Residents near the South Lawrence Trafficway's junction with the Kansas Turnpike want increased traffic in the area to sail on by.
Eighty-two people who live near the north end of the South Lawrence Trafficway say they'll be happy to give up easy access to the road.
That's a fair trade, they say, if it keeps their neighborhood roads from becoming channels for nonresident traffic heading to and from the trafficway.
Petitions bearing their signatures were delivered to Douglas County officials Wednesday, asking that a trafficway access point at North 1750 Road be erased from the county's plans. North 1750 Road, an east-west road located a half-mile south of the Kansas Turnpike, runs along the northern edge of the Pine-Ne-Wa subdivision and connects with the Martin Park area to the east.
``As a resident, I would be able to access the bypass by going past my neighbor's driveway and -- boom -- I'd be on the bypass and that would be wonderful. But not at the price of more development,'' said Janis Miskimins, a Pine-Ne-Wa resident who helped write the petition and gather signatures.
John Pasley, the county's project director for the trafficway, said the county commission would have to decide whether to scrap plans for the access point, which was designed as an at-grade intersection, not a ramped interchange.
To build the box bridge neighbors are asking for, which would allow the trafficway to pass over North 1750 Road, would cost $150,000 to $200,000, compared to $40,000 to $50,000 for the planned intersection, Pasley said.
The matter is likely to come before the county commission within the next few weeks, County Administrator Craig Weinaug said.
Neighbors are convinced the area's rural residential atmosphere would be destroyed because of the traffic created since this summer when trafficway construction began to the south of them.
An access point also will draw commercial development, Miskimins said, noting that developer Michael Stultz already has indicated he wants to use property near the proposed trafficway intersection for commercial sites. Stultz withdrew a rezoning request last month after Pine-Ne-Wa neighbors protested.
``We don't want the traffic and we don't want the development, because that would create more traffic,'' she said.
Charlotte Hastings, another neighbor who helped with the petition drive, said increased traffic on the gravel roads in the area has created an unsafe situation for horseback riders. Many area residents own horses and the Douglas County Trailriders Club's stables are nearby.
Hastings said there also are access points at the turnpike, Douglas County 438 north of the turnpike and U.S. Highway 40.
``It is not necessary to have four accesses in a four-mile span,'' she said.