For many years, folks in Ellinwood have complained about the Y-shaped intersection west of their community. It is the confluence of U.S. 56 and East Barton County Road and has been the site of numerous accidents and even more near misses.
There was a community meeting in Ellinwood on Oct. 31 and the intersection came up during that gathering. Several local residents again brought up the dangerous junction, concerns that found their way to a Barton County Commission meeting shortly there after.
What, the residents asked, could the county do to make the corner safer?
Any significant changes would have to be handled by the Kansas Department of Transportation. But, instead of telling those worried about the intersection there was nothing they could do, the commission decided to have the matter studied.
County officials met with Midwest Energy officials and a solution was reached. A more powerful light would be installed and the county would pay the monthly fee to keep it going.
The state will also install a sign, but more needs to be done. However, these improvements would be costly and subject to the state’s bureaucratic machine.
None the less, the commission acted in the best interest of these concerned county citizens and did what it could. It was a case of looking after our own, something that is becoming increasingly important given the state’s fiscal condition.