Ralph Tallmon is concerned about 23rd Street traffic and the accidents he sees. But he also wants to keep traffic flowing to his jewelry store.
That's why Tallmon, owner of Tallmon & Tallmon Jewellers at 520 W. 23rd, was among the first people Monday at City Hall to look at proposals to improve the road.
"I'm trying to find out specifics," he said. "My lease is coming due on my property, and I want to know if there's construction coming that's going to affect my operations."
Monday's meeting was the first in a series to introduce the proposals to the public and get feedback. Consultants from TranSystems Corp. displayed maps and let residents walk around and ask questions.
"This has been a long, ongoing process," said Michael Young, transportation intern for the city. "The consultants have spent a long time crafting ideas and we need to know from the community if the ideas are the right ones, or if we need to go in a different direction."
The proposals would create dual left-turn lanes for every approach at 23rd and Iowa streets, a "phased interchange" to enter East Hills Business Park at Noria Road, and coordination of all traffic signals in between.
David Geyer, president of the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods, said he hoped the improvements would offer relief to neighborhoods along 23rd. Two weeks ago, Geyer said, he saw an 18-wheeler driving through a residential neighborhood on 27th Street.
"People get to 23rd and Louisiana from the east and the first thing they want to do is get off 23rd," Geyer said.