It’s time that bureaucratic regulations be tempered with a little common sense.
USD 250, in the wake of a student being hit by a car crossing 4th Street after school has asked the Kansas Department of Transportation for a stoplight at the intersection of 4th and Free King Highway — where the Pittsburg High School parking lot empties.
According to Pittsburg Superintendent of Schools Destry Brown, the intersection doesn’t meet any of the “warrants” — basically the required traffic load — to allow a stoplight to be placed.
This is beyond ridiculous — particularly when the city and school district have offered to bear the cost of the light.
The section of 4th coming in to town from the east has a 55 mph speed limit, dropping to 40 right in front of the school — where students are exiting in their cars or walking across the street to get home.
It seems to us that a light at that intersection is only common sense — and should have been put in place long ago.
We understand KDOT has regulations on this sort of thing for a reason — traffic lights are expensive and shouldn’t be used where they are not warranted — however, in this case there’s a clear need for more traffic control.
Regulations should be for guidance of the people charged with overseeing them, but they are just that — guidance — and shouldn’t be used in the place of common sense.
Brown is very correctly planning to meet with State Rep. Monica Murnan (D-Pittsburg) and State Sen. Richard Hilderbrand (R-Baxter Springs) on this issue and we urge them both to put pressure on KDOT to grant a waiver and put the light in before someone is seriously hurt or killed.
Telling a grieving parent a light wasn’t “warranted” will be small comfort, when it’s clear using brains rather than regulations to make decisions could have avoided the tragedy in the first place.