Intersection Study Aims to Increase Safety for Busy Area

Posted on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 by
In Roadway, Traffic, tagged in

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas (UG) requested the intersection at 103rd Terrace and Leavenworth Road (K-5) be studied due to a number of customer concerns. Our study revealed two safety issues. The first is speeding. The second is sight distance.

103rd Terrace is a side street, characterized by a vertical curve on Leavenworth Road about 100 feet east of the intersection. This makes it difficult for cars to clearly see the speeding traffic on Leavenworth Road. They asked Affinis to conduct a preliminary engineering study to identify the existing issues and recommend solutions.

We started by analyzing the site. This busy area has athletic fields on the northeast side of the intersection and a church south of the intersection. In addition, a gas station is located on the southwest corner. Traffic is expected to increase even further when the new Amazon facility is fully constructed.

Pedestrian safety was another consideration. Often, people from the ball fields or the housing development on the north visit the convenience store on the south. In its current condition, there are no pedestrian facilities or crossings, making it challenging for westbound vehicles to see pedestrians.

The project site is also impacted by nearby I-435. The intersection feeds a lot of interstate traffic, because it is the first intersection after the I-435 exit. Throughout the process, we collaborated with the UG team to best meet their standards and needs as well as the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).

After the initial data collection, our team looked at geometric and intersection control changes. We determined that it didn’t warrant a signal and evaluated several options. Ultimately, we recommend a basic, turbo style roundabout. This solution would slow down speeds and change how the intersection’s sight distance would operate. Drivers are only entering and looking one way upon entering the roundabout, reducing the likelihood of a serious collision. It also facilitates the needed right turn lanes east and westbound on Leavenworth Road without having to widen the roadway.

Our recommendation optimizes conflicting priorities. It does not disturb existing entrances for businesses or impact parking. Working within the site constraints, this solution would increase safety, while minimally affecting area businesses.

All the options were compiled into a report, which was submitted to UG and KDOT. It includes conceptual layouts for the roundabout, along with our findings. Right now, it is under review, and when approved, it will provide UG with a clear pathway to increase safety for their community.

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