Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved construction of a pair of roundabouts in west Lawrence, despite vocal opposition from area residents.
Those residents said the roundabouts would hurt property values, impede emergency vehicles and might create more traffic problems than already exist at the two locations -- on Inverness Drive, at 24th Place and at Sunflower Park Place.
But city traffic planners said the traffic problems are only going to get worse with the development of 160 acres on the east side of Inverness between Clinton Parkway and 27th Street. Roundabouts, they said, will enable to the city to keep traffic moving and keep it calm at the same time.
Final approval of annexation and rezoning for a proposed North Lawrence housing development was deferred again Tuesday, this time by neighborhood concerns about the effects on water quality.
Proposed stormwater drainage for the development, on 5.6 acres northeast of North Seventh and North streets, would feed into a nearby pond. And that pond, neighbors said, helps feed nearby wells that residents use for drinking water.
"This is not like a farm pond that is fed by runoff," said Ted Boyle, president of the North Lawrence Improvement Assn. "This is part of the water table."
Commissioners deferred approval until the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department can examine the possible effects of the construction on the water quality of the wells.
East Hills entry plans
win city's approval
Commissioners approved proceeding with improvements to the intersection of Kansas Highway 10 at East Hills Business Park.
Residents of the park want the Kansas Department of Transportation to lower speed limits in the area, or even to install traffic signals, to slow down the thousands of vehicles that drive through the area each day. KDOT has said their studies indicate those improvements aren't needed.
The department is willing to lengthen acceleration and deceleration lanes along K-10 at the intersection, however, to give drivers a better chance to safely merge or get off the highway. KDOT originally slated the project for 2004, but recently found room in the budget to start immediately.
KDOT will pay 80 percent of the project's cost. The city will pay the remaining 20 percent, about $400,000.