Leawood approves new citywide crosswalk policy after 6-year-old was hit at intersection last year

The Leawood City Council has approved a new policy that allows residents to request crosswalks at intersections across the city. Above, an existing crosswalk at 95th Street and Lee Boulevard. Photo by Lucie Krisman.

The Leawood City Council this week unanimously approved the adoption of a new citywide pedestrian crossing policy, following concerns raised by residents in recent months.

Another thing: The council at its Monday meeting also approved the installation of a new crosswalk at the intersection of 93rd Street and Lee Boulevard.

  • Residents began rallying for a crosswalk at that particular intersection after a 6-year-old Leawood resident was hit by a car there last fall.

The details: The new citywide policy creates a process for residents who want to request a crosswalk in a specific intersection.

  • Following a request, the city will now conduct a study on a requested crosswalk location.
  • The city engineer will then assess various factors, including compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, sight distance from approaching cars and whether alternate routes exist within 330 feet of it.
  • A location will not be considered if a previous request for a crosswalk at that same location came within the prior two years.

What determines a need? In order for a crosswalk to be installed at an intersection, it would need to pass at least three of the four following criteria:

  • At least one reported accident involving a pedestrian in the past three years
  • Sidewalks on only one side of the street
  • An isolated residential street with no connections to other streets that lead to sidewalks
  • Roadside objects or ditches that prevent pedestrian access to sidewalks or trails

What’s next? City staff said the crosswalk at 93rd Street will be installed later this year.

  • This will begin with installing sidewalks on 93rd Street and on the east side of Lee Boulevard.
  • Contractor costs for the installation will be brought back to the city council in September.