After parents voiced concerns about high-speed traffic along 103rd Street outside the temporary home for Brookwood Elementary, Overland Park and the Shawnee Mission School District have agreed to create a new school zone that will reduce the speed limit from 40 to 30 miles per hour during pick up and drop off hours.
Brookwood students will be attending class in the Indian Creek Technology Center building for the next three semesters as crews construct a new school on the site of the now-demolished original. Indian Creek is just a few blocks west of the Brookwood site, but the speed limit along 103rd Street between Mission and Nall is 5 mph higher than it is in front of the old Brookwood, where a school zone reduced the limit to 25 mph during pick up and drop off hours. Moreover, because that stretch of 103rd Street sees many motorists who have just gotten off I-435, speeds of 50 mph or more are not uncommon, said some parents.
Responding to a push from Brookwood parents to more closely examine traffic in the area, Overland Park and district officials agreed to monitor traffic patterns around Indian Creek when school started Friday. On Monday afternoon, city and school officials met to review their observations and determined that a new school zone was warranted.
Here are the details:
- The new school zone will reduce the maximum speed limit in the vicinity of the Indian Creek building along 103rd Street from 40 to 30 miles per hour.
- The reduced speed limit will be in effect for two 45-minute periods Monday through Friday to coincide with school pick up and drop off times. The school zone hours will be 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. and 3 to 3:45 p.m.
- Overland Park plans to install two solar powered beacons marking the start of the school zone. The beacons will flash when the reduced speed limit is in effect.
- Delivery of the beacons is expected next week, with installation coming in the days that follow.
Brookwood administrators said additional steps to calm traffic and increase pedestrian safety may be warranted.
“Officials looked at several options and the speed zone reduction is the first and most immediate step to be taken based on input from all parties including the public,” Brookwood principal Kevin Frick wrote in a message to parents.
Following traffic officers’ observations of the school area, Overland Park officials asked Brookwood families to adhere to crossing the street only at designated crosswalks.
“City and school officials remind everyone to use designated crosswalks,” read a message from the city. “Friday and Monday several parents and students crossed 103rd St., a four-lane, undivided thoroughfare, without using designated crosswalks, endangering all. All pedestrians should use either the signalized crosswalks at 103rd and Mission Road or 103rd and Roe. “