Northwest Wichita Intersection Jumps To Third Most Dangerous

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The city's police department keeps track of all the most dangerous intersections in Wichita. One north west intersection has jumped up that list into the third spot.

Police say 21st and Maize is seeing more accidents than usual. Police believe the reason is not only the construction, but the way drivers are dealing with it.

Last year, there were 34 accidents here at 21st and Maize. So far this year, there have been 29 and we're only a little more half way through the year.

The Hair and Shampoo Center has sat near the corner of 21st and Maize for about 18 years.

“We were one of the first salons in the area,” Owner Randy King said.

Owner Randy King says since construction started just outside his salon, traffic has gotten worse and more dangerous.

“I've seen, well a lot of wrecks. An average of one a week if not more,” King said.

Over the last few years, 21st and Maize has steadily risen up the list of Wichita’s most dangerous intersections. In 2009, it was number 24. In 2011, it jumped to the 12th place. Then just this year, the intersection is already ranked third.

“If you have a greater volume of traffic in a particular area and you try to reduce it down due to construction, it will cause delays and people will become impatient. People just need to slow down and watch out for the other driver who is probably not watching out for them,” Lt. Joe Schroeder with the Wichita Police Department said.

King says he's seen his fair share of impatient drivers.

“First of all they honk at you a lot and they give you the finger a lot,” King said.

King says he can at least hope the traffic outside his window returns to normal when construction is finished.

The project should be finished sooner than expected. City engineers tell us the paving is done, they're putting down markings now, and should install traffic signals next week. If everything keeps going as planned, they should be finished by mid-September.

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