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Archive for Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Busy road has residents worried

KU students try to solve 27th Street traffic issue

December 20, 2006

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Southern Lawrence residents want to put the brakes on cut-through traffic on one of the few roads connecting Iowa and Louisiana streets.

Landra Fair says 27th Street traffic has grown beyond an inconvenience to her neighbors.

"Many times we've seen tire marks in people's yards," she said. "We do hear a lot of screeching tires and brakes."

Bonnie Johnson, president of the Indian Hills Neighborhood Association, has heard the complaints. And she's doing something about it; she turned the issue into an assignment for her students at Kansas University, where she is an assistant professor of urban planning.

Five of her graduate students have come up with proposals to slow the cars.

"This is a real-life project, so they get a little bit of practice," Johnson said.

The students warmed to the assignment.

"We looked at a raised crosswalk on 27th Street, where Naismith Park comes around," said Enjoli Dixon, who worked on the project.

"And if there's money available, putting in a roundabout on Missouri Street," said Susan Paxson, another graduate student.

The neighborhood voted on the proposals, giving a thumbs-up to the raised crosswalk, as well as speed humps, more lighting and more sidewalks.

Next step: asking City Hall to approve the projects.

Edward Booth, who lives at 1516 w. 27th st., checks his mail as the rain lets up Wednesday afternoon, while cars roar past his home. Booth and a lot of residents along 27th Street have noticed a build-up of traffic the past few years.

Edward Booth, who lives at 1516 w. 27th st., checks his mail as the rain lets up Wednesday afternoon, while cars roar past his home. Booth and a lot of residents along 27th Street have noticed a build-up of traffic the past few years.

"This is pretty exciting that some of their ideas might actually come to fruition," Johnson said.

But David Woosley, the city traffic safety engineer, said there's a dozen locations across the city on a waiting list to fund similar projects.

"We look at volume of traffic, speed, if there's sidewalks in the area," Woosley said, explaining the priorities for choosing projects. "We also look at reported crashes and if there are other pedestrian generators, like a park or school."

Fair hopes her neighborhood gets help.

"They just go by so quickly," she said of vehicles on 27th Street. "It would just be nice to have people pay a little more attention to pedestrians."

Comments

Larry Miller 7 years, 3 months ago

Have you added up the cost of the roundabaouts already built and compared it to the money needed to get our streets back to good repair? hmm...

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budwhysir 7 years, 3 months ago

I know no one likes new ideas but wouldnt a smooth flow of traffic create a good flow of traffic thru an area. This is probalby a dead issue for now, but it will resurface and many will listen to my logics

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plumberscrack 7 years, 4 months ago

Posted by KS (anonymous) on December 21, 2006 at 6:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Plumberscrack says- "Roundabouts should be paid for solely by the neighborhoods they serve and NOT the citizens of Lawrence as a whole!"

Does he feel the same way about the street in front of his house? Next time it needs paved, let the City send him the bill. Maybe Plumberscrack lives on a dirt road? Typical......as long as it is not their money. Streets serve the benefit of the entire community and the community as a whole should pay for them. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Streets are one thing, BUT roundabouts are completely different.

Streets should be paid by entire community. Roundabouts should be paid for by benefit district. Meaning, if the neighborhood wants a roundabout, let them pay for it! It benefits THEM and NOT the entire community! We do this on other projects, ROUNDABOUTS should be added to that list of paid for by benefit districts!

Doing this, I bet the number of requests for roundabouts would go down dramatically if paid for by those benefiting, in the form of a special assessment!

And by the way...My road has needed paved for quite awhile now. So KS, if you can get someone on this, I would be most appreciative!

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budwhysir 7 years, 4 months ago

How about turn lanes, would it be beneficial to put turn lanes every other block to ease the flow of traffic turning. I notice there are no left turn signs on 23rd now. These seem to be posted to keep people from turning left.

I say these work some of the time but if we allowed turns, we would have everyone going where they want

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jonas 7 years, 4 months ago

NWOR? That's the second acronym I've had to look up today. The first was FOAD. It's been a learning day.

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budwhysir 7 years, 4 months ago

I believe all this talk points directly to our solution, lets all rely on the T to get us where we need to go. Save on gas, fewer cars on the road, and someone to blame when we are late getting where we need to be

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macon47 7 years, 4 months ago

john, you disco dizzy king

the article is about 27th,,

23rd is 4 blocks north. check you gps system

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Laura Watkins 7 years, 4 months ago

and actually...i think the traffic on 6th is worse than the traffic on 23rd. it takes me longer to go the same distance on 6th.

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Laura Watkins 7 years, 4 months ago

i think it's funny that people are complaining about 23rd street-- it's is HARDLY a traffic problem. HARDLY comparable to the traffic in kansas city (try SM Parkway... 87th...75th...119th...135th...) or even college towns of a similar size (or smaller!)

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macon47 7 years, 4 months ago

harry, no one really cares, except for folks that want to spend their time sorting fly poop out of the pepper .. it is all pretty much the same

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Harry_Manback 7 years, 4 months ago

Totally off topic, but why does the ljworld insist on calling the University of Kansas, Kansas University? It's so annoying... No other paper (or the KU School of Journalism) refers to it that way.

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logrithmic 7 years, 4 months ago

NWOR? What planet are you from?

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mom_of_three 7 years, 4 months ago

I use 27th street to get from Iowa to Lousiana all the time. If I am traveling South on Iowa, and need to get to 31st and Louisiana or South junior high, I will use 27th street to avoid the traffic problems at 31st & Iowa. The SLT won't affect my use of 27th street.

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Tychoman 7 years, 4 months ago

If they put a roundabout on 27th Street, I'm going to scream.

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mom_of_three 7 years, 4 months ago

27th is a street - is it not? But we can't use it because your house is on it? hhmmm Do you know how many people use 25th terrace to avoid the intersection at 23rd & Haskell? Even the school busses drive down 25th terrace to the light at 23rd and Harper.

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logrithmic 7 years, 4 months ago

Hmmm... Let's see, build a trafficway along the southern perimeter of Lawrence - does this mean more sprawl in south Douglas County or less....

I'll bet even a wiz like you can figure that one out.

Oh, and let's not forget West Lawrence and Clinton Lake too. A developturd's wet dream... pardon the pun.

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blue73harley 7 years, 4 months ago

"Developturds want to build more cardboard shacks stretching from here to the Shawnee County line. "

Clearly an untruth since the western part of the bypass heads north long before the Shawnee Co. line. You can argue that completing the eastern part might add to southern sprawl but since you have never driven south past 31st and Iowa you don't know that this sprawl is already occuring.

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logrithmic 7 years, 4 months ago

If we revote it, the Journal World should stay out of it. I'll never forget the full-page ad they ran on the eve of the vote showing the traffic stacked up on 23rd Street.

While we know Dolph had a vested interest in completing the highway (after all, he owned property along the proposed route and made a pretty darn good nickel selling it to his friends at KDOT), the ad was incredibly misleading. Why take the picture at rush hour? Why not take it at 2 a.m. when the road is empty - five lanes of pavement sitting empty for hours on end???

And now we come to find out that the road would have never reduced traffic on 23rd Street. I think the most recent estimate I've seen is a traffic reduction of 20% or so. So $400 million for a road that will not reduce traffic on 23rd Street... why build the road??? Answer: Developturds want to build more cardboard shacks stretching from here to the Shawnee County line. The way to do that? Put in a throughfare like the SLT to carry traffic westward. It's the plain truth and rightwingers on this forum just don't get it - or perhaps they're not used to hearing the truth - they're so willing to believe the lies.

The SLT is not a commuter road. It's a gateway to sprawl. That's its purpose, pure and simple.

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bugmenot 7 years, 4 months ago

Why should bowhunter be my ally? I'm opposed to the SLT, and they are for it.

Their online name has to do with the argument because if they're a bowhunter, as their name suggests, you'd think they'd be more interested in preserving nature, if for no other reason, than to preserve the habitat of animals they hunt.

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blue73harley 7 years, 4 months ago

MaryKate - many of us have been involved in the hearings, planning sessions etc. for the SLT. This has been dragging on for over 30 years now. And still we have an incomplete road that forces East/West traffic to cut through neighborhoods on the south side. Traffic calming, roundabouts, timed traffic signals and studies by consultants are just band-aids to the root cause of the problem - no southern by-pass. And I do not care if it is 32nd or 42nd St.

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rubix 7 years, 4 months ago

"Honestly, and your name is "bowhunter." "

What does someone's ONLINE/INTERNET/BLOG NAME have to do with their focus of an issue? That sounds like you are using reverse profiling to fuel your argument that someone who should be your ally, is in fact, your foe...

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kcwarpony 7 years, 4 months ago

Again with the "it's not a natural wetlands".

"In the 1880s and 1890s, the Haskell farm was focused on the upland areas, generally north of where 31st Street is today, because of the wetland nature of the bottom lands and the frequent flooding of the Wakarusa River. Although the bottom lands could be used for pastures and hay production, their drainage to increase land available for crops was a goal of the Superintendents from the earliest years. Federal appropriations for drainage projects, however, were not available until the early 1900s, and the small measures used to provide flood protection and drainage were not very successful."

"The area today is returning to a wetland probably similar to the era prior to pioneer settlement and clearing in the mid-1800s."

DRAFT Section 4(f) Evaluation 4f-14

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rubix 7 years, 4 months ago

The problem with this is a few simple things. We could re-vote on the issue for the 100th time to see what 'everyone' wants, but until we get the answer that a 'few' want, we will keep debating/arguing/postponing everything. I bet if there was a vote for 'no SLT' the issue would go silent for fear of it being discussed again. I'm getting a shovel and going to start digging. Maybe I will have it done by the time everyone agrees.

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bugmenot 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't think calling people "ignorant" is entirely appropriate until you show us all a copy of your civic planning license. I think most people generally agree that the SLT wouldn't get rid of the biggest problem; IN TOWN traffic.

No one would "stop using their house if we determine and indian died there 300 years ago," but that's not even the same thing as this. People don't want to BUILD in the sacred area; no one's saying "tear down the already-built highway."

Honestly, and your name is "bowhunter."

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

We're not ignorant, Bowhunter-- we just lack your obsession with pavement, and are thus able to look at all sides of the entire issue, and after doing so, we come up with a very different conclusion than you do.

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MaryKatesPillStash 7 years, 4 months ago

Well said, riverat.

I love how some of your are critiquing the Bonnie's assignment, arguing that it is hardly academic. How is it NOT academic? Her students spend the semester learning planning techniques through lecture/textbooks/guest speakers and then their knowledge is applied to a final project that is a real-life problem in Lawrence. How else do you propose that students learn? It is very laughable that you criticize the grad students' proposals for not taking budget into account, yet you stand firmly behind an unfunded megaproject that will fail miserably to divert traffic on 27th Street, which was the assignment for the students.

Also, many of you have valid points that are being wasted or lost on this comment board. If you are not currently doing so, why not attend a city/county planning commission meeting? You can find the agenda, members to e-mail, other info here: http://www.lawrenceplanning.org/

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Bowhunter99 7 years, 4 months ago

The SLT should start RIGHT where it stopped on Iowa and end up on K-10 at the other side of town.

I can't believe there are SO many ignorant people out here who claim that building the SLT will not alleviate the traffic on 23rd ST.

Are you going to stop using your house if we determine an indian died there 300 years ago? No you will not...

Can we bulldoze YOUR and YOUR parents house if we determine it's considered 'sacred' land by someone?

Let's start building the SLT.

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macon47 7 years, 4 months ago

YES, YES, YES,

if they would just set a speed trap on 27th ,12 hrs per day, 7 days a week, they would have the 30 milion for the library, and the jerks would be the ones paying for it. hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Joe Hyde 7 years, 4 months ago

I feel the biggest factors increasing traffic density (and contributing to traffic violations) on W. 27th St. is that Lawrence doesn't have enough one-way streets in its peripheral areas, and we've gotten away from the grid system of street layout.

The Indian Hills neighborhood began as a peripheral area. At the time of its development most city planners had become enthralled by the idea of doing away with the square block "grid system"; they considered it outdated, old-fashioned, unattractive. That aesthetic led to the Lawrence we have today: a city whose peripheral areas are characterized by curving streets and cul-de-sacs that are largely isolated from one another. Virtually disconnected in some instances.

Think for a moment how easy it would be for someone located south of 23rd St. to drive from Iowa St. to Louisiana St. if Indian Hills had a 27th St. designated one-way WEST, and either a 26th or 28th St. built as a one-way EAST. But that second thru street never got built. True, Naismith Park would have been cut in two places, but the blight could have been softened artfully given the talents of our city Parks & Recreation and Forestry Departments.

Maybe ways can yet be found to convert more of our city streets to one ways. They wouldn't have to be block-apart one ways, either (like Kentucky and Tennessee). Just create more one ways wherever we can. And build more connector streets everywhere practical. (Think of the hassles people face who live in the two separated peripheral developments west of Kasold and south of Clinton Parkway.)

Finishing the SLT -- or never finishing it -- is largely irrelevant to solving traffic problems on W. 27th St. There are now so many commercial businesses on south Iowa St. that the game is over. And even our semi-finished SLT keeps on provoking a blizzard of commercial and residential development out in Extremely New Superfar West Lawrence -- peripheral developments that bring more and more drivers to the south and east and north parts of the city.

I lived in the 1600 block of W. 27th St. for twenty eight years. Oops, I'm sorry; I meant to call it U.S. 27 Highway for how fast people drive on it. (The real estate agent was shrewd: he showed us the house at 9:30 PM on a Monday night.)

You ask me, the best way to slow down Indian Hills traffic is and always will be a patrolman with a radar gun and a full ticket book. Aggressively go after those speeders and stop sign runners; ticket 'em and fine 'em, keep on 'em until their tongues hang out.

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Defender 7 years, 4 months ago

"The completion of the SLT would have almost no effect on the level of traffic on 27th St. As with 23rd, the vast majority of traffic on that street is fairly local in nature."

Bullcrap. The SLT will take tons of traffic off 31st that cuts over to 27th to complete the journey east, thus taking a load off of 27th. I know I will use it every day of the week.

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budwhysir 7 years, 4 months ago

Best case offer here is to set up a tax fund that would research the flow of traffic in the Lawrence area. This fund could be collected and then used to employ some outside candidates to research wich roads we use, how long the lights stay green, wich roads most of us would like to go thru a round about on and so forth.

Additionaly, this group could do an independent survey on roads that need to be repaired. While this survey would require overtime and possibly another tax hike, it would be well worth it.

Looking at this topic, I find that the road least traveled is the road to success.

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budwhysir 7 years, 4 months ago

I like your thinking leperchaunking.

I dont have all good ideas, but I like the way you are going with this

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Leprechaunking13 7 years, 4 months ago

Slowing traffic on that street will only make the street more hectic and clogged itself, making other problems that don't exist now. Leave 27th alone and build a new road for through traffic to use.

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drewdun 7 years, 4 months ago

This is off subject, but the intersection of 8th and Missouri needs to be fixed NOW. I know the roads here are crap, but this intersection is beyond the pale.

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hipper_than_hip 7 years, 4 months ago

Bugmenot says: "No one takes it from north west Lawrence on their way to Target".

I live near 6th & K10, and we use the SLT all the time to go to Target, Wally World, Sears, etc. Why on earth would anyone on the NW side of town take 6th east to Iowa then crawl down to 31st?

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budwhysir 7 years, 4 months ago

I believe we should have a certain time that people can travel on certain roads. You know like from 10:00 am to 11:00 am you can use the back roads. And during rush hour you have to stay on the main roads.

Set the stop lights to a 10 minute change system and keep that traffic flowing.

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hipper_than_hip 7 years, 4 months ago

I live near 6th & K10, and I've been using I-70 more & more lately to get to and from work (I work in OP). I actually save about 10 minutes by not having to crawl my way thru east lawrence. I-70 is a viable option for some, but if you live further than 10 minutes from a toll booth, then your stuck using K10.

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budwhysir 7 years, 4 months ago

I believe roads are built to drive on and neighborhoods are built to live in. We should have direct main routes to get thru town and to the business areas.

Busy streets in neighborhoods make it hard for those living there to get out of thier driveways. Roundabouts make it very difficult to create a flow of traffic. Look at the roundabout on 19th street when there is a game at k.u.

Traffic backs up all the way down 19th. All the way to where??? Highway 10. These people are just trying to avoid the main roads in lawrence like 23rd street and Naismith

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blue73harley 7 years, 4 months ago

Godot and Jonas - far too simplistic thinking. It goes far beyond some burning desire to live in Lawrence. To simply trade houses/jobs or to relocate to avoid a commute is not a rational option in most cases. My skills, education and training likely have nothing to do with yours. Many commuters have too many years tied up in their jobs to even consider leaving. Some have spouses/significant others that work in Lawrence, Topeka, Ottawa, Baldwin, etc and live here as a compromise.

lorrithimic doesn't think Lawrence exists South of 31st Street. Sure I70 is a route to KC. But it sure as hell is a stupid option if you are headed to OP or Olathe. And calling this a right vs left issue is completely ridiculous. It shoud be about what serves the community, as a whole, best.

I agree with jamesaust post that states - 'Trying to fix problems on 27th in the absence of solving larger-picture concerns is fruitless and, more importantly to the taxpayer, the definition of "waste."

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Topside 7 years, 4 months ago

The SLT will do little if nothing to help traffic in and across Lawrence. All it will do is help people go around lawrence. The real traffic problem is within the city infrastructure itself.

The SLT will not help alleviate the thousands of people going from campus to WAL-MART or target and the Movie Theaters everyday.

Norman, OK and Manhattan are almost as badly arranged (or worse) along Tuttle Creek Blvd. From my limited experience you can't live in a college town and expect good traffic it has to go along with the "personality" of living there.

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logrithmic 7 years, 4 months ago

Oh, and I repeat wackos, the SLT will do nothing for traffic on 27th Street, which was the gist of this article!

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logrithmic 7 years, 4 months ago

My objections to the completion of this boondoogle known as the SLT are three-fold:

Cost: $200,000,000 to finish it paid for by ALL taxpayers, not just the one's using the road. In fact, the feds share is financed by every taxpayer in the U.S., many of whom have never heard of Lawrence, KS. If they charged a fee for usage - say $100 for every time you take the SLT, it would take 4,000,000 trips to pay for it (remember, we've already sunk $200 million into the first half of this boondoggle). Divide this 4,000,000 trips into an annual daily use, and it would take nearly 11,000 trips daily, each commuter paying $100 per trip, to pay it off in one year. That's how outrageous this use of our tax dollars is.

Environmental: Huge highway across a beautiful area that serves as a key stopping and feeding ground for birds migrating from the north to the south and then back again. Not only is that a problem, but it will turn South Lawrence into a mini-LA with soot and pollution building up a nice black cloud at the foot of Mt. Oread. Lovely. And the noise - 24/7 trucks. And let's not forget - once they've taken the wetlands, they'll put big box retail up and down it. Topeka, Johnson County - ho!

Indian land: Haven't we done enough to native Americans? After all, we've taken everything from them -robbed them, broken treaties, tried to commit genocide against them. When's enough enough? Why can't we leave this ground, considered sacred to them alone?

Wackomania is coming to an SLT near you....

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Emily Hadley 7 years, 4 months ago

A roundabout would work, because it is a fairly wide road, but considering the park and its trails, a raised crosswalk near the bridge would be great.

The bridge is the lowest part of the road and a crosswalk there would, unlike on other portions of 27th, have a lot of visibility to alert drivers as they approached it.

It's a very pretty neighborhood to drive through, and though I take it for a break from the crazy traffic on Iowa and 23rd St, there are often folks behind me who want to go faster, including quite a few cars that come from or turn into driveways along the street.

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conservative 7 years, 4 months ago

"By the way, creating artificial wetlands does not make up for destroying the natural wetlands."

It's not natural wetlands It was farmland less than a century ago. Before that it was wet, but not wetlands, it was an area that flooded when the Wakarusa river was up and dried when it was down. The wetlands are entirely artificial in their current configuration with Dikes in place to keep the area always filled with water.

You can't ban trucks from 23rd street. It is a state highway. K-10 continues straight through Town on 23rd, turns South on Iowa, and continues on to the West as the SLT south of town. Only way you'll get 23rd to not be a highway is to complete the SLT, then K-10 will go completely south of Lawrence.

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rubix 7 years, 4 months ago

A rare and delicate ecosystem that was built and will be expanded when they decide on which solution to go with. I guess 'creating' more delicate and rare ecosystem for your fight isn't worth it?

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bugmenot 7 years, 4 months ago

It isn't more important; it's all in the same vein. People want every convenience they think the world owes them and don't consider other people, the environment, or anything else in their decisionmaking. It's disgusting that they've torn down so many trees for more of those cheaply made cardboard villages that have begun to populate town. Why does that make the SLT acceptable?

And, for the final time (I hope); the wetlands aren't just a "swamp." They're a rare and delicate ecosystem that deserves to continue its existence more than anyone in Lawrence deserves a 10 minute reduction in their commute. Call it a swamp all you want to in the hopes that people will build the $&# highway, but that doesn't change the fact that it's an ecologically important and protected area.

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rubix 7 years, 4 months ago

I think its funny to read about all these people so concerned about some rotting grass and a highway, when they just recently bulldozed 50 acres of timber around the East Lawrence Nature Center to build houses. Everyone is so bent out of shape over the swamp, but apparently this argument is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than ripping up another section of wildlife...HOW COME?

Personally, I would love to see the SLT finished, and hopefully it will be SOON. I just wanted to see if anyone even noticed (or cared to complain about something that wasn't so 'political' and 'racist').

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logrithmic 7 years, 4 months ago

We already have a route to KC. It's called I70.

It was estimated by the city traffic engineer that to synchronize the lights on 23rd Street would cost $80,000. Then in the same article, he said it would be too expensive to do this!!!

Yet rightwingers want to sink $200,000,000 into the SLT just so they can get from Iowa to Louisiana - which is what this story is about - and it is what they proposed in these comments: "Build the SLT - it will solve the problem of people cutting through neighborhoods on 27th street." What stupid reasoning!

Yet you ask these rightwingers if they consider themselves "fiscal conservatives" and they'll all walk the talk! Then they scratch their heads and posteriors and wonder why taxes are going up or why the government just can't stop spending their precious money.

Curb cuts on 23rd are past high time. If it means closing some businesses to get it done, then do it! Let them take some of the excess retail space on Wakarusa or downtown. There's more than enough "for rent" signs out there to fill. Once the buildings are taken down, put up green space - trees, and parks. Let's make 23rd Street like Clinton Parkway. Hey, even add a bike path....

Rightwingers look in the rear view mirror and think they're looking straight ahead.

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bugmenot 7 years, 4 months ago

If it's truly the trucks causing the traffic buildup, wouldn't a better solution, then, be to ban trucks from 23rd street? I think the real problem are the people who want the feel of living in a smaller city like Lawrence (or a more uplifting city than Topeka) but want the money a job in KC provides. Then, those people complain because they very roads they're clogging up are slow.

It's not a matter of forcing Lawrence to be forward-facing. All cities are looking at enhanced traffic problems in the future. Slapping together a solution now will probably not have made the situation all that much better in 5 years. It's just going to get busier as Lawrence gets busier.

By the way, creating artificial wetlands does not make up for destroying the natural wetlands.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

Every now and then, we find something to agree upon, Godot.

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conservative 7 years, 4 months ago

"Why pour millions of dollars into saving impatient people 10 minutes?"

Because right now it is 10 minutes. 5 years from now when the expansion of 59 highway is completed and additional trucks are going down 23rd street because it is the only way to connect K-10 to 59 it will be more like 20 or 30.

Also by moving traffic along a bypass instead of stop and go traffic we will drastically reduce emissions and fuel consumption.

We have the chance to address future issues today. Why wait until it is impossible to drive in this town to look at the need for additional through streets?

My understanding is that other than the portion going through the Baker "Wetlands" the rest of the SLT will go through what is currently private property (regardless of which route is chosen).

Also if they choose to go through the wetlands they are going to add several hundred acres of additional wetlands that would be protected, and move 31st street farther south so that it doesn't cross Haskell's land. That would return a portion of the wetlands to Haskell and create additional natural areas. Seems like a good situation to me.

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Godot 7 years, 4 months ago

I wonder why people live here and work in Topeka or KC, too, and vice versa. It is almost funny to see the lines of traffic leaving Lawrence and coming into Lawrence on weekday mornings and evenings.

These commuters should get together and trade houses or jobs.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

Take a drive anywhere in KC at busy times, and the traffic there is much worse than it is here, yet that's exactly what the cancerous-growth promoters want Lawrence to become.

So as you beat the drum about all of the positive aspects of growth, remember that along with it, the traffic will get worse no matter how many roads you build.

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bugmenot 7 years, 4 months ago

I wasn't saying the "swamp," as you derisively characterize it, belongs to Haskell. There is also Native American land right in the path of the proposed SLT, land that is not part of the wetlands. Check your facts, and take a chill pill. If you're wanting to visit people in KC, just say to yourself, "It'll take an extra 10 minutes because Lawrence sure is packed anymore." Why pour millions of dollars into saving impatient people 10 minutes? Especially if it comes at the price of further disrespecting the Native American community and ruining an environmental preserve?

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conservative 7 years, 4 months ago

I live and work in Lawrence and would still use the SLT when I go to KC to visit relatives and friends. And I'm not willing to be one of the stick my head in the sand and pretend there isn't a problem like some people. There's a problem and a solution. Time to implement the solution before Lawrence grows by another 25,000 people.

BTW Bugmenot, you may want to check your facts. The swamp belongs to Baker not to Haskell.

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jonas 7 years, 4 months ago

"'I want to live in Lawrence, but I work somewhere else and hate the traffic. Make it better so I can have everything I want!' I think it's pretty selfish."

Haha! Well said!

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jrlii 7 years, 4 months ago

What's with this? People buy houses on through streets and then complain that there is traffic. IF YOU DON'T WANT TRAFFIC BUY A HOUSE ON A CUL-DE-SAC.

The city should be looking for ways to move traffic efficiently. The lack of capacity on the highway streets in town is why traffic spills over onto every through street in town: Drivers will go a mile out of their way to avoid the traffic on 23rd St. Iowa and 6th streets are nearly as bad. To get to my chiropractor's office on Wakarusa from east Lawrence, I'll go clear up to the turnpike, out to the Lecompton exit and come back and still save 5-10 minutes.

It's a wonder that they aren't putting roundabouts on Kentucky & Tennessee. Oh, wait, that's in the student ghetto, so the city doesn't care.

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bugmenot 7 years, 4 months ago

If people hate traffic so much that they want this entire extra highway built to accomodate them, why do they add to the problem by living in Topeka and working in Lawrence? Or living in Lawrence and working in KC? I think this is all a product of people wanting everything to be ultra convenient for them, when they've set up situations to be inconvenient. "I want to live in Lawrence, but I work somewhere else and hate the traffic. Make it better so I can have everything I want!" I think it's pretty selfish.

The comment "the SLT doesn't require it to go through the swamp. It probably will but it could go farther south," is exactly why the SLT was considered to break federal law. It could have been built with respect for the environment and the Native American land, but they just wanted the quick and easy way. It's all symptomatic of the same problem; selfish people wanting things really easy for them and not caring what it does to others or the world. That's why people cut through 27th, going 40, and risking kids' lives. That's why people say, "I hate driving slow on 23rd between 4 and 6; make it faster - I don't care how." Just get over it. If you hate the drive so much, don't live in Lawrence and work elsewhere. If you love Lawrence and want to keep living there, you'll have to just put up with the traffic, too; it's getting to be a much busier city than the initial plan planned for.

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macon47 7 years, 4 months ago

the police run plenty of speedtraps on 27th and make a considerable amount of money from the losers with the NEED TO SPEED it is kinda fun to drive by and see them POUTING LIKE THE LITTLE BRAT THEY ARE while the officer writes his ticket HA HA HA HA HA HA go fast, be first, pay the price yuck yuck, yuck

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conservative 7 years, 4 months ago

bugme, you're missing a few relevant things.

First to complete the SLT doesn't require it to go through the swamp. It probably will but it could go farther south.

Second the times that the traffic is bad on 23rd is during rush hour. Why? because of the number of people who live in West Lawrence who work in KC.

For those people who have no need to be on 23rd other than to get across the town it makes perfect sense to go a half mile south on Wakarusa, or Kasold and get onto the SLT so that from there they can move at 65 MPH to get to K10.

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countrygirl 7 years, 4 months ago

Bugmenot-- I know lots of people who work in the East Hills Business Park and live in Topeka who would love to see the bypass finished. They take the existing by pass as far as they can and then have to come through Lawrence to get the rest of the way to work. I'd love to be able to come in from Eudora to the south part of Lawrence to shop and not have to drive through Lawrence. Use all the other arguements that you want, but if they build it, people will use it.

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jonas 7 years, 4 months ago

Or we can all just bite the bullet and admit that we don't have much of a traffic problem.

AAAAAAHHHHH cars get backed up somewhat during rush hour!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

If my memory serves me correctly, there is no interchange planned for Lousiana in the proposals for the SLT, which means that even if someone did want to go out of their way to use it as an option to 27th, it'd take way more than a 10-block detour to do it.

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bugmenot 7 years, 4 months ago

The SLT will do absolutely nothing. It's also against federal environmental protection law. I don't care if you think environmental protection is stupid or great; the $#& thing is against the law. It's been litigated. End of story. Find another way. It cuts through Native American ground, too. I completely agree with the poster who said it would do nothing to alleviate 23rd street back ups (or even 27th street back ups). No one's going to jaunt south at Iowa or even Wakarusa, hop on the SLT for 2 minutes, then drive back north to go to Panera or Mass Street or wahtever. People use 23rd to get from West Lawrence to central or East Lawrence, not through Lawrence on their way to Topeka. 23rd has about a million stoplights between Iowa and Haskell; that's the problem and it's unfixable. Chalk it up to bad planning and overpopulation, but the SLT won't do &#! to fix it. The SLT would be in violation of federal law, unsightly, and unnecessarily stepping on the toes of Native Americans, all to do nothing. No one takes it from north west Lawrence on their way to Target - why is there any indication to anyone they'll take it if it extended all the way to Louisian Street or K-10?

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estespark 7 years, 4 months ago

23rd street is not a lost cause and you do not need frontage roads to reduce curb cuts, rather you would need better circulation between each businesses' parking lots thus eliminating the need for multiple driveways.

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conservative 7 years, 4 months ago

23rd street is a lost cause. The only real way to reduce curb cuts would be to make frontage roads for the two sides of the road. That can't happen because it would leave all the businesses without parking lots.

It's time to do what we can about getting traffic through Lawrence without having to rely on 23rd. 1. finish the SLT, 2. build a connection from K-10 to 6th street

If we insist on continuing to use 23rd street as a major traffic mover then the best option is to eliminate businesses along either the north or south side of the road, shift the road that direction and build a frontage road for the businesses that remain. Of course you've just lost a huge portion of the tax base so that would never happen.

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Agnostick 7 years, 4 months ago

Godot, check your PMs, please!

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estespark 7 years, 4 months ago

Signal optimization will not make 23rd any better. The problem is too many driveways. Access needs to be managed on 23rd, only then will synchronized traffic signals be effective.

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Godot 7 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, jafs, the commission spent the $80,000 (and then some) on a consultant whose recommendations they do not plan to follow.

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jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

I find the comment about $80,000 to synchronize lights on 23rd St. very interesting. If that is in fact true, it seems like a relatively small amount of money to pay for a vast improvement - why hasn't the city done that? Traffic on 23rd St. is difficult and dangerous, and synchronizing those lights would help quite a bit, along with reducing the number of turn-offs into parking lots.

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Bowhunter99 7 years, 4 months ago

"This is a real-life project, so they get a little bit of practice," Johnson said.

WTF????? since when some schmuck can decide it's a 'real-life project' that deserves funding from the city????

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cowboy 7 years, 4 months ago

using bozo's & logs logic we would still have only a few dirt roads in downtown and all be riding horses. Not bad I have horses !

The traffic load has simply out grown the grid in Lawrence. a well run town would have a plan to expand knowing it is a painful process of property acquisition and that horrible thing called growth / progress. But Lawrence chooses to sit in denial and offer up these little " see I did something " solutions to quiet down the neighbors and only move the traffic to some other small street.

Identify the arterials , start acquiring property and expand these streets and build the by passes on the east and south sides. Lawrence has the same streets as when I moved back here 20 years ago but the population has tripled. I'm not a great mathmetician but somethingnhas to give !

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logrithmic 7 years, 4 months ago

We don't need to widen roads!

We need to slow traffic. Speed bumps and roundabouts do a great job of that. Four way stops suck! People fight over right of way. People turning right at stop signs barely break (this may have been what caused that little boy to lose his life earlier this year).

You know, if rightwingers want to live in the cardboard sprawl known as West Lawrence, they should be forced to endure their commute instead of forcing the rest of us to pay for their $200,000,000 boondoggle SLT.

And while the SLT might offer temporary relief to a few willing to navigate south to it, we all know what the intersections around the exits will look like in a few years - like the Butt ugly crap we have on south Iowa Street.

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estespark 7 years, 4 months ago

27th is not an arterial, it is an urban collector.

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Jamesaust 7 years, 4 months ago

"People use residential side streets because the main streets are clogged."

Point of order: 27th street is an arterial street even if there is little commercial property along it. No one on 27th bought and moved into their home without full knowledge of this fact. (Its like someone in one of those houses about Iowa & Harvard or Mass. & 21st complaining about traffic near their house.) If you want the isolation of a dead-end street then pay the market premium to buy one.

Trying to fix problems on 27th in the absence of solving larger-picture concerns is fruitless and, more importantly to the taxpayer, the definition of "waste."

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hipper_than_hip 7 years, 4 months ago

Traffic calming devices and roundabouts won't lessen the number of cars on the street. Unless we can get the flow of traffic to increase on our major east-west streets, the only reasonable solution is to widen some of the existing arterials, like 9th, 19th, and 27th.

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blue73harley 7 years, 4 months ago

"The completion of the SLT would have almost no effect on the level of traffic on 27th St. As with 23rd, the vast majority of traffic on that street is fairly local in nature." = The most asinine comment that Bozo has ever posted.

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estespark 7 years, 4 months ago

If residents are concerned with vehicle speeds, the first step should be enforcement of posted speed limits along 27th street.

Also, I am curious what percentage of this traffic is local.

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logrithmic 7 years, 4 months ago

BTW, the cost to synchronize the lights on 23rd Street has been estimated at $80,000.

Cost to build the SLT? $200,000,000.

Hmmm, rightwingers, which makes more sense to you??

And, rightwingers, it's ridiculous to suggest the SLT will improve traffic flow on 27th Street. People are going to detour down to 32nd Street on Iowa, through the BUSY Home Depot/Best Buy intersection at 31st and the BUSY WalMart intersection at 32nd to reach the SLT and use it to navigate to Louisiana, exit, and precede wherever else they may be heading? Stupid is as stupid writes....

Oh, I almost forgot... rightwingers like sprawl and developturd nightmares.....

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

The completion of the SLT would have almost no effect on the level of traffic on 27th St. As with 23rd, the vast majority of traffic on that street is fairly local in nature.

Hardly anyone now using it would be willing drive 5 blocks too far south of where they want to be and then have to drive those 5 blocks back north to where they want to be.

I know that won't satisfy any of you frothing over the "need" for the SLT, but it's a simple observable fact.

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doubledogleg 7 years, 4 months ago

build the SLT. 27th street, 19th, 15th, 9th,6th, Clinton Pkwy, Tennessee/Kentucky are all roads I (and others) use to get THROUGH Lawrence.

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logrithmic 7 years, 4 months ago

Big speed bumps. Several of them. It will absolutely obliterate the cut through traffic.

Want to do more? Support sealing up about half of the curb cuts along 23rd Street, synchronizing lights on 23rd Street, etc. Make 23rd Street a thoroughfare instead of a destination street.

Oh and plant trees to make it pretty. It's one of the ugliest eyesores of the city - ranks right up there with the rightwing Farmland plant, the new Meadowlark apartments (talk about butt ugly), and the cardboard houses the developturds erected west of Kasold.

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Reality_Check 7 years, 4 months ago

cms wrote: "I believe these methods to reduce or slow traffic should be abandoned."

By your logic, why even have speed limits, then? School zones? Nah, they're all bad.

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Reality_Check 7 years, 4 months ago

Many of you clearly don't know the difference between a roundabout and a traffic calming device. Learn before speaking.

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Reality_Check 7 years, 4 months ago

There is nothing wrong with a neighborhood advocating slowing traffic on its streets. I drive 27th St. daily, and have for 30 years, as part of my effort to avoid 23rd like the Plague.

Most of the traffic on it is local...folks who live near 27th or Louisiana trying to avoid 23rd and go westbound. Using the SLT would be going way out of their way, and they won't use it.

When I drive it, it's hard to keep my speed down to 30mph. I would suggest speed bumps or other traffic calmers. Roundabouts are reserved for problem intersections.

But I can't resist commenting on this asinine comment from above:

"Roundabouts aren't going to do anything, people will be hitting the darn curb"

Actually, they slow traffic to 15-20 very effectively. Have you ever driven one?

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aquakej 7 years, 4 months ago

I love how they suggested to put in a roundabout!! Yay Roundabouts!!! .....barf....

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cms 7 years, 4 months ago

This story reminds me of a drive we recently took through the neighborhood east of Harvard and Wakarusa. Harvard is chalked full of small, difficult roundabouts and speed bumps.

I believe streets are public property and should be used by everyone AND I believe these methods to reduce or slow traffic should be abandoned.

I agree with most, leave 27th Street alone and build the SLT. If you are a homeowner, I'm sorry, keep your kids in the backyard (like we did) or move.

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LogicMan 7 years, 4 months ago

Is it time for the traffic planners to realize that 27th, and also Louisiana from 19th to 31st, needs to be widened to four lanes? Much of 19th St. too. And prohibit street parking on both sides.

It's what was needed on other major N-S and E-W routes in town over the years, and more will be needed in the future. Yes, yards, and maybe even some buildings, will need to be sacrificed.

Pay for it by scaling back dramatically that near-empty-buses program. And no more little traffic circles -- convert all to four-way stops. (Note to LJW: 'traffic circle' is the U.S. term; 'roundabout' is British, etc.)

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macon47 7 years, 4 months ago

ONLY TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE CAUSE TRAFFIC PROBLEMS IN LAWRENCE

The ones who are so arrogant and important they feel they have god given right to speed.

the ones too ignorant to navigate a roundabout (both groups tend to be drunk or on dope)

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blue73harley 7 years, 4 months ago

The root cause of the problem is in the first sentence of the article - this is one of the FEW roads connecting Iowa and Louisianna. Slowing traffic will not solve the problem. The SLT will.

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KS 7 years, 4 months ago

Sandman, I agree.

+++++++++++++

Plumberscrack says- "Roundabouts should be paid for solely by the neighborhoods they serve and NOT the citizens of Lawrence as a whole!"

Does he feel the same way about the street in front of his house? Next time it needs paved, let the City send him the bill. Maybe Plumberscrack lives on a dirt road? Typical......as long as it is not their money. Streets serve the benefit of the entire community and the community as a whole should pay for them.

Regardless, finish the +#@?! SLT!

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Sandman 7 years, 4 months ago

People use residential side streets because the main streets are clogged.

For crying out loud, isn't it time to finish the SLT?

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plumberscrack 7 years, 4 months ago

Roundabouts should be paid for solely by the neighborhoods they serve and NOT the citizens of Lawrence as a whole!

This street IS and ALWAYS was a major arterial street. It serves a major function and people should have known the arterial streets move a lot of traffic and are designed to alleviate traffic from 23 rd street.

Don't like it....MOVE! Don't like arterial streets......DON'T MOVE BY ONE!

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KS 7 years, 4 months ago

Roundabouts are the greatest thing since sliced bread with respect to moving traffic. If you can't negotiate around them, turn in your license. Just where did you folks get your license anyway, Wal-Mart?

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cutelovemonkey38 7 years, 4 months ago

I think this is true. But stupid. Roundabouts aren't going to do anything, people will be hitting the darn curb. Not to mention its not like these people are being forced to live there. They have a choice just like everybody else. Put in stop signs or a even a light if you want to. But not a roundabout. Those things just cause trouble.

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PapaB 7 years, 4 months ago

Small Roundabouts are just the worst idea there is. It slows down traffic just as much as a 4 way stop sign because they're so small only one car can be in it safely at once.

Add more freaking stop signs if you want to slow traffic.

And finish the SLT, on 32nd St, where more people will use it.

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oldgoof 7 years, 4 months ago

Article: "We looked at a raised crosswalk on 27th Street, where Naismith Park comes around," said Enjoli Dixon, who worked on the project.

"And if there's money available, putting in a roundabout on Missouri Street," said Susan Paxson, another graduate student. .. Goof says: Duhh. Reporters and others should not characterize this as remotely academic in any way until the 'graduate students' look at improvement issues in light of competition for limited financial resources.

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cowboy 7 years, 4 months ago

Every street in central Lawrence is overloaded with traffic trying to get across town yet there is a movement to impede the cars at every turn with bumps , medians , roundabouts.

At the same time the ostriches have thier heads in the sand and will not address the issue of moving traffic i.e. SLT , parkways.

as I drive out Clinton Parkway it strikes me every morning , what moron or group of morons decided to ruin a perfectly great road with the roundabout out there ?

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