OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) — This month is International Walk to School Month, and two new crosswalk signals are going up in Overland Park.
One of them is right down the street from Briarwood Elementary School. Parents say this crosswalk is needed. It’s been there since 1985, but it’s getting an upgrade. Mainly because of the flow of traffic through the area while parents are walking their kids to school.
“Nall is especially busy in the morning during rush hour, and it gets backed up quite a ways, so trying to cross without that crosswalk would be pretty hard, said Brian Lee, the father of a kindergartener and second-grader at Briarwood Elementary.
Other parents say walking their child to school now isn’t a big deal, but when the time comes to let them walk alone, they will be hesitant because of the traffic on Nall Avenue.
The signal was supposed to be done before the start of this school year. Officials say flooding in Nebraska this spring is still holding up projects in Kansas City.
The manufacturing plant that supplies some of the needed poles for the project flooded. Now, it’s a waiting game.
For now, crossing guards have the sole job of keeping children and their families safe while crossing Nall. Once the beacon is finished, there will be more elements to catch driver’s attention.
There will be lights that flash yellow, then turn to a solid yellow, and then to red.
“At Nall, it could actually be an improvement for drivers because that one is nearly always green unless there’s someone there. So, drivers may tend to ignore it. Now, you’ll get a flashing yellow before a solid yellow to let drivers know, ‘Hey, something is changing,” city engineer Brian Geiger said.
The city says the crosswalk beacon should be finished by the end of the month.
Police say there’s a need for more alerts for drivers. The new beacon allows kids and their parents walking to school another layer of security.
Overland Park police say there are drivers and pedestrians on their phones all the time. This new system is another way to keep people safe, especially so close to an elementary school.