I have read, 100-125k per mile is a reasonable estimate of installation cost.

JerryStubbs 7 years, 1 month ago

I was driving on K-10, looking for tire tracks around the area where this latest accident occurred. I couldn't see any there, but closer to Lawrence, I saw probably 5 or 6 sets of tire tracks through the median, kind of in the vicinity of that little ski pond south of K-10.

Maybe they could just start by trying some cable barriers in certain locations.

Are cable barriers always in pairs, for each direction, or can they just put one in the middle?

ksengineer 7 years, 1 month ago

Very rarely are they installed in pairs. The optimum location depends on the specific geometry (width and degree of slope) of the median and the type of cable system (high or low tension, 3 or 4 cable) installed. If the median is too narrow and/or the slopes too steep for a center installation the barriers are typically placed on one side or the other. Typically the barriers would be placed closest to the lanes with the highest traffic volume and/or the greatest likelihood of median crossovers.

The big advantage of the center installation is that you minimize the number of barrier impacts. If the median is narrow and the shoulder slopes are steep you will see a lot of vehicles simply passing over the barrier.

ksengineer 7 years, 1 month ago

btw. The idea of "volunteer" vegetation in the median as a safety buffer scares the hockey sticks out of me.

Some of the problems with plant barriers are: 1. They grow to the point where they a greater hazard than what they are protecting 2. They have insufficient strength to stop/slow/redirect errant vehicles 3. They are difficult to maintain.

JerryStubbs 7 years, 1 month ago

I read that they also become dangerous for wild animals, I guess they would want to make homes there, with bad results.

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