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Archive for Tuesday, January 8, 1991

TRAFFIC PANEL BACKS CHANGES IN SIXTH STREET CONFIGURATION

January 8, 1991

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Controversial changes in the configuration of Sixth Street gained the approval Monday of the Lawrence Traffic Safety Commission.

The TSC also approved shorter hours for speed limits in Lawrence school zones.

The changes on Sixth Street, including removal of parking to allow the addition of a left-turn lane, were recommended by the Sixth Street Task Force, a city-appointed group that studied and made recommendations related to traffic and safety on Sixth Street between Maine and Massachusetts streets.

Terese Gorman, city engineer, said TSC members approved all but three of the task force's 12 recommendations.

The TSC agreed with the task force that a traffic signal should be installed at Sixth and Mississippi streets, but not that it should include a four-way stop phase that could be activated by a school crossing guard. TSC members were concerned the phase would tangle traffic flow during rush hour.

THE TSC ALSO disagreed with task force recommendations calling for installation of flashing school beacons on the street adjacent to Pinckney School and changing Mississippi between Fifth and Sixth streets to a one-way street.

If approved by the Lawrence City Commission, on-street parking and loading would be removed and a center left-turn lane added on Sixth from Tennessee to Maine streets; speed limit enforcement would be increased in the area during peak hours; a four-way stop sign would be installed at Fourth and Michigan streets; school beacons and a 20 mph school zone would be installed on Maine for traffic approaching the crosswalk at Fifth Street; and several new sidewalks would be constructed in the neighborhood.

SOME RESIDENTS of the Old West Lawrence and Pinckney neighborhoods had earlier expressed concern about the removal of parking and the left turn lane, saying the changes could increase traffic flow into their neighborhoods and make parking difficult for some homeowners.

The TSC also recommended establishing new times for school zone speed limits. The new speed limits would be in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. School zone speed limits now are in effect all day.

In other action, the TSC denied a request to remove parking on the south side of West 22nd Street west of Naismith Drive, and approved a request to prohibit stopping, standing and parking on the west side of Lousiana Street from the south curbline on 19th Street 310 feet south.

The recommendations could be come before the the Lawrence City Commission for consideration at its Jan. 15 meeting.

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