Despite a recent "about face" by the Lawrence City Commission on the direction the South Lawrence Trafficway should take, outgoing Baker University President Dan Lambert thinks the change is not a good idea.
Lambert, who will retire as university president at the end of June, said he thinks the original plan for a 32nd Street route should be pursued, even though it would have the trafficway pass through a portion of the wetlands owned by Baker and adjacent to Haskell Indian Nations University.
"I think we've studied that," Lambert said. "We've determined that, on the whole, it's in the best interest of the community and Baker University for that project to move ahead."
A majority of Lawrence city commissioners recently voted to send a letter to the Federal Highway Administration saying they favored a plan that would direct the trafficway farther south and away from the Baker Wetlands.
Lambert said the issue of the trafficway route will be divisive no matter where it is located.
"It's time, in my judgment, for that to be behind us," Lambert said. "Twenty years is a long time for comment. I think perhaps it is time for action."
Lambert said he had wanted the trafficway issue decided before he retired. He said he didn't want his replacement, Patricia Long, to have to spend as much time dealing with it as he did. He also doesn't see the university falling in line with the Lawrence commissioners, saying the university will "stay the course."