A killer crosswalk strikes again--but professor survives and thrives with help of students

A recent Kansas City Star article by Joe Robertson told the amazing story of Professor Frank J. Smist and the aftermath of his encounter with a killer crosswalk:

Smist, who was a professor of political science and the director of global studies at Rockhurst University, was leaving his office for his car. He had just returned to Kansas City after a week of interviews on his latest book project, two years in the works.

A truck stopped at the crosswalk to let Smist cross Troost Avenue, but a car coming up behind veered around the truck without slowing.

Smist suffered multiple injuries. His legs broke the car’s bumper, he said. He smashed into the windshield and was tossed onto the pavement.

Worst of all, the impact left his brain swollen. When he came out of his coma, Smist said, “I was like a child. I had to learn to speak and walk all over again.”

He survived. But his book project had seemingly died.
Read the rest of the KCStar article to see how Professor Smist finished his book.

The street and area where Smist was hit and nearly killed--if not the very crosswalk--is the same place UMKC student Pei Chen was struck and killed in 2003.

The issue there is that Troost is a very fast-moving, four-lane motor-vehicles-first-and-only road passing through the campus area of Rockhurst College, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a nearby elementary school.

The area would greatly benefit by re-configuring it in a way similar to the Great Streets Initiative in St. Louis--making the area safer and more inviting for bicycling, walking, transit, and people of all ages.

Right now Troost is like a superhighway running through a college campus.

The street view below shows Rockhurst University on the right, Brookside Charter School on the left. The University of Missouri-Kansas City campus is just to the left as well.

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