While they are redesigning a heavily traveled section of Kasold Drive, city officials should consider the possibility of including a much-needed sidewalk.
Rebuilding Kasold Drive from 15th Street to Clinton Parkway will be an expensive and disruptive project, but there is no question the job needs to be done. There isn't a major road anywhere in Lawrence that seems to deteriorate so quickly during pothole season.
This week, the Lawrence City Commission gave its approval to begin design work to rebuild the street and provide subsurface drainage to alleviate the moisture that now gathers, freezes and thaws under the pavement, creating the perfect environment for potholes.
As this design work is being done, city officials also might consider another major improvement to this stretch of road: sidewalks. Kasold, from 15th Street to Clinton Parkway, carried 18,665 vehicles a day in 2001, and that total probably is even bigger today. It is a major thoroughfare at the west edge of Kansas University's campus, but there are no sidewalks on either side of the street.
Adding sidewalks to this area would be a design challenge, given the meager setbacks for properties along Kasold, but perhaps the median could be utilized along with some use of the bordering right of way to provide a sidewalk on at least one side of the street. A sidewalk on that stretch would provide better access to shopping areas at 15th Street and at Clinton Parkway as well as being a good link to the hiking/biking paths on both sides of Clinton Parkway.
The disruption of traffic on Kasold during the rebuilding project will be painful for many motorists, but the project represents an opportunity to improve the stretch of road not only for motorists but for cyclists and pedestrians as well.