Archive for Saturday, August 16, 2008

Traffic 101: KU freshmen must follow rules of road

August 16, 2008


KU Edition 2008
An overview of Kansas University.

From artists to inventors, Kansas University is home to all kinds of people. In the past year, the university has opened new buildings and hosted world-renowned speakers. Come inside to learn more about the university on top of Mount Oread. More


Kansas University students this year will find a fresh set of traffic challenges in Lawrence, including stop signs posted at entrances to campus and along major roadways at the edge of Mount Oread.

And for everyone else? Well, just watch out for the student drivers.

"I think everybody realizes the students are back," said Todd Cohen, himself a Kansas University graduate and now director of university relations. "We all have to be patient : and defensive driving has to kick in for everybody."

That's because each year, a new flock of 6,000 Jayhawk freshmen comes to town, many behind the wheel of their own - or their parents' - cars, trucks and SUVs.

With that in mind, we offer some educational transportation tips for the degree-seekers who might be new to town, or anyone else who navigates to or from an address along Jayhawk Boulevard.

Cohen's best advice for students: don't "multitask" - send texts, talk on a mobile phone, cram for a statistics final - while driving.

And for the rest of us: "Be a good defensive driver and help them all acclimate."


¢ In Oread and other neighborhoods near campus, don't block driveways. Don't block alleys. Don't park in other people's spaces. That's not cool - unless it's for a KU football home game, when you can park in the yard and it's all good.

¢ Consider buying a parking pass. It'll eat into your bar money, but it might - just might - get you closer to class.

¢ Park at the satellite lot on West Campus, and ride the bus in. It's cheap. It's convenient. And you'll finally have a reason to be on West Campus.


¢ One-way means one-way. Tennessee and Kentucky streets, which cut through the Oread neighborhood and run alongside the popular downtown entertainment and shopping district, are one-way streets. Don't go the wrong way. Other drivers don't like seeing your headlights approaching. And neither do police.

¢ Respect roundabouts. Learn them. Love them. Live them. The big one is right there at campus, around the iconic Chi Omega fountain. But there are more out there, and you don't need a Ph.D. in traffic engineering to get through.

¢ Text with care. Friends don't let friends text while driving. Wait till you're in class.


¢ Remember your rights. You can use the road, just as any automobile can - although you might want to rethink taking on that Hummer out on Sixth Street.

¢ Buy a lock. Parking racks are all over campus. And remember, there's no such thing as a charge for a bike permit.

¢ Go green. The new buses traversing Jayhawk Boulevard no longer belch exhaust directly into your helmeted face. And your pedal power is certain to be more fashionable than an ethanol-converted Yugo or a hemp T-shirt.


¢ Wear comfortable shoes. Hip flip-flops might be all the rage, but they'll be killing your feet after traipsing from Daisy Hill to Smith Hall for that three-day-a-week class. And if you're hoofing it from or through a nearby neighborhood, don't count on smooth concrete sidewalks, or even level brick ones. Traditional charms aren't always comfortable.

¢ Be careful. There's a reason there's a school zone crossing - just like the ones near elementary schools - at the crest of 15th Street at Engel Road, near the residence halls: Campus-bound drivers aren't always the most attentive when it comes to avoiding, or at least tolerating, walkers. Look both ways before changing songs on your MP3 player or checking your Facebook profile on your iPhone. Nobody wants to end up on the bad end of a breaking-news YouTube video.

¢ Go ahead and walk. All that eating, drinking and, yes, sleeping early in the school year can add a few extra pounds. Actually using your leg muscles to get to and from class can help you stay in shape - until you decide to opt for "walking" to "class" on your roommate's addictive Wii.


jonas 9 years, 10 months ago

Ha, this makes me remember the days I worked on 11th and Kentucky. Three Augusts in a row, we got to enjoy the pretty-much-daily event of someone going down the wrong way on Kentucky, and the panicked dash into the Vermont Towers parking lot.

Orwell 9 years, 10 months ago

If this is Traffic 101 I hope they take the advanced courses things like not swinging wide on turns. Of course, since the city's philosophy is to build obstacles rather than enforce the law, maybe I'm dreaming.

Curtis Lange 9 years, 10 months ago

That is the least of the police driving offenses around here. Speeding, illegal lane changes, abusing their police lights to go through red lights, etc. Lawrence patrol cars are some of the worst rules of the road offenders in this city.

George_Braziller 9 years, 10 months ago

This applies to everyone who is on the road, cars, bikes, and pedestrians. Don't just look left and right once, do it AGAIN before you enter an intersection. A lot can happen in that split second when you think the coast is clear.----------------------------FMT6488 (Anonymous) says: Other good suggestions -> Try looking both left AND right before making that turn. (Vehicles can come from more directions than the direction you might be turning).

FMT6488 9 years, 10 months ago

Other good suggestions - > Try looking both left AND right before making that turn. (Vehicles can come from more directions than the direction you might be turning).>Try using that little lever on the left side of the steering column (It controls the Turn Signals on you vehicle). It could save your or someone else's life!>When backing up, try turning your body and neck around and looking out the rear window of your vehicle (using the rear-view mirror might save you some effort, but it also tends to have a smaller field of vision - which could result in a loud CRUNCH as your vehicle hits another). Always remember that someone riding a motorcycle or a bicycle has the same right to the road as you. Forcing one off the road with your vehicle could be considered assault with a deadly weapon (your car is bigger than my motorcycle). Assault could apply to throwing items from the car as well. Same could be said for shining a flash-light in the riders' eyes (not to mention making them mad enough to attempt something violent).

Confrontation 9 years, 10 months ago

I'm much more worried about the 70 and older Lawrence townie group. They knows the roads, but they choose not to follow the laws. Of course, many of them are just forgetting the laws.

Hilary Morton 9 years, 10 months ago

  • When cruising downtown Mass St. for a parking spot, only the spots to your right are for you. Do not swing across the other lane to grab a spot. KARMA.

Boeing 9 years, 10 months ago

When it comes to new stop signs and such, I think the bigger threat are the people who have been here a while. We are used to an intersection NOT having a stop sign, and now it does. The new folks in town will probably do better...

dandelion 9 years, 10 months ago

And remember, there is parking behind the stores too. Walking isn't bad for you.

been_there 9 years, 10 months ago

A note on parking, you cannot park your cars all over the yard. A house on 18th and Louisianna street regularly has 7 or eight cars parked there with 3 or 4 parked in the yard and across, and even lenghwise, on the sidewalk.

workinghard 9 years, 10 months ago

I don't trust the blinkers anyway in a roundabout, half the time they go past and exit at the next street.

jayhawkbarrister 9 years, 10 months ago

Here are some radical ideas:Both hands on the wheel;Signal;Slow down;Look both ways and make the last look the way of opposing traffic, if turning left and the way of flowing traffic, if turning right; and turn the phone off (your phone call is not that important as my life and the life of the other people on the road)

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 10 months ago

"Traffic 101: KU freshmen must follow rules of road"... upperclassmen, exempt.

triplegoddess13 9 years, 10 months ago

Just to join in the happy thoughts and advice, I would like to be the first to say "Go back home!"

alm77 9 years, 10 months ago

Don't forget the free parking garage!!

dontcallmedan 9 years, 10 months ago

Remember: It's back to school in Lawrence, and one-way streets are just a suggestion!

Thinking_Out_Loud 9 years, 10 months ago

Odd...In the 25 years I've lived here, I don't believe I've ever witnessed a patrol car abusing its emergency lights to go through a stoplight. The other examples have simply been occasional occurrences, as far as I've been able to see.

Curtis Lange 9 years, 10 months ago

T_O_L, I've never seen it during the daylight hours. Too many people around to report them, haha. However, midnightish on I've witnessed it 3-4 times.

RKLOG 9 years, 10 months ago

Want a good laugh? Watch 3000 freshman think they can drive their cars onto campus for Thursday's first day of classes. Benny Hill theme anyone??

weatherguy48 9 years, 10 months ago

I mentioned this in last year's 'New Student Lawrence Guide', but be the hell careful down on 23rd during the rush. You WILL get pulled out in front of, so be prepared for that.

CNA_Resident 9 years, 10 months ago

"In Oread and other neighborhoods near campus, don't block driveways. Don't block alleys. Don't park in other people's spaces. That's not cool - unless it's for a KU football home game, when you can park in the yard and it's all good."No, Mr. Fagan, it isn't "all good." The city of Lawrence, in its wisdom, allows parking in the yard for KU home football games in the Oread neighborhood, nowhere else. Yard parking in "other neighborhoods near campus" is ABSOLUTELY not permitted for football games, basketball games or any other normal reason. Police can and will ticket violators, who will be fined not less than $50 and not more than $100 per violation. Let's hope the officers who issue the citations and the folks at traffic court won't now have to listen to a lot yard parkers complaining "but the Journal-World said is was okay"! How about issuing a correction in the Tuesday edition, Mr. Fagan?

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