After hearing more than an hour of solemn pleas from concerned neighbors and parents, Lawrence city commissioners approved a request Tuesday for a crossing guard at the crosswalk behind Kennedy School on Maple Lane.
"We feel an accident involving one of the children is imminent," said Steve Brown, who chairs the Kennedy School PTA's safety committee. "This situation begs for some kind of action."
Enrollment at the grade school and the population of the southeast Lawrence neighborhood continue to grow, creating an even greater chance of an accident, Brown said.
Flashing beacons installed on Maple Lane in 1989 to alert drivers to school children are not effective, Brown said.
"THE BEACONS aren't slowing the traffic down," said Brown, a Douglas County sheriff's officer. "We've seen the situation get worse."
Several speakers recounted recent near misses involving cars and students near the school. They also reminded commissioners that the neighborhood soon would become even more congested with students and drivers because the neighborhood is growing.
Mayor Bob Walters said he wondered whether more police radar patrols would take care of the problem. He said he always slows down when there is a threat of getting a ticket.
Commissioner Bob Schumm responded, in good-natured deadpan: "Bob, I slow down because I'm looking out for the kids."
After hearing the testimony, commissioners said they thought a crossing guard was needed but were unsure how to pay for one.
CITY MANAGER Mike Wildgen reminded them that crossing guards are covered in the city's operating costs budget, which had already been set for 1992.
A crossing guard would cost the city about $3,000 a year, said Rod Bremby, assistant city manager.
"I say, approve this in concept and then consider funding it when the budget rolls around," said Commissioner John Nalbandian.
The commissioners voted unanimously to consider the item when planning the 1993 budget, with the understanding they already approved the request in principle.
They also agreed to arrange more police radar patrols in the area.
IN OTHER action Tuesday:
The commissioners proclaimed the week of Sunday through Jan. 25 "Jaycee Week"; proclaimed the week of Friday through Jan. 24 "Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Week"; presented the Lawrence Arts Commission City Enhancement and Cultural Exchange Award to Jackie Davis.
In a single motion, commissioners approved the following consent agenda items:
Minutes of the previous commission meeting and several city organization meetings.
Payment of city expenses.
Awarding bid of $24,412 to Stanion Wholesale Electric Company Inc. for street light globes and pole connectors.
Setting bid date of 2 p.m. Jan. 28 for sanitary sewer improvements for Western Hills.
Setting bid date of 2 p.m. Feb. 4 for Kaw Utility Plant pump rehabilitation program.
An ordinance on final reading removing parking on the north side of the 24th Street for 100 feet east of Alabama.
AN ORDINANCE on first reading regulating mobile home and manufactured home parks.
An ordinance on first reading regulating cross-connections to the city water supply.
Installing stop signs at the following locations: Allison Drive at 25th Terrace; Ponderosa Drive at 25th Terrace; Cimarron Drive at 25th Terrace; Maverick Lane at 25th Terrace; Rawhide Lane at 25th Terrace; Trail Dust Court at 27th Street; Ponderosa Drive at 27th Street; Maverick Lane at 27th Street; Bonanza Street at 27th Street; Rawhide Lane at 27th Street; Harper Street at 27th Street; Ponderosa Drive at 28th Street; Maverick Lane at 28th Street; Bonanza Street at 28th Terrace; Rawhide Lane at 28th Street.
Authorization for the mayor to sign a release of mortgage for B.J. Spencer, 807 Lawrence Ave.
Receiving letter from Hetrick Aircraft Inc. asking the city to build a second community storage hanger at the Lawrence Municipal Airport; referring letter to Aviation Advisory Board.
Commissioners removed the following items from the consent aenda for further discussion:
A Traffic Safety Commission resolution promoting the use of nonmotorized transportation. Carl Thor, who is vice chairman of the TSC, briefly commented on the importance of promoting nonmotorized transportation. The commissioners responded that they planned to take the resolution seriously and that they would consider it with related proposals already being studied by city staff. The commissioners voted unanimously to receive the resolution and refer it to city staff.
Minutes of the Jan. 6 TSC meeting. Mayor Bob Walters pulled the minutes from the agenda to mention that he supported a suggestion by TSC member Tom Mulinazzi that the city increase the curb radii on arterial streets.
On the regular agenda, the commissioners:
Recessed to an executive session with the city attorney to discuss land acquisition. Commissioners took no action on the matter following the closed-door meeting.
Deferred a recommendation from the Traffic Safety Commission to leave the speed limit between Riverview and Peterson Roads at 30 mph.
Approved a TSC recommendation to install a 20 mph school zone sign for westbound traffic on 27th Street just west of Louisiana.
APPROVED A TSC recommendation to install 20 mph speed zone signs on 27th Terrace just west of Louisiana for eastbound and westbound traffic.
Approved a request to install a school beacon for southbound traffic on Louisiana near 27th Street. The city will split the cost of the beacon and installation with the Broken Arrow PTA.
Approved a request to install a school beacon for eastbound traffic on 27th Street near Louisiana. The city will split the cost of the beacon and installation with the Broken Arrow PTA.
Adopted a resolution declaring 624-628 N. Second blighted and allowing the owner 20 days to improve the property to city guidelines.
The commissioners approved a cereal malt beverage license for Pup's Grill, 847 Ind.