Archive for Thursday, August 18, 2005

Traffic help

August 18, 2005


To the editor:

I understand the reluctance to spend money on the intersection of 31st and Louisiana while the South Lawrence Trafficway plans are up in the air, but how long must we wait? I spent more than 10 minutes waiting to get through that intersection yesterday while traveling west on 31st Street. And school hadn't even started yet! Surely, a relatively low cost measure, like enabling two lanes of traffic to go straight west, instead of saving the left lane for the rare turning vehicle, would help the situation.

Janet Wehrle,



Richard Heckler 12 years, 8 months ago

The first thing that needs to happen is citizens demanding a different route as KDOT studied many. The wetlands route is not the only option available. This matter could be tied up in court many more years.

The wetlands route will affect the Prairie Park Nature Center to some degree in which more than a million total tax dollars were initially spent. Why wreck this beautiful educational venture and waste tax dollars at the same time?

There is a less expensive SOR option that has not been put on the table. The current plan going through a flood zone requires elevation which is a costly endeavor. Staying SOR and completly out of the wetlands/flood zones requiring fewer bridges and connecting to an existing interchange(#1057) could save a few million.

Taking the SLT south of the river to interchange 1057 and K10 could take traffic north to I 70 as well.

This accomplishes many things. A. Services JOCO and Douglas County traffic going to NW Lawrence or Topeka B. Services the Eudora Business Park east of 1057 C. Services East Hills Business Park and the SE Work Center area west of 1057 D. Diverts traffic out around the city as it should E. Keeps the SLT entirely out of the wetlands F. HNTB has researched SLT/1057 option but was never put on the table H. Reduces traffic substantially on 31st

Working with the Kansas Turnpike Authority could save Douglas County taxpayers untold millions of dollars. Building this road at any cost at this point in time is simply not prudent use of Douglas County tax dollars.

Turnpike fees would pay for the road which is far better than my tax dollars. It is my understanding that Douglas County taxpayers will bear the lions share of this project which is why I suggest bringing in the KTA.

The plan above offers a SOR option as well as a route going north that would connect to I-70 at Tonganoxie which would be quicker for those coming from the east going to Topeka etc.

If I-70 connectors were the only option used motorists would be able to travel to the western leg which provides a K10-to K10 to 59.

Actually the Wetlands has a very long history to include burial grounds. Just because a previous letter writer was unaware does not mean it did not exist.

The above suggestion might get a bypass underway sooner rather than later. This matter could be tied up in court for many years.

For the moment according to KDOT there is no money set aside for this project. Not only that Kansas received a large cut in federal highway money this year and I have been under the impression that all federal funding was exhausted on the western leg.

Personally I can live without the trafficway/bypass.

craigers 12 years, 8 months ago

merrill, do you commute at all? I was just curious. If not, then it is easily conceived that you would live without the bypass. Some that do commute would love to cut out about 10-15 minutes out of their commute so they can be at work and then go home and make it home to their families earlier. That is the main thing, let people get home faster and be with their families. If you don't have to commute then you don't understand how long the days actually get.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 8 months ago

Maybe these people should move to the east side of town or if all working parties in one household have jobs in KC why not move closer to work?

All of the new houses should not have been built until roads were adequate to carry traffic. When people were buying homes they were probaly aware of the situation.

Not only that there is a way to get around the traffic jam for those KC area job people if they live in south and west Lawrence. The 1057/1900 rd interchange south to 1000rd/458 to 59 hwy to 31st will get a person home faster. Commuters drive by this interchange 5 days a week. The roads are good. At 55 mph it is a time saver.

As I stated people should get on the powers that be to pick a different route and get on with it.

craigers 12 years, 8 months ago

I do realize that those roads are descent roads, however those that are living on the West side of Wakarusa or on that side of town, it would be backtracking to the south before they could make any headway to their jobs. The whole SLT would allow these people in that area and areas surrounding to go right down Wakarusa onto the bypass and continue on to KC without using the Turnpike. The turnpike is a toll road that if you use it, it is an extra $15 a week, $60 a month, and an extra $720 a year for commuting in addition to the gas. That is not an option for people that live on a budget. We all would use these roads and we should all pay for them. Also the interchanges that you list have the problem with having tractors and slow moving vehicles in that area quite often. I lived in Baldwin for some time and it is not unusual at all to run into farmers going from field to field on a regular basis. The time saving that you are mentioning would be hit and miss. But like I said since you don't understand the commuters pain, you wouldn't understand the yearning for a solution and the completion of this interchange.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 8 months ago

I offered legitimate suggestions. I am not ready to spend my tax dollars on a roadway plan that is now obsolete and should be built further south. Even if you meet up with a tractor once in awhile it is better to be moving slow than sitting in congestion. The plan I offer is better because it has more options for commuters going or coming from the east.

The commuting must not be that painful. If it was commuters would give up such. Why do the most affected drivers not demand a new plan to get the show on the road? As I said before there is more than one plan out there.

aidan 12 years, 8 months ago

We forget that many Lawrence two-commuter families are often splitting the difference--one parent driving to KC, and the other to the Capital, for instance. Yes, in a perfect world, everyone would live within walking distance from work. However, it's entirely unfair to ask one spouse/partner to give up their job, or comute farther, so that the family can "move closer to work."

Bruce Bertsch 12 years, 8 months ago

Build the SLT in SOUTH LAWRENCE and forget about interchanges with existing roads. Its supposed to be a bypass, thats its purpose. Since we've already built a road through the wetlands...31st street, why not another? And elevating the road is not that big of a deal when the alternative would be to drain a swamp.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 8 months ago

Some couples may be forced to move as gas prices are increasing faster than pay increases.

We already know that major development is planned south of the river so it is only practical to bulid a bypass further south. If not developers/real estate sales will be asking for another as they ask KDOT for the wetlands route and are the the most vocal supporters of the wetlands route. Their presence was known at court hearings as spokespeople. They are the pushers. Actually they are talking up another route south of the river. It came up at a County Commission discussion from a former County Commissioner Louie McElheney....Jere's father.

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