City Plans to Change Wanamaker Median Plan

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CITY HALL - WalMart and the owners of the Best Buy and shopping center properties all said Thursday they are now willing to allow the City of Topeka to build triangle, or “pork chop,” medians at each of the three property entrances/exits on busy Wanamaker Road.

The proposal was made to the property owners in early summer prior to three major accidents in June and July, which prompted the city to design a closed median that would have eliminated all left turns from Wanamaker and all straight through travel from the east or west side of the street to the other.

The new design will now allow left turns from Wanamaker to businesses but will require all exiting traffic to turn right.

Street demolition for the closed median construction began Monday. It was halted today. Since the agreement today, the City is in discussion with the contractor and design firm to create a revised construction phasing plan.

The median issue is just one part of a road rehabilitation project from Huntoon to 21st Street that includes replacing broken curbs and an asphalt overlay. The curb work was mostly completed last week and the overlay portion of the project is expected to be completed before the end of the construction season.

In 2005-2007, there were 69 crashes in the 1500 and 1600 blocks of Wanamaker. There have been 20 crashes this year, two involving rollovers.