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Archive for Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fireworks folly

The fireworks were great, but access to the viewing site left much to be desired.

July 8, 2008

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The Lawrence Jaycees deserve the community's thanks for another festive and impressive July 4th fireworks display.

However, before next year, the Jaycees and local officials need to rethink the decision to move the annual display to Clinton Lake. If traffic problems at this year's location can't be solved, the event should be moved.

The Jaycees said the fireworks show was moved from Burcham Park because of safety concerns, specifically the possibility of someone falling into the Kansas River. Although that relatively minor threat may have been eliminated, another, much larger, problem was created this year.

Many people who wanted to see the fireworks had a valid concern about how traffic would be handled on the single blacktop road leading to Sesquicentennial Point, the designated viewing site. To avoid the slow traffic that did materialize in that area, motorists reportedly lined Clinton Parkway west of Wakarusa Drive, simply parking their cars in the right traffic lane and unfolding their lawn chairs on the sidewalk. Vehicles even lined the shoulders of the ramps leading on and off Kansas Highway 10 at Clinton Parkway.

The illegal parking was dangerous both to motorists who were trying to travel and those who were stopped. It's a situation that shouldn't be allowed to repeat itself next year. If the parking problems at the Clinton Lake location can't be solved, city leaders need to put their heads together and come up with a better home for the enjoyable Jaycees display.

Comments

iplaysupernintendo 5 years, 9 months ago

I loved having fireworks viewable from Downtown Lawrence. Bring 'em back!

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BigPrune 5 years, 9 months ago

Personally, I liked the fireworks on the west side of town. Now everyone in east Lawrence can realize how far we have to travel for local events or just to shop. Too bad they didn't start doing this 10 years ago.As for the sesquicentennial place, I recommend everyone go out there during the day and look at this sight. It is kind of weird how all these people bought steps and got their names engraved in them. Most I've never heard of, and it makes me wonder if these people did it so they'll look important to our descendants possibly? I don't know.

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budwhysir 5 years, 9 months ago

Sounds to me like the city has hired the same patrol group that last year was in charge of making sure that no fireworks fired off in town. I for one did not endure the dangerous traffic or horrific parking problems. I simply enjoyed the free show from in town. Getting possibly one of the best seats available. And when I wanted to leave, I walked up the sidewalk and into my house. And durin the show, I also enjoyed many of the illegal shows going on in town. Good for me, crazy for them. One should also know that we both same the exact same show only my view came with far less headaches.Good day

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notajayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

Barclay (Anonymous) says: "That ignorant editorial LJW ran from the Philidelphia Inquirer told us we shouldn't have been celebrating anyway."Not to mention the one from Los Angeles that said fireworks are "the dirtiest of dirty bombs."****Weezy_Jefferson (Anonymous) says: "These days, there's going to be heavy traffic for ANY popular event, whether it's the fireworks, the Baldwin Maple Leaf Festival, the KC Country Club Plaza lighting at Thanksgiving, a KU parade down Mass. Street, or whatever."The point being there's more than one road in and out of all those other places.

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Confrontation 5 years, 9 months ago

"The illegal parking was dangerous both to motorists who were trying to travel and those who were stopped."So, ticket the idiots who parked there.

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Barclay 5 years, 9 months ago

That ignorant editorial LJW ran from the Philidelphia Inquirer told us we shouldn't have been celebrating anyway. Wonder why the writer did not mention abortion or gay marriage. I think he did mention racism. For those sins we do need to atone. I say we still have much to celebrate! Fireworks to all, for all! May we always have an America worth celebrating! I was never satisfied with the vewing spots my family has had along the river, but long, slow lines and idling engines did take away from the fun.

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consumer1 5 years, 9 months ago

I guess the city will just have to outlaw fireworks all together.

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Laura Wilson 5 years, 9 months ago

It's not the traffic that's the issue, it's the parking and lack thereof. Illegally parking and the sitting on lawn chairs on the exit ramps is just stupid and dangerous! Personally I loved being able to see the fireworks as I drove home and didn't mind the traffic. I minded people double parking along Clinton Parkway and ruining the grass around the roundabout and risking their lives sitting on the exit ramps.

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75x55 5 years, 9 months ago

Was there any attempt to set up a shuttle bus system? http://www2.ljworld.com/qa/sound_off/2008/jun/20/soundoff_june20/OOPS! Guess we just don't have enough BUSES in this town to manage it....

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Weezy_Jefferson 5 years, 9 months ago

You know, I'm getting pretty tired of people whining that the fireworks were moved to the lake. These days, there's going to be heavy traffic for ANY popular event, whether it's the fireworks, the Baldwin Maple Leaf Festival, the KC Country Club Plaza lighting at Thanksgiving, a KU parade down Mass. Street, or whatever. You have to exercise something called a "planning strategy" if you think you really need to be at such an event. For years the people in West Lawrence have dealt with the traffic and congestion for seeing the fireworks at the river; now it's other Lawrencians' turn. As for huritng downtown business, give me a break. I'm all for supporting our downtown, but downtown must learn to stand on its own once in a while without us hosting every event in the area---if not, then you'll truly experience traffic and safety concerns.

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Janet Cinelli 5 years, 9 months ago

I think it is regrettable that the Jaycees moved the fireworks. Not only did it cause the hassles and dangers suggested in this editorial, it has hurt local business. We have been to Johnny's numerous times on the 4th, and always the area to the south, along the river, was teeming with families and groups of friends alike. And, Johnny's was always there to serve up some great food. Well, we went to Johnny's this year on the 4th for dinner, and it was empty! Our wait told us that last year, the 4th was the busiest she had ever seen Johnny's. I say bring the fireworks back to the river, where it belongs.

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