To the editor:
Please correct me if I am wrong, but in previous articles wasn't it said that:
1. We need to decrease the traffic flow on 31st, that it was never meant to handle heavy traffic (I presume meaning lots of cars and semi/delivery trucks) and that a big selling point of the SLT was to help relieve that problem and to ease congestion on 23rd street?
2. We don't have adequate housing for low-income families in the city?
3. We don't want to become another Johnson County with urban sprawl and loose the hometown charm of downtown Lawrence?"
If the answer is "yes," then,
1. Why are we encouraging businesses (Home Depot) to build on 31st when there are more feasible locations (Payless) that wouldn't increase the traffic (especially heavy trucks) and wouldn't require us to spend 1.1 million (tax) dollars to re-configure one small part (less than one city block) of 31st street?
2. Why is the city going to rezone the residential property that is/was a mobile home part to business. Mobile homes are the only affordable housing for hundreds of families in Lawrence. The city should buy it and leave it a mobile home park for low-income families. The lot rent is approximately $200 per month. At 500 lots, that would equals $1.2 million a year. Where is the downside to this idea?
3. If you (city or state) take residential property, force the home owners to leave, and rezone it for business, aren't you forcing urban sprawl? The homeowners on the outskirts of town that have been forced off their property, for whatever reason, haven't moved into the city to rebuild, they have moved farther outside the city. And the farther outside of the city you live, the closer you are to KC and Topeka to go shopping, eat out, make major purchases (i.e.,cars, large appliances, furniture) and seek entertainment. Take a look at Topeka. They had a nice "downtown charm" until 30 or 40 years ago. Now there is nothing but empty storefronts there. I don't think Lawrence will become like Johnson County, I think it will become another Topeka and I for one would hate to see that. Maybe we need to stop and look at what we are doing and use a little common sense to enhance not harm Lawrence.