Mission Hills considering replacing flashing State Line traffic light after getting go-ahead from KCMO

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A flashing traffic light that has been a curiosity and annoyance to many northeast Johnson County motorists may be getting replaced or removed later this year.

The traffic light at the intersection of Tomahawk Road and State Line Road has been flashing red lights since Kansas City, Mo., shut it down as part of a cost-saving effort a couple of years ago. That move ruffled some feathers in Mission Hills, where the city says it wasn’t informed of the plan prior to its execution.

Because Kansas City, Mo., owned the equipment, the city of Mission Hills didn’t have the jurisdiction to alter the flashing light setup, so the traffic lights remained and the city installed stop signs at all four entry points to the intersection.

But after months of deliberations, Kansas City, Mo., wrote Mission Hills a letter granting the city the right to do what it would like with the intersection at Mission Hills’ expense.

The Mission Hills council is now considering whether to install new traffic light equipment at the intersection, and would likely rent the equipment from KCP&L.

“We’re looking for something more reliable,” said Assistant City Administrator Jennifer Lee. “We’ve heard that equipment could be as old as the 40s or 50s.”

Lee said the city council would also likely consider putting a pedestrian crossing light in at the intersection since there are sidewalks. Traffic engineers are assessing the intersection to make recommendations about the best solution.

The council is expected to take up the issue in February or March.