Steve Reardon was in the bathroom of his Rosewood Circle home getting ready for the day last Wednesday when he heard a loud crash that sounded like it was coming from just feet away. When he went outside to investigate, he found a Lexus SUV dangling over the retaining wall on the south side of his home.
It was precisely the kind of thing that Reardon and Katie Danner had worried about since moving into the house along 75th Street. With heavy trucks zipping along one of Prairie Village’s major thoroughfares every day, Reardon and Danner were unsettled by the prospect of a huge vehicle plowing over the dropoff from the street and into neighboring yards or even a home. It wasn’t the first time a wreck along the stretch of 75th Street from Nall Avenue to Roe Avenue has left a homeowner rattled. in January 2014, a car crossed multiple lanes of traffic and smashed through the fence near Rosewood.
Reardon and Danner had contacted the city months ago asking them to explore the possibility of adding a more robust safety barrier along the stretch than the current chain link fence. But because the street has a 35 mile per hour speed limit, Prairie Village officials said no additional traffic shield was required.
In the wake of the crash last week, however, the two made an appearance at the city council meeting Monday where they were joined by several neighbors in lobbying for a solution to what they argued was a pressing safety concern.
“We have been VERY fortunate…that the driver and her unborn child were uninjured and that she was driving a relatively small vehicle at a slow speed,” Danner and Reardon wrote city officials after the wreck. “We are very alarmed about the large vehicles traveling on 75th Street since this is the primary truck route through PV and that they travel over 35 mph consistently.”
On Monday, Reardon showed the council this video of industrial vehicles passing by their home:
The group of neighbors also presented a proposal for addressing the issue — a sturdier concrete barrier with metal railing atop it, similar to installations along creek beds throughout the city:
Members of the council expressed concern about the incident and said they intended to work toward a solution in the coming weeks, though some noted that even a barrier like the one proposed by the neighbors would do little to stop a huge truck like a semi.