Fairway City Council unanimously approved a contract with Kansas City-based Superior Bowen to permanently reconfigure the island on Belinder Road to State Park Road.
The city won’t spend any money on the project because Superior Bowen – whose owner, Matt Bowen, lives in Belinder – is donating its services, which the city said was valued at $ 20,000.
Last September, Superior Bowen also donated all labor and material costs, estimated at $ 45,000, to install five permanent speed bumps along that stretch of Belinder immediately south of Shawnee Mission Parkway.
The city also temporarily reconfigured traffic on Belinder Island, which reduced vehicle speeds.
Public Works Director Bill Stogsdill said at the time that studies of traffic calming mainly focused on speed, not traffic volumes. The intention was to determine what would slow traffic the best, and not divert it to other areas.
City administrator Nathan Nogelmeier said permanent speed bumps would not be as jarring as temporary speed bumps.
Map of traffic islands
The traffic island is at the angular junction of Belinder Road and State Park Road, between the adjacent corners of Mission Hills Country Club and Kansas City Country Club.
Nogelmeier said in Monday’s meeting that the permanent reconfiguration of the traffic island:
- remove “unsightly” vertical deflectors used to direct traffic,
- “Soften” the curve for northbound traffic on Belinder to turn right to continue on the road,
- install a new curb where an existing section of Belinder is prohibited,
- add soil and grass seeds
- and leave a channel on the east side of the road to allow stormwater to continue to flow to the creek.
The work is expected to be completed in about two months, Nogelmeier said, but since the project will not cost the city money, the schedule will be flexible with the contractor.
Traffic studies from 2017 to 2019 identified speed as an issue on Belinder. Three temporary speed bumps failed to correct the problem.
Accelerate a long-standing concern
Ward 3 council member David Watkins said several cars had been “clocked over 60 miles an hour heading north of the hill [towards SM Parkway]. “
Police chief JP Thurlo confirmed that the traffic calming measures were “having a huge impact on Belinder’s speed” and that his department had received fewer speeding complaints.
“I’m in favor of this,” Thurlo said. “We have seen a reduction in speed, and I think that makes the neighborhood safer to have these checks.”
Watkins asked who would keep the reconfigured island.
Nogelmeier said the area homeowners association is currently maintaining it, but since it will include more green space, the public works department will work with the HOA to organize its upkeep.
Nogelmeier said the town had waited to spend taxpayer money on Belinder Island until Mission Hills decided what to do with the Belinder low-water crossing, just across the country. the border with Fairway.
“The wait has been painful at times,” said Mayor Melanie Hepperly. “If we were to go ahead using the city’s tax dollars for something that we didn’t know the outcome of Mission Hills would be, it would be a mess. It’s not in my nature to do that sort of thing. … We were patient.
Fairway said in an email last week that Mission Hills had not shared “any final decisions or timelines” for actions regarding the low water crossing.