Sedgwick County to conduct study on dangerous intersection, make immediate changes

Drivers are raising concerns about an intersection west of Wichita, 21st and 167th Street West.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 2:39 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Sedgwick County is conducting a study on two hazardous intersections. Drivers are raising concerns about an intersection west of Wichita, 21st and 167th Street West.

There have been 50 crashes at or near the intersection over the past 10 years, including three crashes that resulted in four deaths.

The county hopes to get long-term recommendations about the intersection and plans to gather data including how many cars pass through the intersection and the number of crashes that happen. This process could take several weeks. In the meantime, immediate changes are being made.

“We have added reflectors to the double post that are on the stop signs, we are adding either tomorrow or the next day, stop ahead signs on 167th, and put intersections warning signs on 21st Street ahead of the intersection. As well, we’ve already contacted every to illuminate the intersection,” said Lynn Packer, Interim Director for Sedgwick County Public Works.

The county also plans to add more lighting to increase visibility.

Sedgwick County District Map
Sedgwick County District Map(Sedgwick County)

Last week, 12 News spoke with Dave Hilger who was concerned about the intersection of West 21st Street and North 167th Street West after his nephew was seriously injured in a crash there on Jan. 13. Hilger said he and his neighbors have talked more needing to be done to protect the area.

East-west traffic on 21st Street has the right of way as 48-inch (four-foot) stop signs with a flashing light control north-south traffic on 167th. Memorials near the intersection indicate other tragedies that have occurred at the intersection.

For some, large stop signs and flashing lights aren’t enough for the busy intersection west of Wichita.

“What we want is more change [because] the signs, people ignore,” said Sedgwick County resident Carrie Patton who lives near 21st and 167th West. “East and west traffic doesn’t stop at all and those people move fast. Sometimes they don’t obey the speed limit. [North and southbound drivers] have to basically play “Frogger” to get across.”

Issues with distracted driving made the intersection even more dangerous.

“There’s accidents happening pretty regularly out there and people are just not paying attention, Sedgwick County Commissioner David Dennis said.

He said most of the crashes at 21st and 167th are “due to personal error.”

“These serious accidents are caused by people running the stop sign that’s at 167th and 21st Street,” Dennis said.