Archive for Wednesday, November 2, 2011

K-10 panel to request safety barriers

November 2, 2011

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A panel studying the safety of Kansas Highway 10 east of Lawrence will ask the state to install two stretches of cable-median barriers near Eudora and De Soto and farther east in Johnson County, two committee members told the Journal-World Tuesday.

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“All we can do is get the facts and make the best decision we can possibly make. I think we’re on the right road for this,” said Eudora Mayor Scott Hopson, a committee member. “We’re hopefully going to get these barriers in the right locations.”

The possible installation of the barriers on the busy commuter highway in Douglas and Johnson counties has been a hot topic for the Kansas Department of Transportation since a deadly April 16 cross-median crash near Eudora. Two Eudora residents, including 5-year-old Cainan Shutt, died in the accident.

Soon after the crash, Hopson wrote to Gov. Sam Brownback asking him to direct KDOT to install the barriers for 23 miles — between Lawrence and Interstate 435 in Johnson County.

Brownback ordered KDOT to work with local stakeholders to study cable barriers and the highway’s safety.

Last summer Johnson County commissioners initiated a proposal for a pilot project that would have KDOT install cable-median barriers along K-10 at a two-mile stretch near the Kansas Highway 7 intersection and a one-mile stretch near Eudora because of the deadly and serious crashes that have occurred in those areas in the last decade. Two Johnson County women were also injured in a cross-median crash in July near Kansas Highway 7.

That project was estimated to cost $125,000 per mile with Johnson County picking up 20 percent of the cost in its county.

Now Johnson County Commissioner Jim Allen, who also wants cable along the whole 23-mile stretch, said the K-10 committee has extended its recommendation for a cable-median barrier from Eudora east to Lexington Avenue in De Soto.

“I think KDOT wants to see a demonstration that cables actually work,” Allen said.

The local committee is also expected to ask KDOT to lobby the Kansas Legislature to designate K-10 as a safety corridor — a program modeled after other states — making the highway eligible for higher fines for traffic violations and additional enforcement.

KDOT officials said Deputy Secretary Jerry Younger, the state transportation engineer, would meet with committee members at 10:30 a.m. today at the Eudora Community Center, 1628 Elm St.

Comments

Curtis Lange 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes to cable barriers and ABSOLUTELY NOT to the safety corridor BS!

kwilkins74 3 years, 4 months ago

I say yes to both. Hardly ever are the police running radar on that highway anyway.

CreatureComforts 3 years, 4 months ago

Funny...my fiance drives it daily to work and says she sees cops both ways on most days...and she does it 5 days/week.

rockchalker52 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes to both, the safety corridor concept will help. People not be bookin' when da man is lookin'.

hipper_than_hip 3 years, 4 months ago

The three sections of roadwork along K-10 were a cluster last night.

Ewok79 3 years, 4 months ago

Ya, what happened to the statment that they were'nt gonna work on K-10 on game nights??? Exhibition games don't count??? Traffic sure seems the same during pre-season games.

purplesage 3 years, 4 months ago

We need VISIBLE enforcement on this kind of road. To me, that means getting patrol cars positioned in high profile positions so people will see them - not parking over the crest of a hill or out in the weeds somewhere. That is effective for catching an offended. K-10 needs to slow down - all of it - and one way that will happen is by a visible patrol presence, especially during high traffic hours.

RonBurgandy 3 years, 4 months ago

autie - cables will prevent crossover accidents, which are what is causing so many serious accidents on K-10.

hujiko 3 years, 4 months ago

Not all accidents are crossovers. I don't have the exact figure, but in the past decade there have only been a handful of fatalities from crossover accidents on K-10.

What I'm trying to point out is that many minor accidents occur all the time, but with cables in the median those can become much worse. Also cables do not arrest every single vehicle, still leaving the possibility of crossover.

Just imagine that you're driving on K-10, and for whatever reason you end up in the median. Currently, if there isn't any damage or whatnot, you are free to go about your business. But, if cables are present, your car might be tangled up or damaged, leaving you stranded.

The real solution to this issue is better driver awareness, fewer distractions, more driver education, and of course law enforcement dealing with anyone not obeying the traffic laws.

jwglmmom 3 years, 4 months ago

.....Just imagine that you're driving on K-10, and for whatever reason you end up in the median......

WTF would you end up in the median if you are driving correctly? And if what you feel is true, if you end up in the median what is stopping you from going all the way over to the other lane? Barriers are there to try and prevent, obviously they might not work 100% of the time because it depends on the crash but i would like to think that my life is safer by having that barrier there. Like if for some reason your the next one who "ends up in the median" and kills someone.

jjt 3 years, 4 months ago

When I lived in the UK there was a stretch of road that was notorious for fatal accidents. In many ways similar to HWay 10. The Highways agency reckoned that each fatal accident cost around 250,000 uk pounds to deal with. (Mid 90's) Thats around $375,000. The barriers were put up. The main causes of the accidents as I remember were drivers falling asleep towards the end of their journey to their vacation and cars vs semi trucks. The Police also sationed a patrol car at a concpiuous rest stop sometimes it was maned sometimes not but it was always there. Went back to UK a few weeks ago and there it was. The other thing is here there are no speed cameras. There is little doubt that they deter folk from speeding. At the end of the day if you ask the UK high way Police they will probably say the main cause of accidents is lack of thought and sheer stupidity, same as here I suppose.

topeka52 3 years, 4 months ago

Just went to Overland Park and back yesterday, construction was not a problem at all, just stupid people speeding.

I think that the super smooth new pavement is going to really cause problems when wet or ice covered,

storm 3 years, 4 months ago

No sense in placing cables on that median. It sure is wide enought for inattentive drivers to to careen in, then veer back out into their lane. Since most crashes are not occuring during rush hours, set up more visible law enforcement at those other times. Also, there appears to be a problem with vampires, maybe those crosses on the side of the highway will help.

ktbob1954 3 years, 4 months ago

When I drive K-10 to Lawrence and back, what I notice is that cars travel TOO CLOSE to each other. OMG there is supposed to be a car length per 10mph between you and the next car ahead. There is absolutely NO way anyone can stop or maneuver out of an accident by traveling on top of someone's bumper. I cannot remember where it is but there is some place where they are now starting to give out tickets for traveling too close to the next car in front of you. Speeding coupled with traveling too close....no cable barrier is going to eliminate that catastrophe waiting to happen.....

ktbob1954 3 years, 4 months ago

When I drive K-10 to Lawrence and back, what I notice is that cars travel TOO CLOSE to each other. OMG there is supposed to be a car length per 10mph between you and the next car ahead. There is absolutely NO way anyone can stop or maneuver out of an accident by traveling on top of someone's bumper. I cannot remember where it is but there is some place where they are now starting to give out tickets for traveling too close to the next car in front of you. Speeding coupled with traveling too close....no cable barrier is going to eliminate that catastrophe waiting to happen.....

grimpeur 3 years, 4 months ago

How about giant, horizontal metal spikes mounted on metal posts about 5 feet off the ground in the median? This might help drivers pay a lot more attention and would only be as dangerous to motorists as cable barriers are to motorcyclists.

Seriously...what is with the current fashion of pretending that roads are dangerous, when in fact it is motorists that are the problem? Oh, right. These band-aids help us to ignore the real problem. Carry on.

bwebcorp 3 years, 4 months ago

I'm constantly amazed at the lack of planning/intelligence in general with KDOT. Who decides to fix a bridge at Ridgeview, cone off, not working, but cone off K-10 from Kill creek to the main De Soto exit, and repave from Eudora to Lawrence during KU basketball season. Took me an hour and a half to get home in what normally takes 30 minutes. I know they have the traffic studies to show how many cars come to Lawrence during a KU game. Anyone notice how empty the game was last night. They were all sitting on the highway.

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