New Johnson Drive streetscape to feature flashing crosswalk beacons to improve pedestrian safety

New Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons at Weltner Park are designed to improve pedestrian safety along Cambridge Drive.
Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons installed at Weltner Park in Prairie Village were designed to improve pedestrian safety along Cambridge Drive.

Among the many new features of the rebuilt Johnson Drive will be an improved system for pedestrian crossings that will use flashing lights activated by the pedestrian.

Mission Public Works Director John Belger has asked the council to restore funding for two flashing crossings that had been cut from the Johnson Drive budget. Belger said concerns about walkability on Johnson Drive, which will have new sidewalks and new streetscapes when completed, prompted the request to bring the number of flashing crosswalks in the construction area back to its original three.

The Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB) will be installed at Woodson, Beverly and Reeds. Mission Police Chief Ben Hadley said his department supports the flashing crosswalks.

With the three, Johnson Drive will have a signaled crosswalk every other block from Nall to Lamar. This will be the first time the flashers have been used in Mission. A pilot project in Prairie Village is using one at Weltner Park along Cambridge Drive.

Each crosswalk will cost approximately $18,000, but half of that cost can be reimbursed by matching funds, Belger said. The added beacons fit within the current project budget which came in under estimates.