To the editor:
I commend Planning Commissioner Ron Durflinger for his concern regarding traffic at the corner of Sixth and Wakarusa. His concern resulted in Wal-Mart being required to wait for road improvements at the corner before they are allowed to open. However, delaying the opening does not address the traffic concerns in the area.
Wakarusa will have increased traffic if a supercenter is built, and this street will become increasingly dangerous. I am aware of three major accidents in a recent week, one of which included a car crashing through the fence at Stepping Stones Preschool. There are no lights or turning lanes into businesses between Sixth and Clinton Parkway. Harvard and Wakarusa is a four-way stop and the main entrance into two large neighborhoods. It is not adequately marked, and the signs often are run.
Families in the neighborhoods south of Sixth Street also have concerns regarding increased traffic on residential streets by those wishing to avoid congestion at Sixth and Wakarusa. Harvard will eventually lead directly to Langston Hughes Elementary.
Finally, neighbors have concern for anyone needing to travel on the unimproved portion of West Sixth. If a supercenter is built at Wakarusa, it will increase traffic on a hilly two-lane highway not equipped to handle it. For the safety of those who live in the area, I hope the city commissioners will say no to Wal-Mart at Wakarusa. A much saner option is to allow Wal-Mart to build at Kansas Highway 10 and Sixth, where it would prevent traffic concerns in my neighborhood.