Neighbors say KC intersection becoming major problem as number of crashes grows

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – People who live and work near one eastside intersection believe the number of crashes in the area is growing at an alarming rate and the city needs to do something about it.

Constance and her family opened a neighborhood store at the corner of 23rd and Prospect less than two months. In that short time, she’s witnessed multiple crashes.

“’Boom!’ That’s what it sounds like each time,” she said. “If I park my car right there, I don’t want no crazy accident to happen and then it hits my car.”

The 4-way intersection has stop signs for east-west traffic. Traffic along Prospect is unregulated.

“This is a problem because cars they speed down, they don’t want to stop sometimes,” she said. “They take a pause, take a pause and keep going.”

A FOX4 crew spent an hour at the intersection on Tuesday and witnessed speeders, the difficulty pedestrians face trying to cross the street and the blind spots because of newly installed bus shelters – forcing drivers on 23rd to creep out onto Prospect.

“It’s a major problem, a major problem,” said Jeannette Hampton, who has lived in the area for 20 years.

She said crashes near the intersection started to increase after new bus shelters were installed as part of the Prospect Max Bus Rapid Transit line.

Data collected by Kansas City police shows the number of crashes at the intersection have more than quadrupled year to date. There were four crashes at 23rd and Prospect in all of 2019. So far in 2020, there have been 18 crashes, four of which have happened in the last month.

“I mean, what do they have to do? Wait on somebody to get killed right here?” Hampton asked. “I don’t understand it.”

Neighbors want the city to install a traffic light or four-way stop at the intersection.

FOX4 reached out to the city and received the following statement from Rod Richardson in the KC Communications Office:

“Yes, we are aware of the request to install a traffic signal at this location. However, our engineers follow national standards and criteria when analyzing these requests and this intersection does not meet those requirements. While each accident may be unique, we know that drivers should slow down when approaching any intersection, and should follow the traffic rules, whether it’s a stoplight or a stop sign.”

“If it can be prevented, why not prevent it?” Constance said.

FOX4 asked Richardson what requirements need to be met to get a stoplight or four-way stop at the intersection. We’re still waiting on that answer and will update this story when we get one.

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