To the editor:
I object strenuously to the recent decision by the Army Corps of Engineers/KDOT to reject the "south of the Wakarusa" route for the South Lawrence Trafficway. Instead, these so-called democratic institutions have chosen the "northern route" through the Baker Wetlands, a 577-acre tract of land that is one of only two natural wetlands remaining in Douglas County. The trafficway has cost the taxpayers of Kansas $150 million so far and the decision to run it through the wetlands rewards a few Lawrence developers at the expense of citizens living in south Lawrence and the wildlife that make the wetlands their home.
I have joined a broad coalition of activists and political groups under the auspices of saving the wetlands from KDOT bulldozers. This group represents business owners, homeowners, teachers, environmentalists, college students, and other citizens of Douglas County. Our sole purpose is to present a unified political presence against KDOT and its plans to pave over this natural treasure.
Besides destroying natural habitat, the selected northern route (called the 32nd Street alignment) would increase air and noise pollution and damage the quality of life in neighborhoods to the south of Kansas University.
I would ask that the Gov. Sebelius force KDOT to adopt the route that would take the trafficway south of the Wakarusa River, thus saving the wetlands and preserving the quality of life in south Lawrence.