Signs encourage drivers to slow down in midtown

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Speeding drivers have people in a couple of neighborhoods taking action to slow them down. A new playground in Roanoke Park may have helped spark the safety campaign.

It used to be empty green space, but now with all the kids coming to the new playground, neighbors are concerned that drivers are traveling too fast through the park.

Homeowners in Coleman Highlands have posted signs reminding motorists to "Drive As If Your Kids Live Here." The speed limit is 30 miles an hour on Karnes Boulevard, which goes through the park. But a radar board set up by the sheriff's office shows vehicles routinely speed much faster.

Those nearby in the Volker neighborhood say they want to try the tactic too, to slow down traffic in front of their homes.

"It’s something I feel like is immediately viable and cost-effective," Kara Werner of the Volker Watch Group said. "If you are looking at wanting to put in speed bumps or stop signs, which have been proven in studies not to be that effective because people will slow down for a minute and roll through and speed right back up again. It's just something maybe to help to give you that quick visual cue. A reminder: Hey our kids live here, go a little bit slower."

A lot of people mistakenly believe that when young couples have kids, they move out to the suburbs. That's not happening in these neighborhoods, where more families are choosing to stay in the city. The residential speed limit is 25 miles an hour, but parents in Midtown say it's rarely enforced.

"The misconception is that there isn't any kids," said Jeanette Baez, a mother of four in Volker. "It's not just kids. People walk their dogs, people ride their bikes, people ride their skateboards. There's just a lot of pedestrian traffic. So I think keeping an eye out for all the pedestrians and kids is a very good thing."

Neighbors have raised the money themselves for the signs. They say they're used to looking out for each other. This is just one more way homeowners are banding together to make their neighborhoods better places to live.