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Archive for Thursday, September 22, 2005

Construction fuels traffic complaints at Free State

September 22, 2005

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After two full years attending Free State High School, senior Lexie Schmidt, 18, has learned the ins and outs of the traffic situation.

"It usually takes about 20 minutes to get onto the road when I leave school," she said. "It's always been like that."

But she and other students agreed Tuesday that construction along West Sixth Street might be lengthening the time it takes to leave school grounds.

Complaints are mounting regarding the time it takes to exit Free State. Many said construction along West Sixth Street has caused 30- to 45-minute waits to get out of the parking lot after school.

"It seems like there could have been a better way to do this," said Merlyn Brown, who was picking up his son, Spencer, from school on Tuesday. "There's a lot of traffic delays because of the construction. I suppose that's the price of progress. But I think once they finish the project, the delays won't be as extreme."


Students to file out of Free State High School on Tuesday afternoon and into the parking lot. Road construction around the school has led to some traffic delays.

Students to file out of Free State High School on Tuesday afternoon and into the parking lot. Road construction around the school has led to some traffic delays.

People enter and exit Free State, 4700 Overland Drive, by way of Folks Road or Wakarusa Drive.

Construction along Sixth Street - or U.S. Highway 40 - stretches from Folks Road to the South Lawrence Trafficway. When completed, the road will be a four-lane divided street.

Leaders at the high school, the city of Lawrence and the Kansas Department of Transportation said they weren't aware of complaints or concerns about the problem.

"Any time you have 600 or 700 cars leaving at the same time, you're going to have to wait some length of time," Free State associate principal Ted Berard said. "It's no different than leaving a (Kansas City) Chiefs game. You can try and avoid the traffic by leaving later. But there are only so many ways in and out."

Students said one reason it took so long to get onto the road was because traffic backed up along Overland Drive, making it difficult to pull out of the parking lot. That happens in part because people are turning south onto Folks Road, and there is a traffic light at the intersection of Folks Road and Sixth Street.

Kansas Department of Transportation workers have been monitoring roads and intersections to keep traffic flowing.

"But just for a little bit at the end of school, there could be some back-ups," KDOT spokeswoman Kim Stich said. "Knowing that information, we recommend people take that into account when they are driving."

Stich said West Sixth Street should completely reopen to traffic in November, weather permitting.

Comments

b_asinbeer 8 years, 7 months ago

just_another_bozo...

Great minds think alike. ;o)

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 7 months ago

Sure hope Wal-Mart and Compton win their lawsuit. That way as soon as the current road construction is over, the new Wal-Mart will insure such traffic problems in that area in perpetuity.

Every Free State student deserves the right to carry on the grand tradition of sitting in a line of cars for 45 minutes after school. I bet that's when they do their best homework. No child left behind at its best.

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b_asinbeer 8 years, 7 months ago

KUweatherman....no offense, I was just trying to clarify the misconception that the city thinks that we don't have a problem.

Look at the comment....he's implying that anytime you have that many cars leaving, you have to wait. If you look at the quote in context, he's implying that the problem exists without the construction: "Leaders at the high school, the city of Lawrence and the Kansas Department of Transportation said they weren't aware of complaints or concerns about the problem."

He's saying that no matter what, when you have students leave at the end of school, traffic piles up no matter what. That's the problem, the high school administration thinks that the construction is not the problem.

But I AGREE with you, that there is a problem, and it's due to construction. But, what I implied with LHS meant to show that without construction, traffic clears up pretty quickly (as is the case with LHS). But, with construction, traffic backs up (like these days at FSHS). But the ignorant comment by Mr. Berard claims that it's not due to construction.

Have a great day.

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" 9/2/2005

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Curtis Lange 8 years, 7 months ago

How is that an ignorant comment? It's the truth. Lawrence doesnt have the same problem because they have more exits onto the streets and their main thouroughfare isnt located next to a highway with construction going on...

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b_asinbeer 8 years, 7 months ago

"Any time you have 600 or 700 cars leaving at the same time, you're going to have to wait some length of time."

What an ignorant comment by Mr. Berard. Lawrence High School does not have the same problems as Free State. It takes about 2 minutes to get out of the parking lot of LHS....maximum. Know your facts before making comments like that.

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" 9/2/2005

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