traffic

traffic jam

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Update to the story –  The following was posted in the comment section of our Facebook page from the City of Eudora’s officials Facebook account:

The City of Eudora has recognized the problem created by the stop light installed near the High School. As a result, the light will be turned off on Monday, January 14th. Beginning immediately, the city will conduct a traffic analysis to determine what options are best to improve safety at this intersection during high traffic periods. This study should be completed shortly and for minimal cost. The City will then act on the reccomendations (sic) of the study. Thanks for your patience with us as we seek to resolve this issue. While flawed, our efforts have been made with the best of intentions to improve the safety for drivers.

We will continue to follow the saga of Eudora’s stop light

Original story:

While Church Street may not handle the hustle and bustle of I-435 during the morning rush hour, it certainly looked much like the often gridlocked interstate highway this morning.

Commuters heading to work and parents dropping off kids at the schools were met with an extremely long line of traffic this morning as city officials turned on the new stop light at 23rd and Church Streets for the first time.

“There were cars backed up all the to 1200 Road,” an employee for Byrne’s Pharmacy told us. “It normally takes just a couple minutes to get to work and today it took me over 10 minutes just to turn onto Church Street.”

Eudora Police finally started using the red stop light portion of the signal on the light that was installed back in October.  The signal has been a flashing yellow light for the last few months and it was intended that the red stop light would be used only during the times when school was preparing to begin, when school let out and high traffic events such as football games.

“Today was the first day and obviously it didn’t work well,” Eudora Police Chief Bill Edwards said. “We tried out the light in the afternoons for the last couple of days and we had several cars run through it….so we added some extra signage as well.”

The signage and the fact that drivers who have not normally been used to the all way stop at the 23rd street intersection, caused a large amount of confusion today.

“We are hoping that once people get a little more used to it (the stop light), it will reduce some of the backups,” Edwards stated.

Edwards also said that officers have been monitoring the intersection and will continue to monitor traffic flow on Church Street to assist the flow of commuters.

“We are going to give this a chance and see if it improves with time,” Edwards added. “If we need to make adjustments, we will.”

The signal is set to be flashing yellow except during the peak hours of the morning and afternoon.  During those peak hours, the light is supposed to be a flashing red light and the intersection should be treated as an all way stop.  Drivers should treat the intersection just like they would at 14th and Church Street.  You might also want to add a couple more minutes to your morning commute as well, at least when school is in session.

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Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

As of February 21st, the Eudora School District changed the start time of both the High School and Middle School to facilitate making up snow days.  With this decision, the consequences were that both the High School and Middle School start at the exact same time of 8:00 AM.

This has caused a a two-fold impact to residents in the area of the High and Middle schools.  The amount of traffic along Church Street has risen dramatically prior to the start of school and extended wait times to try to turn onto Church St.  The other issue is drivers who disregard the posted limits which include the school zone speed limit indicated by the flashing yellow light.

At the Eudora City Commission meeting on Monday night, the subject was brought up to the City Commissioners.

Terry Watts, a resident of the neighborhood, brought up concerns about driver safety. He stated that on multiple times drivers “have passed me in the right hand turn lane going into the high school at speeds higher than the school zone speed limit.”

We also had an avid reader of Eudorareporter.com email us over the weekend about the traffic volume in the area due to the matched school start times.

“It literally takes 10 minutes to turn left out of the high school in the morning. This is a dangerous intersection every morning.”

Eudora Police Chief Grady Walker stated “While inconvenience is not a public safety problem, if there is a public safety issue”, referring to driver speeds, “we will address that.”

Walker has instructed the School Resource Officer to do studies this week and monitor the flow of traffic in the area of the two schools.

“We don’t have the staff to direct traffic each morning out there” Walker stated. “If there is an emergency somewhere else in town, I don’t have the officers on duty to respond if they are handling traffic in the area.”

About wait times and traffic volume Walker stated “this is a School District issue.”

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