Archive for Thursday, August 3, 2006

Another senseless Junction tragedy

August 3, 2006

We were deeply saddened and disturbed when yet another life was lost Tuesday to the latest in a long line of vehicle accidents at the deadly Baldwin Junction.

It's a tragedy that the Baldwin City community lost another person, this one 84-year-old Charlene Pohl, who lived south of the Worden community in southern Douglas County. Our hearts go out to the family and friends.

What makes this tragedy even harder to take is it shouldn't have happened. The Kansas Department of Transportation announced weeks ago that a four-way stop would be in place at the end of July or first of August.

It's long been known how dangerous this intersection of U.S. Highways 59 and 56 is because, as it stands now, traffic stops at U.S. 56, but not at U.S. 59.

It's a stop-gap solution until the new U.S. 59 Freeway can be built just to the east of the present highway. Stop signs are cheaper than a rural roundabout, which would be a better solution if not for the money it would cost, only to have the situation eased when the new freeway is built.

We've been promised by KDOT officials that the additional two stop signs on U.S. 59, special stop ahead signs, warning flashers and a series of rumble strips to alert motorists will be put in as soon as possible -- when the "specialty" signage ordered arrives.

That's not soon enough for Pohl or others who have been killed or injured at the dangerous intersection.

It's time to get it done. Past time.

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