Rumble strips will be placed at three intersections along Highway 254 in an attempt to prevent future accidents.

Rumble strips will be placed at three intersections along Highway 254 in an attempt to prevent future accidents.

The Butler County Commission discussed safety concerns along the highway during their meeting Tuesday morning, following a meeting Monday with officials to discuss the issue.

The Kansas Department of Transportation has taken some steps to improve safety measures along the highway in Sedgwick County.
They have installed larger stop signs at Greenwich, Webb and Rock roads. They also are updating the warning signs to the bright yellow-green signs which meet the new state requirement.

"The only thing really left out there is there seems to be a lot of interest for rumble strips," said Darryl Lutz, public works director.

Although KDOT's criteria does not require them on any of the roads in question in Butler County, they did leave the option open for the county if county officials decided they wanted them.

Sedgwick County is putting in rumble strips at Greenwich Road because of the high accident ratio there.

The roads in question included Butler Road, Adams Road (Santa Fe Lake Road), River Valley Road, Hunter Road, Ohio Street and Benton's Main Street.

The two roads with the highest speed of traffic are Butler and Ohio. River Valley has a 30 mile per hour approach on the south and a curve to the north; Hunter is 40 miles per hour; and Ohio is 55 miles per hour.

One concern mentioned was the noise they would create for anyone living in those areas, but it was decided there were not many homes close enough to be impacted much. They decided Butler Road was the only one that might impact homes.

Sheriff Craig Murphy was in favor of placing rumble strips on all of the paved roads coming up to 254.

"This thing has become so open and political, what you have to think about is where is our liability," Murphy said. "If we put in rumble strips, we've done everything we can to protect drivers."

Lutz felt they could get carried away with it though.

While there are some accidents caused by inattention, Lutz didn't think it would solve the problem of people making a conscious choice to run an intersection or people stopping, then pulling out to try to beat traffic.

"It will only solve inattentive driving or those unaware of the stop sign," he said.

Commissioner Mike Wheeler said if it saved one life it was worth it.

After discussing all of the roads, the commission decided to put rumble strips on Butler Road, Adams Road on the north side of 254, River Valley Road, Hunter Road on the north side and Ohio Street on the north side.

Commissioners Jeff Masterson and Dan Woydzaik did not feel the ones on Adams or Hunter were needed and all of the commissioners agreed the others were needed. They also agreed they were not necessary on Benton's Main Street.

The motion to put in the rumble strips was approved 5-0.

"I think most of the accidents would be prevented if we have defensive driving," Lutz said. "People are tuned out."

Speed also is a concern on Highway 254.

Murphy told the commissioners about three different speed stings they did.

The first resulted in 17 tickets in 2 1/2 hours at Meadowlark, where they found drivers going 78 to 86 miles per hour.

The second resulted in 18 tickets in the same time frame and similar speeds near Towanda.

The third was at the Turnpike overpass, where they wrote 21 tickets for speeds of 58 to 69 miles per hour in the 50 mile per hour zone.

Following their discussion, KDOT contacted the county Wednesday and asked them to hold off on doing River Valley and Hunter until later, so just Butler, Adams and Ohio will be receiving rumble strips immediately.

The rumble strips are being installed by Dustrol at no cost to the county.