Archive for Saturday, July 16, 2005

Wetlands logic

July 16, 2005


To the editor:

The Journal-World recently printed several articles and letters on the subject of the destruction of the Baker Wetlands as a result of the planned completion of the South Lawrence Trafficway on a route that includes 31st and/or 32nd streets. What some of these letters and stories mentioned is the possibility that the destruction of the wetlands might be accompanied by the creation of a new nature center. There are a number of problems with this possibility.

1. No nature center can take the place of the "real thing," the natural world. Doesn't it make more sense for children (and others) to have the opportunity to study nature in the great outdoors rather than to destroy the great outdoors and try to "replace" it with stuffed or caged animals and videotaped presentations?

2. We already have at least two other places in Lawrence where we can study nature. There is the Prairie Park Nature Center at 27th and Harper streets, close to the wetlands, and the Natural History Museum on the Kansas University campus, just a bit further away.

3. The planned construction of a large number of homes south of the Wakarusa River further demonstrates the folly of insisting on building a highway through the present wetlands rather than south of the Wakarusa River.

Let's build the highway in a more sensible location and save the wetlands.

Jane Frydman,



Richard Heckler 12 years, 9 months ago

I agree with Jane Frydman.

If Lawrence drivers want some kind of relief it would be smart to demand that our city and county officials go south of the river or design a road out by Eudora that takes traffic to I 70. Otherwise it could be years before this matter is settled. Why anyone would pick an environmentally sensitive area in Lawrence, Kansas to build a road is beyond me. KDOT has other options.

The I 70 connector plan would still accomodate south and west Lawrence drivers. Not only that the project will likely move ahead. KDOT has studied a plan called the I-70 connectors which does exactly that and also provides an interchange at Tonganoxie. This plan was studied back in 1995 and when other option were made available as well.

Turn the project over to Kansas Turnpike Authority to save on taxes...otherwise it's on the backs of Douglas County taxpayers. Cost of maintenance follows construction. If the state takes over maintenance of a traffic way then 23rd street becomes Lawrence maintenance task. Right now maintenance or a portion of costs come from the state cookie jar. I say turn the whole matter over to the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

It would be smart to turn the western leg over to KTA as well. Then we would have a safer 4 lane(in due time) and maintenance would come from KTA pockets as well...not yours and mine.

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