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Archive for Thursday, August 3, 1995

TRANSPORTATION PLAN PRIORITIZES LONG-RANGE USAGE

August 3, 1995

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The long-range transportation plan is designed to carry the city well into the next century.

After some minor tune-ups, a 25-year transportation plan for Lawrence that has something for everyone was unanimously approved Wednesday night by the local planning commission.

For drivers, there are plans for widening some streets, adding other streets, improving intersections and coordinating traffic signals to make traffic flow smoothly.

For those who prefer taking a bus, the plan proposes forming a public transit authority consisting of representatives of the city, Kansas University and the KU Student Senate to run a citywide bus system.

For bicyclists, there are plans for an interconnected network of bike paths and bike lanes and for making every street accessible for bicycle travel.

And for pedestrians, there are plans to improve and link sidewalks.

"I'm extremely pleased," Phil Bradley, chairman of the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission, said shortly after the commission approved the document on a 6-0 vote.

"I think it's an excellent quality plan and very readable and a bit of a trendsetter in its type and scope," Bradley said.

The plan was developed so Lawrence will be eligible for federal funds for transportation improvements. The federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act required all modes of travel be included in such plans. The planning commission was designated as the local body required to approve the plan.

The Lawrence City Commission is expected to use the plan as a guide when making decisions on transportation improvements and policies.

Bradley said he has been impressed with the public participation and endorsement of the plan. The plan has been the subject of several public hearings since a draft was made available in May.

Most of the people who spoke about the plan after the May draft suggested only minor revisions, Bradley said.

"We've had letters from groups who had in the past been adamantly opposed to our transportation planning ... and they're all in support," he said.

The plan will be incorporated into Horizon 2020, the long-range comprehensive land-use plan for Douglas County, which the planning commission will consider in the fall.

Bradley said the transportation plan will be reviewed and amended periodically to add new streets as they are built. The planning commission will probably review and update one of the major sections of the plan each year, he said.

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