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Archive for Friday, September 15, 1995

JAYHAWK BOULEVARD TARGETED BY PLAN

September 15, 1995

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Making Jayhawk Boulevard one-way and closing it to personal, motorized vehicles is one of many recommendations in a draft of KU's master plan.

Limiting traffic on Jayhawk Boulevard, creating a park-and-ride shuttle system and significant development of West Campus are contained in a draft of Kansas University's master plan for the next 20 years and beyond.

The draft, set to be presented in a series of public forums and displays beginning next week, does not paint a picture of how KU will look in future years.

Rather, it contains a framework of many recommendations for possible buildings, roads, bike trails and parking.

"The document should be viewed as a framework, not as a blueprint," said campus planner Tom Waechter. "Many of the specifics of the plan still have to be decided."

Those discussions among KU faculty, students, alumni and administrators won't be without divided opinion.

Along with the 88-page draft of the master plan, KU also is using a 66-page transportation plan and a four-page executive summary draft.

Recommendations include:

  • Closing Jayhawk Boulevard to private, motorized vehicles and making it one-way for busses, from west to east, according to maps in the draft. The street would be narrowed for additional sidewalks, a bicycle path and green space.
  • Building additional academic, research and support facilities on West Campus. Draft maps show the construction of five twisting roadways in West Campus, including streets that would connect Crestline Road from 23rd Street to Constant Avenue and another road leading from the west side of the Lied Center that would connect to Kasold Drive and circle north to 15th Street at Lawrence Avenue.
  • Establishing a park-and-ride system with a lot at the Lied Center. Cost of such a system would be $1 million to $1.5 million per year, according to the transportation consultant, BRW Inc. of Minneapolis.
  • Demolition of several building annexes including those at Lindley, Blake and Bailey halls, and at the Military Science Building, to make room for parking, new buildings or open space.
  • Buildable areas identified in the draft include the area just west of Memorial Stadium. The Delta Tau Delta fraternity house currently sits near the location. Another buildable area is space south of Watkins Student Health Center.
  • Green space in front of Strong Hall, Campanile Hill and other "traditional" areas should be preserved, the draft says. However, "the significance of Prairie Acre as a traditional landscape feature needs to be evaluated."

KU officials claim that dozens of people have held hundreds of meetings on the master plan. But no faculty or student governance leader has seen it.

Administrators also have instructed their planning consultants not to speak to reporters. Several consultant suggestions rejected out-of-hand by administrators are not in the drafts.

No public meetings on the plan have been held since 1993.

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