Overland Park temporarily removes traffic signals at 91st and Glenwood

Overland Park temporarily removed traffic signal mast arms at 91st and Glenwood and replaced them with stop signs. Photo submitted by Donna Palatas.

Overland Park residents may have noticed some changes at the intersection of 91st Street and Glenwood Street.

The city last week removed the intersection’s traffic signals and replaced them with stop signs for those traveling north and southbound on Glenwood. Although the city previously said the signals would be permanently removed following a 90-day transition period, they were taken down early after traffic reports showed drivers were using the Glenwood intersection as an all-way stop despite traffic on 91st Street having the right-of-way, according to city officials.

City staff converted signals at Glenwood and Lamar Avenue to flashing operation on Oct. 22, and have been monitoring both intersections since that time.

Digital Communications Supervisor Meg Ralph said the Public Works Department is continuing to hear resident feedback as they monitor traffic in that area.

“We’re flexible and making adjustments based on that feedback and observations staff are making in the area regarding traffic safety,” Ralph said.

Traffic signals at 91st and Lamar Avenue — which were given the same 90-day transition period as Glenwood — are still in red flashing mode. Traffic Engineer Brian Shields said both intersections will continue to be studied until mid- to late January 2021.

Although it’s a temporary removal, some residents like Donna Palatas, aren’t on board.

Palatas started a petition against the traffic signal removal at both Glenwood and Lamar stating the proposed changes — a roundabout at Lamar and a two-way stop sign at Glenwood — “would result in decreased safety for drivers and pedestrians and traffic backups.”

“With the current situation at that intersection of no traffic signals or walk signals, I can’t tell if the drivers turning onto Glenwood from 91st are going to stop for pedestrians or not, so as a pedestrian, I have to wait until the intersection is clear before stepping into the crosswalk,” Palatas said.

Shields said following the 90-day study period, city staff will bring the traffic signal item to the February 2021 Public Works Committee meeting for further consideration.