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Archive for Friday, December 4, 1992

SOUND OFF

December 4, 1992

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Q: I live near campus and there seems to be a number of kids, probably students, who walk four, five and six abreast down the middle of street, sometimes blocking a lane of traffic. I've contacted the police but nothing seems to get done. I'm worried that someone will get hit before anyone takes some action.

A: Lawrence police Sgt. Mark Warren said city police have issued tickets to people walking in the street. He said officers urge people to use sidewalks whenever possible.

"When there's no sidewalk available, you should walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic, and wear light-colored clothing so you're visible," he said.

Q: I have a question about the new horse and buggy downtown. What's the right thing for drivers to do? Can you just pass them?

A: Lawrence police Sgt. Mark Warren said it's legal to pass the horse and buggy. But first, he said, a driver should check to make sure he or she can safely go around the vehicle. If the going is clear, he said, drivers need to proceed in a safe manner around the horse and buggy. Also, he said, drivers need to refrain from honking the horn or revving the engine, because loud noises can frighten horses.

Q: I'd like to know why the city commission would pass a law that you can't park in your own yard in your own car and yet people can make other people pay near the KU campus to park in their yards.

A: Responding to complaints from residents of the Oread neighborhood, the Lawrence City Commission in May passed a front- and side-yard parking ban, making it illegal to park vehicles in a property's setback unless designated as a parking area by the city.

Three months later, city commissioners added an exception: The law wouldn't apply on the days of Kansas University's six home football games, when near-campus residents often sold yard parking slots for up to $15.

Out of necessity, Mayor Bob Schulte said, the cars considered eyesores on Fridays became welcome on football Saturdays.

``The reason is, with increased attendance at the football games, and not enough parking not adequate parking on campus it seemed reasonable to allow people to allow cars to park in their yards,'' Schulte said. ``It only applies during five or six days a year.''

Q: I would like to know why the traffic light at 15th and Crestline before 15th Street does not include a yield on green left turn as it does for the north-south traffic. This regularly causes me to stop unnecessarily.

A: ``I know the frustration, sitting there on a red ball, wanting to turn left and not being able to go,'' City Engineer Terese Gorman said, ``but not everybody understands the speeds of the cars approaching them.''

Speeding eastbound and westbound traffic on 15th has prevented adding ``discretionary left turn'' signals onto Crestline, she said, because the speeds are among the highest in town for approaching busy intersections.

A statistically significant number of the motorists passing through the intersection on 15th Street are traveling well above the 40 mph speed limit, therefore increasing the possibility for accidents. Gorman said 15 percent of westbound traffic travels faster than 41 to 45 mph; 15 percent of eastbound traffic speeds beyond 46 to 50 mph, after coming over a small hill.

``That's a very high speed for approaching an urban intersection,'' she said.

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