Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I was rambling, apparently, the computer pretend-powers thought, the sky perhaps looked down on my screen and said, "oh, please," and so that which I had been writing was destroyed by the predictable (but always forgotten) you-kicked-off-server-now event that happens every day on the network at 5 p.m.

All I was doing was making fun of how the City Council wants to rename 13th Street between Walnut and Main "H&R Block Way." Way.

How it's a cheap bottom(line)-kissing move, though it has been held on the agenda for a number of weeks (insert jokes about tax-service's many lawsuits and the Social Security number mailing label blunder).

And how downtown drivers don't need any more "help" not knowing where the heck they are without the signs being all overdone. Block et al are responsible for the fact you can't drive any damn where downtown without cursing as it is.

On "Carl J. DiCapo Way," the sign for Main Street is still up, so, you know, clutter, tourist confusion extraordinaire by Union Station. More people seem to have issues driving by the H&R Block Fountain on Pershing without slowing down. It is a pretty thing. And let's face it, the lights at that intersection are waaaaay overtimed.

I frequently bitch to thin air about how Kansas City's long green lights are shining out upon empty thoroughfares. My most-hated is the left-turn signal for Main north going Pershing west. Well, one of my most-hated. There are the "should be just stop signs" all along 18th and 19th Streets, of course, particularly noticable at Troost.

Now, I hear they are going to "realign" that pesky Gillham/McGee/20th Street area. Kansas City has been slowly but surely slicing out its "uniqueness" and "charm" by making its intersections 90-degree dullnesses. Hardesty and Independence avenues is one example. Dull and still not functional. Van Brunt and Independence boulevards is another (in planning stages). St. John/Benton/Gladstone is another. . .

While I'm rambling, I will also say that the new traffic light at 39th and Pennsylvania is also unnecessary. I have been paying very much attention to the flow of the left-turns going on here (there are many), and I never, ever, ever have had to wait more than a minute or two for clearance. Whenever they decide to turn on the light, then I'll be waiting around for nothing. I hate traffic lights that are spewing laws and control for nothing.

Anarchy in the Wednesday.


Josh said...

I'm with you on the 39th and Pennsylvania light, it's totally needless there. The one thing I think the street departments did do correctly is the light at Mill and Westport. It was impossible to turn left there and it was difficult for pedestrians. It's better there now.

I do question what's the attraction in oddly shaped intersections? They cause traffic hazards. I think of Gillam near the hospital where there's a poorly orchestrated merge of traffic from Gillam and Pershing.

The area I hate right now is the intersections near the South end of Mill Creek Park (J.C. Nichols and 47th and Main and 47th). The lights are, again, way overtimed and too many people try to get through the intersections. Not to mention the lanes are offset as they enter the Plaza which just creates more madness. When are they going to put us in charge of this town?

trAcy said...

Why did they design oddly-shaped intersections in the first place, that's what I'd like to know. Of course, some of these ways were dandy were you in a carriage.

Then again, the traffic hazards are minimal, in my experience. It's not like you or I or anyone we know have ever crashed trying to navigate Oak/McGee/Gillham. .

In fact, it seems to serve as a driving test, and they should post driver's ed teachers there who flag you down when you demonstrate your lack of knowledge for basic yield rules.

I find that the people who "don't get" these merges, etc., are not paying attention.

Susan said...

I think I need to get out of the office. When I read "H&R Block Way," I could not for the life of me remove the "method" connotation and insert the "route" one. For a solid 30 seconds or so I really was thinking, "Who would name a street after the way that H&R Block do things?" Anyway I can't respond to the specifics here Trancy but I sincerely feel for you all the same. Street re-naming and wacky intersections are not a problem here in Podunkville but in Cleveland those issues were on our minds pretty often.

And can I just say, thanks for mentioning Union Station... Nice memories... :)

square peg said...

We have the same problem in Chicago too. All of the streets are given "honorary" names by the City Council (there was special controversy when they renamed part of Michigan Ave "Hugh Hefner Ave") and it's unsafe because in some of the more obscure neighborhoods ambulance drivers/fire/police other emergency personnel have a hard time figuring out where they are. Like, "Here's Hugh Hefner Ave again...but where's that damn Michigan Avenue?"