By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
It's a process that's slowing down traffic in Kansas City and the Public Works Department said that's exactly what it's supposed to do.
The blinking red light at 12th and Jackson streets has got some residents seeing red.
"I don't think it's a good idea, they should have left the lights in," Steve Spurbeck said. "There's too much confusion."
It's the same story at 27th Street and Cleveland Avenue.
"This is going to be an accident waiting to happen. There's no one coming to a complete stop," local business owner Byron Smith said.
Everybody is talking about the city's first phase of their traffic light project - replacing 37 high-pedestrian traffic light areas with stop signs and blinking red lights. City officials admit the change isn't for drivers.
"These are going to benefit the pedestrian more than the driver. But when it comes down to it, our interest is in the safety of the people in Kansas City," Sean Demory with Kansas City Public Works said.
And the city is hearing about it. Councilman Jermaine Reed said his phone has been ringing off the hook, but he said it's a work in progress.
"I have gone through and done my own windshield survey and seen the stop signs and many of the changes," Reed said. "Right off the top of my head, I don't know if it's a good idea or bad idea just yet."
Some drivers do think it's a good idea.
"It makes it safe. A lot of people will be driving wild, especially the youngsters out here," Kevin Riley said.
The mayor said the changes also help the environment because there are less idling cars.
"It's making sure we are being as environmentally sound as we possibly can, but it also has a safety component to making sure that the lights themselves are not contributing to accidents or problems with people," said Kansas City, MO, Mayor Sly James.
Public Works said they will spend the next two weeks looking at the updates and will makes changes to the system as needed.
Residents wanting information on the traffic signal changes can attend a public meeting on the traffic lights Monday at 6 p.m. at the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center at 825 Euclid.
There is also more information on the city's website. Click here for more information.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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