Prairie Village council, police chief concerned about traffic at Indian Hills if school board votes to close Mission Valley

Members of the Prairie Village city council and police chief Wes Jordan are concerned about what impact the proposed closure of Mission Valley would have on local traffic.

In response to a report on the potential impacts of the proposal delivered by assistant city administrator Dennis Enslinger, council members at last night’s meeting expressed doubts that, as presently configured, Indian Hills could adequately accommodate the traffic flow that would be necessary to get a consolidated student body to school every day.

Jordan, who brought up similar concerns before the Mission Hills city council last week, said that the closure of Mission Valley would likely increase the northbound flow of traffic along Mission Road through a number of school zones. Moreover, he said that even if the district modified Indian Hills’ circle drive to allow more buses to pick up and drop off students, traffic in the area was likely to be more than the current infrastructure was designed for.

“The district has said you could handle the increase in students by allowing more bus access, but at this point we don’t know how many students would be arriving by bus and how many would be arriving by car,” Jordan said. “I tend to think that with the need to get kids to after school activities, you’re going to see more kids in cars than in buses.”

But, Jordan said, the police department and the district would not be digging into the specific impact on traffic until after Nov. 8.

“We’ve agreed to wait until after the vote,” Jordan said.

Council member Laura Wassmer said she thought the closure may end up putting a significant cost burden on the city, even if it saved the district some money.

“The board may look at this as a measure that would save money, but it would put additional cost on us,” Wassmer said. “We don’t have the additional officers we’d need to put in the school zones.”