Archive for Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Commission calls for traffic study

Intersections along Wakarusa Drive considered for first improvements

October 20, 2004


Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday called for a study of traffic problems along Wakarusa Drive, ordering signals installed at the intersection of Bob Billings Parkway as a first step toward a solution.

The action could help clean up City Hall's intersection improvement priority list, which ranks three intersections along Wakarusa as most in need of improvement in Lawrence.

The intersection with Billings Parkway ranks third on the list, officials said, but has the most traffic of any listed intersection. Installation of traffic signals there will cost an estimated $200,000.

"It's ready," Public Works Director Chuck Soules said. "It's the top intersection by volume."

The intersection most in need of help, according to the list, is Wakarusa and Harvard Road. Second priority is the confluence of Wakarusa with Inverness and Legends drives. Fixing those two intersections would cost an estimated $1.1 million; no design work has been started on those projects.

"We're discussing roundabouts and traffic signals," Soules said.

The intersection priorities list has often functioned as a kind of wish list; items are knocked off according to funding possibilities and other timing issues.

Tuesday, commissioners said they wanted to make a stronger effort to address the top priorities on the list.

"I'd like to make sure we're doing this in the right order," Commissioner David Schauner said. "It seems like we're doing this (Wakarusa and Billings) because it's the cheapest."

Mayor Mike Rundle asked City Manager Mike Wildgen to "come back with some means to build some sort of systematic approach" to address the priority list in the future.

Commissioners approved issuing bonds for the Wakarusa and Billings project by a 4-0 vote. Commissioner Sue Hack was absent.

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