Barry Hyde is going to fight the $57.50 ticket he received for driving on a barricaded downtown street in July.
Appearing before Judge Randy McGrath in Lawrence Municipal Court on Tuesday, Hyde pleaded not guilty to the moving traffic infraction.
Lawrence police issued 57 tickets July 27 to drivers who ignored or didn't see a barricade at 10th and Kentucky streets. Twenty of those people were scheduled to appear in court Tuesday; six showed up and only one of those half-dozen owned up to the traffic crime. The others, like Hyde, pleaded not guilty.
Municipal court authorities said the other people cited that day for driving on a closed road already had paid their tickets or worked their case out with the city prosecutor.
Hyde said he just made an honest mistake that day.
"I had been out of town and didn't realize the street was closed," Hyde said. "Given the flow of traffic, I had no choice but to keep on going."
An officer gave Hyde a ticket at 11:18 a.m. Even though a barricade blocked the west lane of Kentucky, about 60 drivers missed the sign, ignored it or didn't see it until they were already in the intersection.
Ben Sutherland of Lawrence faces a Sept. 23 trial if he can't resolve his case before then. Sutherland, who also pleaded not guilty, said he was traveling westbound and didn't see the barricade sign.
"It was difficult to see," he said, explaining that the sign was parallel to his car.
Police gave some people who had business nearby or lived on the street a break, given the confusion of construction in the downtown area.
-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.