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.