The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 24, 2013

Wally Kennedy: New interchange has at least one fan

JOPLIN, Mo. — So far, I have not met many people who have said they actually like the new diverging-diamond interchange that’s been constructed at Range Line Road and Interstate 44.

In fact, I have met only one person who is truly happy with the new design — Cpl. Dan Haskins, head of the Joplin Police Department’s traffic division. That’s because the design has lived up to its promise of fewer car crashes.

“We’ve only had two since it opened,” he said. “One of them occurred on the first day when a motorist found the whole thing to be too overwhelming.”

The other accident involved a motorcyclist who was fleeing from police but was unaware that the new design had been put in place. Oops!

The motorcyclist “found he could not take those curves at 80 mph,’’ said Haskins.

Haskins said that motorists are having a hard time adjusting to the new design because “it’s so different, so out of the box. People think the person who came up with this idea had to be crazy, but it works. It’s amazing how effective it is.”

The person who came up with the idea, as I recall, is from France. Hmm. Perhaps that is enough said.

Fortunately, the design features plenty of directional arrows and traffic signals to guide us happily on our way. But still, when I go through the interchange, it’s 100 percent defensive driving. I’m watching everybody else in case I encounter someone who is a buffet item or two shy of a full combination platter. Let’s face it, there are a lot of distracted drivers out there who are easily bumfuzzled. That’s the scenario I worry about.

Maybe that’s why there have been so few accidents. Drivers have their guard up the moment they approach the new interchange because they really can’t tell what’s coming at them and from what direction.

What I worry about is a meeting of the minds between the person who came up with the idea for the roundabout and the person who came up with the idea for the diverging-diamond interchange.

Let’s pray these people never cross paths, or else we will be doing upside-down loops on elevated ramps that would rival anything at Silver Dollar City.

Text Only
Local News
  • Ballot issues dominate GOP event

    A maze of campaign yard signs lined the sidewalk at Big Spring Park, leading up to a line of local candidates for public office with rolled-up sleeves shaking hands with potential voters.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter