Prairie Village City Council turns down request for special barricade along 75th Street

This accident last June spurred a request for a stronger barricade along 75th Street.
This accident last June spurred a request for a stronger barricade along 75th Street.

A request to install a concrete barricade and railing along 75th Street near Rosewood Circle to prevent errant drivers from plunging over an 11-foot retaining wall was rejected by the Prairie Village City Council Monday.

The request came from the residents of 7426 Rosewood Circle. Last summer, a car drove off 75th Street and crashed through a chain-link fence near their home, coming to rest straddling the retaining wall.

The owner of the property, identified in Council documents as Katie Danner, requested the fence be replaced immediately with a 2- to 6-foot decorative concrete barrier topped by a 1- to 6-foot railing.

City public works officials recommended against the request, saying it would cost $300,000 to build the suggested barrier. Instead, they recommended reviewing the situation when the next major overhaul of 75th Street is planned in 7- to 10 years.

Keith Bredehoeft, public works director, said the location on 75th Street where the accident occurred was no more prone to drivers going off the road than any other stretch of the street. He described the accident as an isolated event caused when the driver suffered a medical emergency.

“If it’s a home we’re trying to protect, there’s a lot of 75th Street with no protection,” he told the Council.

Councilmember Andrew Wang agreed.

“To me, if a car leaves the roadway, if they did it 100 yards down the street they’d be in someone’s living room,” he said. “It’s whether that spot deserves any more of Prairie Village tax money than any other stretch of 75th Street.”

But Councilmember Eric Mikkelson said stretches of the street that border steep drop offs should be considered for additional protection.

“Going over a 10-foot dropoff is different than rolling up on a yard,” he said. “If one is a 10-foot drop-off, it’s going to go farther.”

The resident who made the request was out of town and was unable to attend the meeting.

The council voted 9-3 to accept the recommendation of the Public Works Department. Mikkelson was joined by Council members Brooke Morehead and Serena Schermoly in opposing the recommendation.