Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2007

City to explore 31st St. extension

April 25, 2007


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31st Street expansion stirs emotions of traffic way

Talk of expanding 31st street stirs strong emotions about the South Lawrence Traffic way. Enlarge video

City commissioners are interested in developing plans to extend 31st Street from Haskell Avenue to O'Connell Road.

Commissioners at their Tuesday evening meeting unanimously agreed to formally accept an $800,000 federal earmark to do preliminary design work and purchase road right of way.

"When we consider moving traffic from east to west in the southern part of town, this is going to be a very important road," City Commissioner Mike Amyx said.

But commissioners said the community shouldn't view the project as a substitute for completion of the South Lawrence Trafficway, which under the state's current plans is proposed to go through the area just south of 31st Street.

"I hope none of us are talking about a de facto trafficway," City Commissioner Mike Dever said. "I don't think any of us have any motives other than to relieve gridlock on 23rd Street. But for us to ignore the issues and shy away from the funds, I don't think we would be doing our jobs."

Commissioners were urged by one trafficway opponent to wait on the 31st Street project until a route for the final leg of the trafficway is determined. Federal regulators are reviewing a trafficway route through the Baker Wetlands, which are just south of 31st Street, primarily west of Haskell Avenue. Environmentalists and others have opposed that route.

"It seems like you are in a difficult position to spend much money on this project when this entire area is in extreme limbo," said Michael Caron, an opponent of plans to build the trafficway through the wetlands.

But Chuck Soules, director of public works, said he thought most of a future 31st Street route could be determined even before knowing the trafficway alignment. He said the biggest difference the trafficway project would have on a 31st Street project is determining whether the extension needed to be two lanes or four lanes.

The $800,000 in federal funding - which was announced by Congressman Dennis Moore's office in 2006 - won't be enough to build the 31st Street project. City leaders think the one-mile extension could cost $4 million to $5 million.

But City Manager David Corliss said it would be wise for the city to begin looking at possible routes for an extension and securing road right of way while the area is still largely undeveloped.

Corliss said the city likely would need to seek funding help from federal, state or county leaders to build the road.


Richard Heckler 11 years, 2 months ago

Grab your wallets and keep an eye on your tax dollars. Some of the most expensive land in Lawrence is where the road might go. Tax increase likely considering the road will cost about $10- $20 million. There are 39 homes on the table for construction near this site. Retro fit = $$$$$$$$$$$

What will happen to Prairie Park Nature Preserve?

LogicMan 11 years, 2 months ago

I just looked at the area using Google Earth. Looks like, at best, only one building would need to be bulldozed. Also, the proposed road is a very logical part of the city grid. Part of it (about 1/3) is already there.

So, makes great sense. Get'r done today! Need volunteers to help clear the land and push dirt?

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 2 months ago

would that route not go thru mary lake/pond that sits back there? and ther are some businesses right there also I thought.

lunacydetector 11 years, 2 months ago

this will be a great thing for lawrence and much more cost effective than say... building more roundabouts....or building more concrete bicycle paths for the 1/2 of 1% of the population that rides a bike...or spending money in court to stop wally world.

...merrill, retrofit is a "smart growth" philosophy....retrofit = infill, what's the difference, what's the freaking difference?

Richard Heckler 11 years, 2 months ago

Posted by mommaeffortx2 (anonymous) on April 25, 2007 at 7:26 a.m. (Suggest removal) would that route not go thru mary lake/pond that sits back there? and ther are some businesses right there also I thought.

Yes the possibilty definitely exists on all points


1000 rd and 1100 rd both go through to 1057/E1900 rd and will be scheduled for improvement(more taxes). Also there is a K-10/1057/E1900 rd interchange very very close to 1000 rd. Perhaps improving existing resources which is smart code thinking should be applied on this matter. All of those Prairie Park residents purchased homes knowing the situation just as all south Lawrence commuters did. This is more about new home development which costs taxpayers money in the form of increased property taxes.

bluerose 11 years, 2 months ago

too many people in cars.

who cares about wildlife and natural lands.

hurry! hurry! we have to get to WalMart NOW.

monkeyhawk 11 years, 2 months ago


No studies, no consultants, no feedback from McClure or the boozo business czar? New city commissioners with enough confidence to make decisions, and make them quickly?

It is a new day in Lawrence, long time coming. God bless the new commissioners and the old ones, too.

ControlFreak 11 years, 2 months ago

Yes, let us all blame Wal-Mart before it's too late. Good grief.

kshiker 11 years, 2 months ago

I'm with LogicMan. I will gladly volunteer if they need help moving dirt! Why don't we go ahead and get started on the SLT while we are at it?

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 2 months ago

well merrill you did not have to cut and paste so I have to see my bad typing and spelling more than once. lol Could we relocate the pond I know alot of kids go there on scout mini trips of just fun fishing, what little they can catch. Really was just wandering not saying not a good idea but I know the kids like the pond/lake.

bluerose 11 years, 2 months ago

sorry, defender. these are facts. of human life these days.

gccs14r 11 years, 1 month ago


your reading comprehension is up to its usual standards. You missed a key word. Good luck finding it.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 1 month ago

KDOT will be the source for speed limit reduction and turn lanes. Good luck getting one or both in a reasonable amount of time. 45 mph would be safest IMO considering the congestion possibilities.

Jean1183 11 years, 2 months ago

Another volunteer here to help move dirt!

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 2 months ago

well blue rose I do not agree that route would really, if planned right, help the traffic flow on 23rd st. a person could just hope off on oconnel and get to the prarie park area go on over to louisiana, of even on past iowa on this stretch and then no messing with bumper to bumper on 23rd during rush hour.

bluerose 11 years, 2 months ago

or momma... they could ride the T. or a bike. lawrence is not so large.

i know. i know. what a silly dream...

OnlyTheOne 11 years, 2 months ago

They could've done this ten years ago but didn't want to. Probably the developers hadn't secured options on the necessary land then!

kshiker 11 years, 2 months ago

Bluerose --

How convenient to ride a bike to work or take the T. Despite the fact that you will not have room to carry groceries or you will have to deal with the added inconvenience of waiting for the bus to arrive.

This issue is asinine. Thankfully all of the "anti-growth" crowd no longer control the city commission because this issue is basic common sense.

kshiker 11 years, 2 months ago

Oh my. Here we go again. Its the evil developers causing problems again! I can't wait to hear a further explanation on this lovely conspiracy theory!

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 2 months ago

or topeka sorry forgot to finish before I posted.

doc1 11 years, 2 months ago

Good idea, I would hope that they would curve the road a little around Mary's Lake as not to ruin any part of that.

gccs14r 11 years, 2 months ago

Having a road nearby will ruin it just from the noise and air pollution.

What is wrong with having greenspace in town? Mary's Lake is a nice place to go for a walk. Why ruin that?

c_dubya 11 years, 2 months ago

Last time I was at Mary's Lake there were bulldozers just to the south and it looked like they'd been there for a long time. I would hardly call that free of 'noise and air pollution.'

Enough whining about this. Anyone who tries to drive on 23rd street after 3PM (especially on a Friday!) knows it's nearly impossible to get anywhere. Something must be done to dillute the traffic bottleneck. STOP complaining about the solution and START offering alternative solutions if you don't like this one.

No, riding the bus or a bike is not an legitimate solution. Try again.

KsTwister 11 years, 2 months ago

Hooray, we will be paying for big truck repairs as fast as we build it. Why they need a shortcut too.

As they said before grab your wallets, the grant will barely cover the cost of the land.

Centrist 11 years, 1 month ago

Why can't Hwy 10 be built just SOUTH of the wetlands .. say by a half mile or so?

Oops, that makes SENSE.


gccs14r 11 years, 1 month ago

Fine. Here's a solution: widen E 1900 Rd and N 1100 Rd, put in a smooth curve where they intersect, and put in a small interchange where 1100 Rd intersects US 59. Take out the traffic light where the western bypass crosses 59 and install ramps on the east end of the bridge. No need to buy a bunch of right-of-way, no need to pave over the wetlands, and it gets the traffic out south of town where it belongs. Install ramps at Haskell and 1100 Rd and take out 31st between Haskell and Louisiana to rejoin the northern and southern wetlands. Everyone benefits, except for the land speculators who're looking to get rich on this project.

gccs14r 11 years, 1 month ago

If you can see it from a city street, it's no longer a lake worth viewing. Use your feet, instead.

dthroat 11 years, 1 month ago

gccs14r- OK, finally SOMEONE with an idea. I haven't thought it through completely or studied it on site yet, but it really sounds like it could work.

Good idea - any idea if you could join the DOT as a planner???

Pip 11 years, 1 month ago

I live by Mary's Lake, and it's a beautiful place to go and enjoy the peace and silence. This road is impressively unnecessary, and will destroy Prairie Park for all who would enjoy it. This is all residential area, and it's not any longer to by the presently existing routes. Please don't do this City Commissioners!

Jean1183 11 years, 1 month ago

Oh great! More whiners about "not in MY neighborhood"! I will be living right beside the road if it is extended and I say....bring it on, Commisioners!

It IS very much needed!

hanni213 11 years, 1 month ago

What cost progress. This bypass will not only affect prarie park, but also the wetlands, Indian land, which are habitat for hundreds of species. And, a wonderful area just to walk, see wild life, enjoy nature. The reason this bypass was not built before, is that the community has been fighting it for years. I think, if they absolutely need to build a bypass, it should be routed south of the wetlands. Oh, that's right, some rich folks have their homes down there and don't want the traffic or noise...let's just destroy some more natural habitats then.

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