It seems that it’s our nature to criticize first and then analyze second. I’m often as guilty as the next person, being judgmental before understanding the facts.

It seems that it’s our nature to criticize first and then analyze second. I’m often as guilty as the next person, being judgmental before understanding the facts.

Like many, many motorists at the lake, I’m thoroughly enjoying the expressway — sadly at the expense of many, many businesses that enjoyed (and sometimes cursed) a traffic flow that numbered in the tens of thousands a day. Many of us moaned and groaned when traffic on a Friday afternoon and a Sunday afternoon was backed up for miles because there was one way in, and one way out.

The hue and cry then was to fix the problem. Motorists were afraid to lose their place in line to pull off for this or that; they were afraid they’d never get back in line once they left the string of vehicles headed home. Many merchants wanted a solution. Be careful what you wish for, is perfect in hindsight today.

Now the challenge is to save as many businesses on The Parkway as possible. Steve Kahrs, Osage Beach alderman, has made it a cause to pressure MoDOT (and the city) to improve signage on the Expressway to encourage motorists to pull off and at least drive by struggling businesses.

He is not alone in his arm waving. Others on the board, and even the staff, say there needs to be a dialogue with those who make the decisions.

The city of Osage Beach has listened to not only the board’s concerns but also those of business owners and their employees. A public forum will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, at the city hall so concerns can be shared.

This is our chance to tell the city what we think, to share with them solutions to the problem. It will be up to city officials what they do with the information.

I’ve tried to teach my children to offer solutions when they see a problem. It’s easy to criticize, to find fault. We’re all quick to judge. We have a chance next week to offer possible solutions. I think they’ll be listening.
And then there’s the intersection of Key Largo Road and the expressway toward the southwest end of the project.

It’s been the location of at least six accidents since January, and all were for failure to yield right of way to oncoming traffic. MoDOT realizes there is a problem — potentially fatal — because the agency is hosting a public briefing from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday of this week.

Yes, it’s a challenge to cross from Key Largo to the westbound lanes of the Expressway. To go west, motorists must cross the two eastbound lanes of traffic, traveling at 65 miles per hour, and then keep a watchful eye to westbound traffic in addition to westbound traffic turning east onto Key Largo.

I’m no engineer, no vehicle safety expert, not even an armchair quarterback on this one. I’ve driven the area for business and pleasure, and even tried to give the problem some thought.

I sometimes travel Highway 50 west of Tipton through Sedalia and eventually to Lee’s Summit en route to my sister’s in Liberty or to Iowa. That 100-plus stretch of highway has several intersections with cross traffic. At each one (I think) there is a set of caution lights either attached to posts along the right-of-way, or hanging over the highway.

I’m not privy to traffic accident information for Highway 50, but in the dozens of times I’ve traveled that highway, I’ve never seen an accident nor have I felt an accident was imminent.

Reducing the speed at the intersection is not a solution. Doing so will only result in a hotbed of speeding tickets. And what Osage Beach doesn’t need now is the reputation as a speed trap. Let’s leave that moniker to Linn Creek.

 The OBPD, the Camden County Sheriff’s Department and the Highway Patrol already suffer from the perception that they’re stalking motorists.
Cooler, smarter heads should prevail.

Regardless, the public now has two opportunities to speak up.
We welcome the open-door policies of the city of Osage Beach and MoDOT.