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.


ksengineer 2 years, 11 months 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 2 years, 11 months 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?


oletimer 2 years, 11 months ago

I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but who exactly will pay for the cables? The state is broke. Uncle Sam is broke. The world is full of good ideas with no way of paying for them. Guess we can try private donations. Good luck with that.


Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months 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?


AreUKiddingMe 2 years, 11 months 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.


thuja 2 years, 11 months ago

I agree generally with the sentiments of JackRipper and buckjennings.

The cat knows what the cat does. The dog knows what the dog does.

What does the human being do?


JerryStubbs 2 years, 11 months ago

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


JerryStubbs 2 years, 11 months 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.


Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

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


Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months 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.


Kontum1972 2 years, 11 months 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!


thebcman 2 years, 11 months ago

this thread has so much horse poop in it it's kind of like being the last marching band in a big parade.


ksengineer 2 years, 11 months 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.


gccs14r 2 years, 11 months 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.


JackRipper 2 years, 11 months ago

I think we need Donald Trump to weigh in on this as well. Obama is behind all this, hell he ain't even an 'Merican, (sound of spit hitting the spittoon). Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsing around on the airplane?


wtff 2 years, 11 months 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.


Tristan Moody 2 years, 11 months 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.


FieldTested 2 years, 11 months 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.


BruceWayne 2 years, 11 months 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.


Lisa Rasor 2 years, 11 months ago

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


Chad Collins 2 years, 11 months 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?


napoleon969 2 years, 11 months ago

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


OonlyBonly 2 years, 11 months 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!


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