A couple times a week, I get the pleasure of tackling the madness that is the southbound Missouri 291 and U.S. 50 Highway intersection.
Whether I am coming from Jefferson Street in downtown Lee’s Summit, using the outer road to head south on 291 or coming from Harrisonville back into Lee’s Summit, this mess is usually the driving low-point of my day.
Sure, sometimes it’s a close tie with those drivers who still don’t know how to merge on northbound 291 and 470.
But most days, navigating that area is the stuff prayers are made of. You just hope everyone else is paying attention, not texting, eating or shaving while trying to steer through an outdated system.
It’s time for improvements on this area. And it is time for Lee’s Summit to vote yes on Question 1 on the April 8 ballot.
While I can easily understand some hesitation to approve yet another bonding project, not only does this one address an immediate and visible need in Lee’s Summit, there is not a tax increase connected to this measure.
Within shouting distance of this mess of an area are inoperative properties, tracts of land that used to be occupied by Calmar, the Adesa Auto Auction and Pfizer.
Even if you live your Lee’s Summit life without having to connect to the southern area of town, U.S. 50 or downtown Lee’s Summit via this entry, the economic development benefit alone should compel you to support this ballot measure.
The no-tax-increase bond will secure $10 million to go along with monies from the Missouri Department of Transportation to put a whole new system into place.
With the passage, in the coming years we would see a new bridge (replacing the 50-year-old one that is in disrepair), make design changes that would eliminate so many left turns and constant congestion and provide safer routes to two high schools, Lee’s Summit and Summit Christian Academy.
Every bond question that comes before voters should be vetted and discussed among the residents and business owners. And every single one comes with a different set of queries, challenges and opportunities.
This is money well spent with a clear eye to safety and the future economy of Lee’s Summit.
Supporting Question 1 will benefit us all.
John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lee’s Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.