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Archive for Thursday, May 18, 2006

$4.2M plan would improve streets

More equipment and workers included in public works’ request

May 18, 2006

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If city commissioners want to improve the city's streets, Public Works director Chuck Soules has many ideas on how they can do it.

And he presented about $4 million worth of them during budget hearings with city commissioners on Wednesday. Soules told city commissioners that he's identified $4.2 million worth of new projects and equipment that will allow the department to improve the condition of city streets.

City commissioners were all ears during the second of three days of budget hearings this week.

"I can tell you that streets are going to be a large priority for me," Mayor Mike Amyx said.

Among the requests Soules made:

¢ $2.9 million to add to the city's street maintenance program. That would allow the program to grow to $6 million in total.

¢ $140,000 to add three new street maintenance workers to the department, which Soules said would allow his crews to tackle problems more quickly.

¢ $935,000 for equipment replacement, including a new asphalt paving machine.

Soules also asked for $250,000 to build sidewalks along major streets. Soules said the $250,000 would be the first of a six-year funding request designed to fill in sidewalk gaps throughout the city.

Soules said the program would first focus on ensuring all state highways in the city have sidewalks along both sides of the road. Then the program would focus on ensuring that a sidewalk exists on at least one side of arterial and collector streets. Soules said he thought it was important that the city come up with a plan to address sidewalks on the busiest city streets.

"If I need to, I'm not afraid to walk down the street in my neighborhood, but when I get to Sixth Street, I don't want to walk down it," Soules said.

Commissioners will hold their third and final day of budget hearings at 9 a.m. today at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.

Comments

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

Chuck Soules seems to have a viable plan and supporting the presentation seems wise. The sidewalks so far as I see are in worse condition than most streets. Gas prices will probaly force more walking and cycling which means new walks would be a welcome sight.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 7 months ago

It surprises me that we have sidewalk "gaps" in this city. We need to allow people to walk EVERYWHERE.

Merrill: I'm sorry to say that this may not address the sidwalks that are in "bad shape". Once a sidewalk has been installed, the maintenance of that walk is the duty of the property owner. Believe me. My sidewalk is a MESS, an absolute hazard, and I'm going to have to deal with it all on my own. If the city does the work for the homeowner, then the homeowner has a bill put on the property... and I've heard that they use union labor (cha-ching).

lunacydetector 8 years, 7 months ago

isn't it against the law to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk?

Sigmund 8 years, 7 months ago

The sidewalks in many areas of town could use some improvements, especially along parts of 6th Street. It may be against the city code to ride bikes on the sidewalks but I really don't care, give me a ticket and I'll pay the fine. Better than calling the police complaining about how dead I am after I getting hit by a cell phone using, ballon distracted, LHS student rushing back to school after quick lunch of Coke and a candybar.

I actually was rearended by some Freestate High School students on Wakurusa out smoking pot during lunch. They kept dropping below the windows to take a hit, and hand on heart, told the cop it was my fault because I stopped suddenly at a stop sign!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 7 months ago

The only place it's illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk is downtown, but not sure if that is only Mass Street or includes Vermont and NH and other side streets.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, I'm realizing that while I've not had a lot of concrete experience, I do know some people who do, so I think I'll look into doing it myself.

conservative 8 years, 7 months ago

Oldenuf Actually the city won't even touch the sidewalks. Mine is in bad shape, along with my curb. I called the city to have my curb put on the list for repairs(figure it'll get taken care of by 2020). While talking to them I inquired about having them replace the sidewalk also and sending me a bill or tacking it onto the tax bill. They said they had no way of doing that.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 7 months ago

That's odd. I heard just the opposite. But, I never called the city directly.

Mine are in much worse shape than yours, I bet. Someone planted some trees way too close to it and the roots destroyed the sidewalk from underneath. Also, it seems that a prior owner used the wrong kind of salt in the winter, so it's all just coming apart.

I'm going to try to get someone to help me replace it.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

The streets of Lawrence do not seem to be any worse than anywhere else.

Pothole hotline: 832-3465

Growth brings trucks. Winter and trucks are hard on streets.

The overall street problem that was discovered under the watch of the current commission can now be addressed for which they deserve credit. This problem was decades in the making and certainly did not develope in the last 5 years.

Centrist 8 years, 7 months ago

There's something called a "bicycle path" and you can incorporate it WITH a sidewalk. You have "lanes" and you make sure they are well marked and separated.

Meanwhile, they talk about sidewalks while not prioritising the awful state of the ROADS themselves.

We're so fortunate to have such "focussed" leaders in this town .. cough, cough

cowboy 8 years, 7 months ago

growth brings trrucks

lack of a surrounding highway system brings trucks , commuters and high volumes of traffic. Ever thought about how much of Larences road repair is due to pass thru traffic that would go around if they had a chance. Thats a lot of road maintenance dollars the city is absorbing that the state would have paid if we had any form of an outer loop.

Even little Manhattan has a nice loop so you can get around quickly. Wake up Lawrence

cowboy 8 years, 7 months ago

growth brings trucks

lack of a surrounding highway system brings trucks , commuters and high volumes of traffic. Ever thought about how much of Lawrences road repair is due to pass thru traffic that would go around if they had a chance. Thats a lot of road maintenance dollars the city is absorbing that the state would have paid if we had any form of an outer loop.

Even little Manhattan has a nice loop so you can get around quickly. Wake up Lawrence

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 7 months ago

And why can't that loop go south of the river? (I know, cowboy, for you it's nimby thing.)

cowboy 8 years, 7 months ago

sorry for the double post ,oops , Im over the road , we still need a full loop , east west and north south on the east side. It will probably never happen here though. I was kind of intrigued by some comments that the 32 route would drive development , it seemed to me that if you go south the parcels out there which now are held by a few , would fall quickly like dominoes and you would see a huge building boom there , its prime land. The owners of a lot of that land south of the river dont need the money but would probably sell quickly if that road becomes a reality then Haskell and Louisiana are quickly overloaded. Time will tell.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

No one is saying no to a bypass only the trafficway.

KDOT picks up expenses on 23rd,59/Iowa & 40/6th and North 2nd St. Once the SOR bypass is completed 23rd street repairs become Lawrence citizens complete responsibility.

Growth brings construction trucks which is most of the truck traffic from my observation.

Development is underway SOR and throughout Douglas County which makes a bypass the more practical choice.

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