LETTER: Dangerous road

Rick Hill

To the editor:

I was extremely saddened to learn of the recent traffic accident on Tonganoxie Road that claimed the life of one male and caused severe injuries to a young male and female, all three in their early 20s. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the families of those that were involved in the accident.

I’m not surprised at all though by the tragedy as it was simply inevitable that a severe or fatal crash was going to happen at some point in time along Tonganoxie Road within the Leavenworth city limits.

I moved into my house off of Tonganoxie Road a little over three years ago and immediately noticed the very high rate of speed of cars driving past my driveway, even though my house is located within the city limits. When I say high rate of speed, I’m not talking 15-20 mph over the posted 35 mph speed limit. I’m talking oftentimes what appears to be 25 to 35 mph or even more over the speed limit.

It’s a wonder that there haven’t been more fatal accidents in light of the daily excessive and unchecked speeds of many vehicles traveling along Tonganoxie Road, especially early in the mornings and in the afternoons when drivers are headed to and from work.

I take extra precaution when leaving my driveway as I have had several instances of vehicles barreling down on me from the south at high rates of speed even though they weren’t visible when I turned onto Tonganoxie Road. I imagine that there are residents of Shenandoah that have experienced the same thing I have.

I also routinely see cars passing in the no passing zone just past Shenandoah, even though there is a slight hill that blocks the view of cars coming from the south.    

I emailed the Leavenworth Police Department Traffic Division last year with my concern over the extreme speed of cars within the city limits along Tonganoxie Road in front of my property, however, I never noticed any increased presence of patrol cars. Maybe there was an increased effort to monitor speeds and I just didn’t notice.

Regardless, there’s been no noticeable decrease in speeds and with the work being done on Eisenhower Road it’s only gotten worse over the past few months.

I fully recognize and appreciate the fact that the Leavenworth Police Department has a very tough job and can’t be everywhere at all times, however, in order to possibly prevent future tragedies such as happened Monday, there needs to be some level of effort made to mitigate the excessive speeds that daily occur on Tonganoxie Road within the city limits.

It seems that the Lansing Police Department has cracked the code on how to mitigate excessive speed coming into their city on 7/73 from the south by periodically having patrol cars posted at or near the city limit. It doesn’t take long to understand that if you don’t slow down as you enter Lansing on 7/73 there’s a good chance that you’ll get a speeding ticket. Maybe the same thing could be done on Tonganoxie Road as well.    

– Rick Hill/Tonganoxie