To the editor:
Opponents of South Lawrence Trafficway-32b want you to believe that it will "destroy the wetlands." Construction of SLT-32b will destroy about 12 percent of the wetlands. The mitigation will add 60 percent. The truly valuable portion of the wetlands, the 45 acres of virgin wet-meadow, will be more than 600 meters from the trafficway. With 12-foot noise barriers, the Baker Wetlands will be quieter than before. With a visitors center, the area will be more readily accessible to the public. If you still like solitude, the river bank will still be there, intact and undisturbed.
Opponents want you to believe they are trying to "protect this public treasure." For 38 years it has been privately owned and managed by Baker University; it is not public, but we have chosen to allow public access. It is not SLT-32b that threatens the wetlands, it is development and an SLT south of the river. Without SLT-32b, existing 31st Street, Louisiana and Haskell will all eventually be four lanes. Large traffic volumes on three sides are the real threat to the Baker Wetlands. The SLT-32b mitigation will provide a large buffer east and west and a noise wall to the north. KDOT knows what they're doing, let them.