Archive for Thursday, February 21, 2002

Depot debacle

February 21, 2002

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To the editor:

The $1.1 million proposed for street "improvements" for the Home Depot project at 31st and Iowa would be a mistake that could haunt the city for many years. The approval of this project was a serious lapse of foresight and common sense. Now the city commission is getting ready to approve outrageous amounts of tax money to create the biggest traffic mess ever seen in Lawrence. All this to get a better selection of doorknobs while the perfectly good Payless building sits empty.

We have learned nothing from the lack of planning on 23rd Street. The development of South Iowa has turned into a crazy quilt patchwork that makes access by automobile difficult and access by public transit, foot, and bicycle very difficult and dangerous. The Home Depot project will make the situation worse.

Developers and national retail stores are focused on profits. They often don't see or don't care about the long impact their developments have on the local community. It is the job of our local governments to safeguard all citizens' interests and plan for the long-term livability and health of our community. There may still be time to avoid the debacle that the Home Depot project promises to be; I hope our city commissioners can realize the damage this project could cause and stop it.

James Wille,

Lawrence

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