A four-way stop at 4th Street and Free King Highway in Pittsburg, Kansas will activate on Thursday, August 9th, 2018, to help slow traffic east of the high school. Officials say it's one of several modifications agreed upon by the City of Pittsburg, Pittsburg USD 250 School District, Crawford County and Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) to improve safety for students.
"There was an accident last year that kind of brought it to the point, but for the most part, people asked us to study this on behalf of all the students and all the traffic out there. And so we did. And it all comes back to safety, " said Hall. The city manager is referring to an accident involving high school student Gabriel Norton, who was hit by a car while using a crosswalk near Pittsburg High's main entrance.
The City and KDOT, this summer, implemented a school speed zone on 4th Street, reducing speeds from 40 to 25 when school is in session. School speed zone signs with flashing beacons are in place, as well as stop signs and advance warning signage for the four-way stop at 4th and Free King Highway.
"It just makes sense to slow people down as they're driving past here, to ensure that kids can walk across the street safely, and ensure motorists don't hit somebody, because I can't think of a worse thing to have to live with," said Principal Phil Bressler.
The school district is also planning traffic flow changes at the high school. Starting this fall (2018), all pick-up and drop-off traffic will enter through the main entrance of PHS. Crawford County crews will soon construct a new driveway east of the school which will be designated for parking only. All traffic coming from the high school will exit onto Free King Highway.
The City says, for a longer-term solution, it's working to acquire federal highway funds to build a roundabout at 4th Street and Free King Highway.
Officials ask drivers to stay alert to the traffic changes at the intersection and to use caution when approaching the school.