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Archive for Thursday, January 2, 1992

-UNIVERSITY DRIVE AND IOWA

January 2, 1992

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Let's hope it all works out.

Let's hope it doesn't mean that the city has passed up a big chunk of $1.2 million in available money and an opportunity to make meaningful improvements on Iowa Street.

In the short term, anyway, the city commission has nixed a plan to improve the admittedly dangerous intersection of University Drive and Iowa in order to have a task force look at a wider area of traffic impact than the specific intersection in question.

This is obviously a poke in the eye for the city staff, which had developed the trashed plans in response to a petition from 1,500 residents of the area who quite reasonably believed something had to be done about the congestion on Iowa.

Clearly not everyone was pleased with the staff solution, so now (in typical Lawrence fashion) it's back to the drawing boards for a further study.

The motoring public in Lawrence has not fared extremely well in recent years in similar situations. The proposed fifth lane on Sixth Street comes to mind abandoned in the face of vociferous outcries. And the intended improvements to Ninth Street were trimmed considerably in scope after the initial plans were unveiled. Same reason. To say nothing of our various trafficway and parkway proposals, or the narrowing of Seventh Street, or you fill in the blank with your favorite example...

In the meantime, the number of vehicles on our streets keeps growing, and traffic counts rise, and intersection efficiency deteriorates. More stop signs and signals go up, as if that were the answer. But few substantial improvements materialize, because those always are bound to impact and irritate someone, and the overall needs of the city get shoved aside or compromised.

Let's hope that isn't the case this time.

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