Close calls prompt city to install new crosswalk in Brookside

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Brookside neighbors united to lobby for a new crosswalk on 63rd Street after some close calls where cars actually hit pedestrians.

The city responded at 63rd Street and Brookside Plaza to make bikers and walkers feel safe.

A new high intensity traffic signal will be hard for drivers to miss.

It's designed to make sure walkers and bikers can cross four busy lanes of 63rd Street safely.

"I think a lot of Brooksiders feel like we can walk across, almost like a college campus, where pedestrians rule," said Kalista Schwartz, a Brookside mother of two. "Cars are supposed to stop. And yet this is a fairly busy street and a lot of cars don’t think about it, especially if they don’t live in this area."

Three different people approached city council members last year to describe scary experiences of being struck by vehicles while trying to cross 63rd Street in Brookside.

Public improvement advisory committee money has been used to improve the crossing here, moving it to connect two parking lots and adding a signal that requires drivers to stop.

"For drivers it will really stand out because one of the issues we’re having, quite frankly, is people going too fast and being distracted when they are driving," said Scott Taylor, 6th District councilman. "Our hope is that this will cut down on that."

Trolley Trail users, who travel through the parking lots in the business district, are better served by the new connecting crossing. Older striped crosswalks nearby have been removed to encourage everyone to cross at the same point.

Police will monitor how motorized traffic adjusts to the new crosswalk this week. This type of signal is one of many that will be used in neighborhoods with similar issues across Kansas City.