Advertisement

Archive for Sunday, March 5, 2006

Mass. St. high on police radar

Where do Lawrence Police issue the most speeding tickets? An analysis finds the top 10 spots for catching speeders.

March 5, 2006

Advertisement

A two-block section of Lawrence's main drag is the main place in the city for police to catch speeders.

According to numbers released by municipal court, the single city block with the most speeding citations issued in 2005 was the 2000 block of Massachusetts Street, with 848 tickets. The speed limit there is 30 mph.

Coming in second place, with 612 citations, was the 300 block of McDonald Drive in northern Lawrence. Another block on Massachusetts Street - the 2100 block - came in third place with 574 citations.

For the Rev. Leo Barbee of Victory Bible Church at 20th and Massachusetts streets, the numbers are no surprise. He sees officers running radar in his church parking lot so often that he joked the church should get a cut of the proceeds.

"They're out there all the time," he said. "I think it helps the safety of the area. I think it's good. Coming from 23rd Street to 19th Street, it's tempting to speed up : folks are driving 40, 45 mph."

The location of the city's speed traps surfaced as an issue last month after many drivers complained about being stopped and ticketed in a dormant road-construction zone on West Sixth Street. Three blocks in the work zone - the 5600 block through 5800 block of West Sixth Street - were among the top 10 blocks last year for speeding citations.


Two of the top three areas in Lawrence where drivers are ticketed for speeding are in the 2000 and 2100 blocks of Massachusetts Street. Police attribute that to several factors, including their focus on patrolling the city's entryways and their efforts to protect residential traffic entering and exiting on Massachusetts. Another high-ticket area in 2005 was West Sixth Street on the west edge of town.

Two of the top three areas in Lawrence where drivers are ticketed for speeding are in the 2000 and 2100 blocks of Massachusetts Street. Police attribute that to several factors, including their focus on patrolling the city's entryways and their efforts to protect residential traffic entering and exiting on Massachusetts. Another high-ticket area in 2005 was West Sixth Street on the west edge of town.

Lawrence police spokeswoman Kim Murphree said one reason officers ran radar so consistently on that stretch of Massachusetts Street was that it was a residential area with traffic from private drives entering and exiting the road. Also, police have said they tried to regularly patrol the city's entryways.

In 2005, there were 13 injury accidents and 60 noninjury accidents on Massachusetts Street between 16th and 23rd streets, according to the department's figures, compared with nine injury accidents and 223 noninjury accidents on Sixth Street; 19 noninjury accidents on McDonald Drive; and five injury accidents and 95 noninjury accidents on Kasold Drive.

Mayor Boog Highberger said the police department's rationale for doing so much traffic enforcement on Massachusetts Street seemed reasonable to him, and he wasn't surprised by the contents of the list.

"Just on the surface, I don't see anything that seems out of line," he said.

Comments

tkmoore 8 years, 9 months ago

you know there are OTHER PARTS OF TOWN

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 9 months ago

"the looney left in this town frequently compares our police chief and the police force to the National Socialists"

Do they have meetings at which they decide these things, or is there a secret listserve for that purpose?

Kyle Carter 8 years, 9 months ago

  1. Are you for or against traffic calming devices?
  2. Do you think the police hand out too many speeding tickets?
  3. How long have you been driving?
  4. How many speeding tickets have you received in your life?
  5. Have you ever gotten a ticket for running red lights or stop signs?
  6. Have you ever caused an accident?

  7. Against

  8. No
  9. 5 Years
  10. 1 ticket
  11. No
  12. No

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 9 months ago

Interesting test, Pilgrim, but as pelliot points out, it's nothing but name-calling, demonizing nonsense.

Do you have any content to contribute?

pelliott 8 years, 9 months ago

"you would have seen it was dripping with sarcasm aimed at the looney "

Yes, I probably did respond to the post after it was removed. If I had read it then my post would of been very different. Maybe I am turning into a knee jerk ranter. I use to read carefully, consider what the person was saying and with respect for different oppinions, I actually occassionally changed my mind, and now I just tag any conversation with name calling, demonizing nonsense. Oh boy, that feels so good, and easier to write. No work there.

ksmattfish 8 years, 9 months ago

Someone needs to remind the officers that their police station is surrounded by residential neighborhoods to the east, and the speed limit is not 45 mph.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm curious. Are those who complain about the traffic calming the same ones who complain about the police giving out tickets. We could start a poll. 1. Are you for or against traffic calming devices? 2. Do you think the police hand out too many speeding tickets? 3. How long have you been driving? 4. How many speeding tickets have you received in your life? 5. Have you ever gotten a ticket for running red lights or stop signs? 6. Have you ever caused an accident? My answers: 1. for 2. no 3. about 30 years 4. 1 in 1976 5. 1 in 1977 6. I once backed out of my driveway and clipped my neighbors car.

pelliott 8 years, 9 months ago

Just like boog, fair and accurate in his statements and observations. I don't see any ""defense" in the remarks. I am glad that the speeding tickets might work to slow the autos down in the neighborhood. I dislike most of the tiny round abouts with the bizarre turning problems but have found the larger ones a good idea. I do hope that time will help us all learn to use them more effectively. I worry about which manifestation will apprear on 13th. but if they are looking to slow racers down, they will be able to there. Speaking of being responsible for what one says, which is different than the base line of freedom of speech. Dear pilgrim, if you think Olin and Bush are nazi like you should present your information and support your contention. I don't see any connection of that to this story. I seems you are just ranting about those guys in a knee jerk. Actually, it doesn't seem that irresponsible, just grotesque but I would (personally) not use nazi as genericly as that.

pelliott 8 years, 9 months ago

"So sorry about your reading comprehension problems. So sorry the LJW staff is so paranoid they took down the original post. If they had not, you would have seen it was dripping with sarcasm aimed at the looney "

my response, which I thought was funny. Yes, I probably did respond to the post after it was removed. If I had read it then my post would of been very different. Maybe I am turning into a knee jerk ranter. I use to read carefully, consider what the person was saying and with respect for different oppinions, I actually occassionally changed my mind, and now I just tag any conversation with name calling, demonizing nonsense. Oh boy, that feels so good, and easier to write. No work there"

I am sorry that I was so sarcastic about your post. To be clear, I had read your post, my response was to say I found it meaningless as a form of conversation or arguement. I think some of the people took the time to comment on the article. The issues of how and why police and community view the need for controlling speeders and where, to me is important, I see it life threatening behavoir , especially for the kids in the neighborhood, and I am not as fast on my feet as I use to be. To rant and name call with no substance or responsibility detracts from what is a valuable community dialogue. Rather I should of responded to the post by "Posted by Jamesaust (anonymous) on March 5, 2006 at 12:43 p.m." that post had valid observations and suggestions that merit a response. You give me a chance to rant on about my pet peeve which is that people don't take responsibility for what they do or say, the blame others game without holding oneself to any kind of standard is to me, far more corrupting to our country than crazed conservatives, fearful liberals, theiving executives or tired greedy politicians.

Jamesaust 8 years, 9 months ago

Interestingly, one of the most 'speeded' roads in town - Iowa between 6th and 23rd - isn't on the list; nor is East 23rd, where we continually read about accidents, injuries, and deaths. How many have died at 6th & Maine in the last decade? (Hint: less than West 6th near Crestline.)

I note that all the listed locations are places where open roads begin to constrict or vica versa. Drivers have one judgment about the proper speed for the context; the city has another. I suspect that most of these tickets were issued during the former not the later precisely because it is under these 'easier' circumstances (unusual hours of the day, light traffic) that it is 'easier' to waste police resources. Certainly, one must wonder, for example, on a sunny July morning at 6 am why the 6000 block of Clinton Parkway would not prudently support a speed of 50 mph where on a late average weekday afternoon the 1700 block of Tennessee probably should have an even lower limit. I very much doubt that the bulk of these tickets were issued during the bulk of driving - that is, during a typical 'rush hour.' Seeing then that the greatest quantity of drivers are not constrainted by this ticket-issuing activity, I suspect that the typical ticketed driver ascribes their receipt as 'bad luck' and not a commentary on their driving with the result being no modification of their driving habits.

I would be far more worried about direct contributors to accidents such an inattention and disregard for stop signs and stoplights. Unfortunately, these behaviors are more difficult to document and control. How does one notice inattention if it doesn't cause an accident? How do you pull over a 'stoplight runner' during 'rush hour' without creating a bigger risk to other drivers? Personally, I've seen police more often with a radar gun near Hallmark making sure that drivers on McDonald slow down 300 ft before picking up their turnpike ticket rather than 100 ft than I've seen the police near the East Hills business park where drivers seem to believe they are already at the nascar track. For that matter, perhaps the police should get out of their car and take their life in their own hands by crossing any random street downtown.

Daniel Speicher 8 years, 9 months ago

dorothy, I think that is an interesting thought process... But, for me, at least, it doesn't apply...

  1. Are you for or against traffic calming devices? AGAINST! They simply don't work. Instead of slowing down the real problem drivers they slow down those who obey the law. Those who cause the most accidents in Lawrence, I believe, see these as simply "challenges." "How can I truly make it around one of these things at 45 miles per hour. Trust me... It can be done... I've been in a car with someone who proved it to me... Of course, they needed new upholstery after that... But, it, indeed, can be done.
  2. Do you think the police hand out too many speeding tickets? No. I think the LPD is a fair department. They do a very good job in handling almost all of their cases (speeding tickets included.) I would dare say that for the size of our small metropolitan area, we have one of the best police squads out there.
  3. How long have you been driving? A little over 9 years.
  4. How many speeding tickets have you received in your life? None.
  5. Have you ever gotten a ticket for running red lights or stop signs? No.
  6. Have you ever caused an accident? No.

I have, however, received a ticket for an expired tag. But, I was driving a friend's car at the time. We split the ticket cost because he didn't realize that when he lended me his car... And, I didn't have the mindset to check the tag before I hopped behind the wheel.

Overall, I think Lawrence has a pretty good grasp on keeping speeding at a minimum. However, I have a real problem with the new concept of traffic calming devices. Solely because they slow down the drivers who, in general, don't have a problem with speeding (i.e. 5pm traffic-goers), and present a new danger for the real problem drivers. Anyway... I digress. At least they "look" pretty. ;) Nothing says beautifying Lawrence like a concrete slab!

--Danny Speicher

Commenting has been disabled for this item.