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Archive for Monday, June 16, 2008

Wetlands supporters prepare for next battle

June 16, 2008

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In the midst of preparing their latest legal challenge, opponents of the proposed South Lawrence Trafficway wetlands route laid out their case once again Sunday.

"I detect in our community a little lessening of our interest in saving our wetlands," said Joe Collins, a Kansas University herpetologist and speaker at the event. "People don't understand that this is not something you're going to recover."

Collins and others involved in the long struggle to divert the proposed highway project from the Baker Wetlands were among about 40 people who gathered at the Lawrence Public Library on Sunday for a public forum on the issue.

Speakers detailed the land's history and set out the environmental reasons why the area should be left in its current state. They spoke of the decline in wetlands areas nationally and said that swampy lands are key for diversity of wildlife. SLT opponents will be raising money to cover legal costs for their next fight.

"There are a whole lot of people that still don't even realize that this is an issue," said Michael Caron, of Save the Wakarusa Wetlands Organization. "They think either that the road has gone away, and it's never going to be built or that it's already a done deal and there's nothing to be done about it. Both are absolutely wrong."

Last month, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced that the Federal Highway Administration had issued a key permit, essentially giving the construction project a green light. Reports from the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have backed a 32nd Street alignment through the wetlands over a 42nd Street route south of the Wakarusa River, citing cheaper costs and improved traffic flow. Funding the work, however, remains an issue.

Meanwhile, opponents are preparing for the next battle. They will challenge an environmental impact statement on the project.

Bob Eye, an environmental lawyer who is handling the legal challenge, said routes south of the Wakarusa River were never adequately considered.

"It appears to me that any route outside the wetlands was set up to fail," he said. "It was dead on arrival. There was no serious consideration of taking this south of the river. That's one of the things that we're most concerned about."

The speakers also said the upcoming election is key, and they urged audience members to see how local, state and federal candidates stand on the issue.

"The Wakarusa wetlands are the last major wetlands in Douglas County," Collins said. "It is the last major wetlands that we have a chance to save."

Comments

gccs14r 6 years, 6 months ago

I see that the pave-the-Earth types are out in force this morning. The road could have been built 20 years ago if it had been built south of the river. Trying to ram it through the wetlands is the reason it has been delayed. Once Obama is sworn in, we'll have proper environmentalists at EPA again and the 32nd street alignment will be stone cold dead. You might as well give up now.

Victoria 6 years, 6 months ago

"...Do what the majority already approved via ballot and build it."I am relatively new to Lawrence...know this fight has been going on for a long time. If, however, at one time the voters approved it..then DO IT. All the fighting and issues have already been determined by the vote. Why else even have a vote?

fyrfighter1955 6 years, 6 months ago

I better not find out that one penny of my tax money is being spent on the "Protection" of the swamp!!!BUILD IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"You admit they aren't original."I made no such admission. The entire area is a natural wetland that has been damaged by human intervention. Remove the dams, dikes and levies, and they would restore themselves with no help from humans of any kind.

my2girls 6 years, 6 months ago

It was voted on years ago to build it. I voted to build it then and I still think it needs to get done! Oh and I live on the East side of town! Build It!

bd 6 years, 6 months ago

build it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

They have always been wetlands (for the entirety of human history, at any rate,) though they have been badly damaged by human intervention. Their return to a more natural wetland ecology has been accelerated by the restoration efforts of the last few decades, but they always have been wetlands, which is precisely why the attempt early last century to turn it into farmland was not very successful.

Bladerunner 6 years, 6 months ago

Im sick of hearing about it. I cant wait to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony in a few decades. Build it. Yesterday.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Yea, I know, blue, Baker stole them fair and square

dandelion 6 years, 6 months ago

The reason they haven't put a light at 31st and Louisiana is because it would make traffic flow better and these west siders who can't be bothered to drive through town, or move to Overland Pard where they work might reconsider demanding their road. For those of you who think there will be another wetland created, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. The money to recreate the wetlands will suddenly not be there when the time comes. Oops, times are hard right now, maybe we'll do it later. Empty promises so the people who are invested in the land east and west of the wetlands can build more strip malls and gas stations.

MattressMan 6 years, 6 months ago

Joe Collins says "People don't understand that this is not something you're going to recover."Seems that they have recovered pretty well since they were once dry and flooded again in the late 60s. What about the wet patch east of Haskell Rd (triangle shaped piece south of the old train embankement) that was only created 10 or so years ago, looks like that has done pretty good.Another vote for build it!

BigPrune 6 years, 6 months ago

Do what the majority already approved via ballot and build it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"So, looks like bozo admits there is nothing to "recover" when the road is built, "No, there's nearly 17,000 acres that could also be recovered, but the Haskell Wetlands already have been. Paving them over would be an environmental crime by recidivist criminals and their successors.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"Why should opponents get the final say?"Because we're right.

gr 6 years, 6 months ago

"the entire area is part of 17,000 acres along the Wakarusa that were once natural wetlands- little things like the Clinton Dam and miscellaneous dykes are the only things that prevent it all from being in a wetland state right now."So, looks like bozo admits there is nothing to "recover" when the road is built, because the wetland is already gone and not "natural". So, there is no reason to moan and groan about "recovering" anything as once it's gone and built back, it could be done again there or anywhere else.What I don't understand is how the Clinton dam stops water from being naturally in the wetland nor how it's removal would suddenly cause water to naturally be there. And these "miscellaneous dykes" I thought held the water in rather than prevent it from being in a "wetland state".

Oracle_of_Rhode 6 years, 6 months ago

The malicious wetlands SLT route would be a crime against nature and the future of our kids. What kind of sick, money-grubbing minds dream up the destruction of so much irreplaceable natural habitat -- just to cut two minutes off the commute of a gaggle of road rage-addled losers in their SUVs?

boxturtle 6 years, 6 months ago

Don't Build It. Keep drive by money to support the lawrence economy. The cost of this project is so much higher than it's usefulness. If all you build it folks want your taxes raised and gas taxes even higher then go on your crazy way, but I think you are all out of touch and lost objectivity. This road it worthless at best, harmful at worst.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

They always have been and always will be wetlands. What has been restored is a natural wetlands ecology, which would not be compatible with a highway.But why is this such a big deal with you, gr? You don't care about natural ecosystems-- you care only about your god-given right for a few minutes of convenience, no matter whose expense at which it comes.

HootyWho 6 years, 6 months ago

I say build it,,,i used to work at 23rd and Ousdahl, and drove 2 nights a week to JCCC, it took me 25 minutes to get down 23rd street to the edge of town,,,and about 20 minutes from the edge of town to JCCC, by the way, this was at 5pm,,,,we need the road

Haiku_for_You 6 years, 6 months ago

Fighting continues.Highway versus the hippies.Twenty-Third still jammed.

ilikestuff 6 years, 6 months ago

Of herpetologist, Joe Collins, LogicMan says : Or to help solve, rather than create, other problems in our society like dependence on foreign oil, producing more food, etc.Okay, I get it. He should be spending his time turning snakes and frogs into gasoline, right?

onrywmn 6 years, 6 months ago

Those so-called "natural wetlands" were farmland when I was growing up. Quit telling me they are "natural"!Just build it already.

phenommenom 6 years, 6 months ago

Build the route a few miles to the south! Don't go through the wetlands! SAVE THE WETLANDS!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

OK, once again for the cognitively impaired, historically uninformed and willfully ignorant-- the entire area is part of 17,000 acres along the Wakarusa that were once natural wetlands-- little things like the Clinton Dam and miscellaneous dykes are the only things that prevent it all from being in a wetland state right now.Sure, we can play a shell game of which areas are allowed to remain in their natural state, but there are no reasons to run this highway through the existing restored Haskell Wetlands other than the following-- greed, ignorance, narrow self-interest for 5 minutes of convenience and overt racism.The best option is no-build, and the second-best is to build south of the river.

doc1 6 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

LogicMan 6 years, 6 months ago

""I detect in our community a little lessening of our interest in saving our wetlands," said Joe Collins"No kidding. (And they are not "ours", they are Baker's.) You all have been standing in the way of appropriate progress for long enough. It's time to turn that wasted effort to a more productive purpose, like designing the expanded wetlands to be built to the east. Or to help solve, rather than create, other problems in our society like dependence on foreign oil, producing more food, etc.

stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 6 months ago

build it...and make it a toll road...keep my money out of this boondoggle...

gr 6 years, 6 months ago

If they have "always" been wetlands, why would they need to be restored? Why a "return"? Were they still wetlands when people were farming it? If so, could they still be wetlands with a road across it?

stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 6 months ago

all you people who want this useless road built need to start pooling your money together to pay for it...or is it just more of the same old "I want this! I want it now! and I want everyone else to pay for it!"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"Time to grow up. This town has been far too immature for far too long. Build it."Do you realize how whiny you are in saying that?

Baille 6 years, 6 months ago

"How will the specualtors benefit from going through the muck? will they be allowed to develop along the route? Seems that SOR would be more profitable to them as that would be nearer and more upwind from the new poop plant."By building strip malls and gas stations along the route and at the eastern terminus. Note in the plans that there is an interchange planned at Louisiana or Haskell. The south of the river plan includes no interchange at Louisiana which will work to prevent unnecessary sprawl and promote the stated purpose of the SLT: efficiency.If the 32nd route is taken you will find another 6th and Wak at Louisiana. And remember when the speculators/developers said no retail at 6th and SLT during the planning phases? Now we have not only zoned retail there but discussions about light industrial. Promises are only good until the motion is passed, then all bets are off. So we should plan accordingly.Build it. South of the river with no interchange at Louisiana or Haskell.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"Perhaps another one of your freudian slips?"Or perhaps a tipo?

sjschlag 6 years, 6 months ago

Lawrence shouldn't start what she can't finish. Finish the SLT. Fix the Potholes in 23rd street. Move the Wetlands (it's been done before). It's just that simple.

Laurie L Folsom 6 years, 6 months ago

It sounds like the majority has spoke. Unfortunately the majority is often times in favor of what is easiest, cost the least amount to each personally, and in its short term interest. We are seeing a surge in Global Warming/ Environmental awareness in the media. This issue is where the rubber meets the road, literally. Do we believe in making inconvenient choices for the long term good?

Michael Sizemore 6 years, 6 months ago

I change my vote - build it south of the river so we can cover the wetlands with cheap apartment buildings. We need more of those.just build it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

The vote was many, many years ago, and the the ballot measure was written in a way designed to intentionally skew the vote. There has never been an open and honest debate on the route, and Haskell was shut out from day one.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"What makes 31st, Lousiana and Haskell rd any more compatible than a highway? Or what would make the highway incompatible?"They aren't compatible, but they are already there, and of a considerably lesser scale than the proposed 10 lanes of traffic of the SLT/32nd street.

Baille 6 years, 6 months ago

Build it. South of the river. With no interchange at Louisiana. Build it smart so that this decision serves the needs of Lawrence for years to come and not just the desires of those speculators that are pushing for the Wetland Destruction alignment in order to pad their own bank accounts.

MattressMan 6 years, 6 months ago

Baille (Anonymous) says: Build it. South of the river. With no interchange at Louisiana. Build it smart so that this decision serves the needs of Lawrence for years to come and not just the desires of those speculators that are pushing for the Wetland Destruction alignment in order to pad their own bank accounts."How will the specualtors benefit from going through the muck? will they be allowed to develop along the route? Seems that SOR would be more profitable to them as that would be nearer and more upwind from the new poop plant.just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: They always have been and always will be wetlands. What has been restored is a natural wetlands ecology, which would not be compatible with a highway."What makes 31st, Lousiana and Haskell rd any more compatible than a highway? Or what would make the highway incompatible?

supernik 6 years, 6 months ago

build over the swamp. mosquitos are bred there. i am sure there are other places where a swamp could go. hey couldnt the swamp be built around the road? i think so.BUILD IT!!!!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

$200,000,000 and climbing plus flood. This project is nothing but local corporate welfare and a tax dollar money hole. It's time for taxpayers to rise up and demand a another vote. There are at least 3 other very practical routes which HNTB forgot to offer to the public.Oddly enough the legal rep supporting the proponents has a father who is an executive with the consultants aka HNTB. The reason it is a wetlands is because that is a very low point which is why water migrates to that point and has forever. Farming was tried and failed because the water kept coming back to this area. Water is not necessarily diverted to the wetlands. This is a natural body of water.Wetlands and swamps are not man madeA man made wetlands is bogus and does not provide the same living environment as a natural wetlands. If the area designated were a proper location for a wetland it would be a wetland as we speak. More housing areas will experience high water problems than ever before because the water will want to go some where. Wetlands are considered excellent flood control sources that do not cost the taxpayers one thin dime.How is it that so many are will to accept the word of politicians/developers that this is even necessary. Most of the banking/real estate executives/developer proponents behind this fiasco are or have been city,county or planning commissioners. If the permit is revoked this group of people will be the next line to file a lawsuit rather than pick a more suitable location that actually deals with the future.

gr 6 years, 6 months ago

"No, there's nearly 17,000 acres that could also be recovered, but the Haskell Wetlands already have been. Paving them over would be an environmental crime by recidivist criminals and their successors."So, recover them by creating them elsewhere.You admit they aren't original. So create them elsewhere just like they were created there. Unless you don't want any road built anywhere, building a road over man-made wetlands would be no different.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 6 months ago

Bozo, it's "dikes," not "dykes." Perhaps another one of your freudian slips?

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 6 months ago

Finish the SLT through the man-made "wetlands."

gr 6 years, 6 months ago

"I made no such admission."So what do I not understand about, "that were once natural wetlands" and "the existing restored Haskell Wetlands", from being "original"?

scott3460 6 years, 6 months ago

Screed, read my post again and see if you can comprehend my point. It is that bush has deregulated commodities speculators to such a great extent that they have a virtually unrestrained ability to drive the price of oil beyond what the market would dictate. I did not claim that the oil industries or oil refining industries were unrestrained.

kcwarpony 6 years, 6 months ago

blue73harley (Anonymous) says: "Speaking of cognitively impaired:it is the BAKER Wetlands. Haskell owns the water-filled ditch to the N. of 31st."A portion of 31st street runs through the southern end of the Haskell campus. That is why the BIA is asking for 31st street to be vacated if the SLT ends up north of the river. Frankly, I don't think the county has the proper paperwork from the BIA granting ROW to begin with.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Fortunately, gr, for those who want to know what I really said can merely read my posts, rather than rely on your rather comical distortions.

scott3460 6 years, 6 months ago

"the primary purpose of the SLT for most of us is to have a way to get across town. "Most of you have a way to get across town. The problem is that you don't like the way because there are too %%$#@@$%^ many of you. Your solution is to ruin more of the natural world to build yourselves another way that will only invite more people to clog the roads. The way out of the mess created by the developers of suburban sprawl is not more of the same.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

It's not my job to interpret my comments, it is everyone else's job.The SLT is inevitable, start building your backyard swamps ASAP!

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

scott3460...I was clearly being sarcastic (which I am assuming you understood).Perhaps, you should take an introductory macro-economics course to understand how free trade works and the benefits it provides. There are winners and losers, but the winners win more than the losers lose. So the net result is positive.Again if you insist on having this discussion then please cite which statute Bush signed into law which deregulated the commodities markets and caused the effects you claim. Also, speculation will always exist, Bush did not cause this, nor will it disappear under Obama, so that argument is moot.

kcwarpony 6 years, 6 months ago

I am not an official spokeman for Haskell. The above are my personal opinions and thoughts on the matter. I have been witness to some discussions involving Haskell representatives and the Haskell community so there are some things I do know firsthand."Haskell is now seen as a thorn in the side of the rest of this town."Is that an official statement from the city? County? Who are you speaking for?"The people at Haskell are only here for a couple of years at a time anyway, so they could care less about what people who actually live in Lawrence are experiencing."My father came to Haskell in the late 1940's and I was born here in the 1960's. My mother still lives in the house I grew up in, just a couple of blocks from Haskell. My family is in the same traffic as everyone else.Now who's guessing?

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

bozo..I just said the SLT is inevitable...Also, for those who think swamps are so important they should build one in their backyard regardless of whether the SLT is ever built. Think about all the swamps in other areas of the country that are gone from the earth forever. You must do something NOW!

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry folks, I just got here. The Haskell Swamp is a violation of city nuisance ordinances. Look it up. The gutless and spineless city commission should have had this mosquito-filled swamp filled up years ago in accordance with city ordinances that have been on the books for years. To hell with all this "wetland" crap, those spouting that mantra are the usual "no-growth crowd", "to hell with the community, we want our swamp, waaaaah, waaaaaha, waaaaah"Build the road, now!!

scott3460 6 years, 6 months ago

OK, first, a mea culpa. It was a Republican controlled Congress that passed the deregulatory acts I originally mentioned & unfortunately, Clinton signed the horrible legislation in to being. My bad. Nevertheless, bush has done nothing to clean up the mess now that it is having such a devastating impact on our economy. Here is a good article describing the series of events that has led to our current oil price spike (there are lots more if you go to the net and do some searching:)http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/08/enron_and_todays_oil_and_gas_p.htmlRe: your comment on there being winners and losers in economics. Which is the American public at this point with regard to oil prices? Who's interests is the President supposed to represent? After reading the entire article cited above, he bush sided with the public or Wall Street?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Or Maybe "If you were dead like a good Injun should be, you wouldn't be complaining" Trafficway.

OnlyTheOne 6 years, 6 months ago

logicman "appropriate progress?"I don't think so.South of the river would be appropriate progress but that's not what the developers have planned for so they can't give up on the 31st St alignment.

gr 6 years, 6 months ago

"But why is this such a big deal with you, gr? You don't care about natural ecosystems- you care only about your god-given right for a few minutes of convenience, no matter whose expense at which it comes."Just trying to figure out what you are saying, bozo. You objected to someone who said it was farmland and recovered. But, then you said the only thing preventing it from being wetlands is the dams and dikes. Then you say it's been recovered. But, then you say it's natural. But yet again, damaged. Then, needing to be "returned".Seems to me to be "political speak" for a self-interested objective. I do care about natural ecosystems. I just believe there are more than one type of natural ecosystems. Why do you object so much to using a has-been, damaged, recovered, man-made restored wetland, at the expense of a natural, and currently existing, riparian ecosystem? Why are you against a diversity of ecosystems? Why are you so against riparian areas where the road has to cross at least twice if not four times? You did say the whole area would be a wetland. Why not get the benefit of a wetland and riparian at the same time instead of destroying both?

Baille 6 years, 6 months ago

"I'm going to sue Michael Caron, of Save the Wakarusa Wetlands Organization. The organization itself and every person I can gather on my list. Fire with Fire. I don't care if I lose. Thats not the point the point is I have money and I'm gonna start suing them back."Do it. The judgment from the counter claim of malicious prosecution will go a long way to cover the legal bills of those who oppose this catalyst for cancerous growth.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

WetlandsWhat's a Wetland Worth?Wetlands Key to a Healthy EconomyAmerica's wetlands provide something for everyone --they protect our communities from flooding, filter dangerous pollutants from our drinking water and provide life-sustaining habitat to irreplaceable fish and wildlife. The benefits of wetlands are incalculable, both for our economy and our environment, yet more than 120,000 acres of wetlands continue to be destroyed every year. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wetland Status and Trends Report, 1997). More than half of the wetlands in the lower 48 states that were present when European settlers arrived have already been lost.Wetlands Protect Our Families From FloodsWetlands can be the first line of defense against flooding. Just ask Louisville, Ky., schoolteacher Doris Wilson, who hadn't been flooded after 20 years in her home -- until last year. The summer after a neighboring developer destroyed a nearby wetland, her yard flooded,even though it wasn't raining. When it did rain, three feet of water forced her from her home for two months.Like sponges, wetlands soak up rain and store excess floodwater runoff, then slowly release flood waters back into streams, lakes, and groundwater.One acre of wetlands stores up to 1.5 million gallons of flood water. Those states that have lost 80 percent or more of their wetlands -- Ohio, Kentucky, California, and Missouri -- have experienced the most severe flooding over the past four years.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

Wetlands Purify WaterWetlands come in many forms --swamps, bogs, estuaries, prairie potholes -- but all clean our water.People living near South Carolina's Congaree Bottomland Swamp don't take that for granted. Without the wetland, which acts as a natural filter removing sediment and toxic substances, the community would have to build a 5-million-dollar water treatment facility.And relying on chemicals and treatment plants to clean our water doesn't always work. In 1993, the largest waterborne disease outbreak in modern U.S. History sickened more than 400,000 people in Milwaukee and killed 104. Less than a year later, the same dicer killed 19 people in Las Vegas.One Solution? Preserve more wetlands to shield our drinking water sources.Wetlands are Home to Fish, Shellfish, and WildlifeMany fish and waterfowl species are born in wetlands. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that up to 43% of America's threatened and endangered species need wetlands for their survival. For many animals, such as the wood duck, alligator, and heron, wetlands are primary habitat for part of the year.The destruction of wetlands threatens the viability of America's $45 billion commercial fishing industry. The National Marine Fisheries Service scientists estimate that nearly 70% of the annual commercial fish catch depends upon inshore-wetland habitats.Wetlands Provide a Wealth of Recreational OpportunitiesAccording to the EPA, poor water quality threatens America's $380 billion recreational/tourism industry. Beaches, lakes, and rivers are the most popular destinations.Americans count on wetlands for many other popular activities such as fishing, hunting, hiking, boating, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing. A 1995 study by the EPA shows that 50 million people spend $10 billion each year observing and photographing wetlands-dependent birds. And roughly 3 million waterfowl hunters spend over $600 million annually in pursuit of wetlands-dependent birds.Wetlands are Worth More Protected than DestroyedCurrently, our laws offer limited protection for wetlands under the Clean Water Act. We must strengthen wetlands protections to safeguard these precious places.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

In fact, swamps are more important than your home; just like it is more important than the SLT or any improvements that follow. Therefore you should demolish your home and build a large swamp across your land. That is the only ethical thing to do.

Baille 6 years, 6 months ago

"And name it the Columbus trafficway. ;)"Well, I suppose you could be more offensive. Let's call it Smallpox Trafficway. Trail of Tears Byway. Sand Creek Massacre Memorial Drive.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASS_%28c...

hillside 6 years, 6 months ago

I have moved away from Lawrence many years ago. Still have friends there, and cherish my alta mater at the bottom of the hill. I was in the class of '81, have 2 boys and am 45. I left basically when I was 19. The bypass was a hotly debated subject then. 27 years have gone by. When, Lawrence, are you going to build it?Wetlands are important. Everybody says the flood of 93 could have been severely lessened had we had more of them. But people were hurt and dying from traffic accidents when I lived there and long before that. How much more is that the truth now?I believe the truth on how the route is proposed is by the people who have the money and bought up the cheap often flooded farmlands years ago, and unless this road goes right through them, they'll be damned if anything is built. Think of the millions they stand to lose if it goes south of the river. Or to any other route for that matter.The frog was a farce. The wetlands are at best recreated, which is fine. But in Louisianna, over 20 miles of interstate highway is built on bridges across the ATACHAFALAYA BASIN SWAMP. Why cant Lawrence do the same for 2 miles? And you aren't even trying to get river barge traffic under your bridge!!I am a truck driver. I see thousands of miles a month and dozens of accidents. Trucks haul millions of tons of hazardous cargo and a lot in your city simply because there is no better way. I guarentee that these truck drivers will take a bypass rather than face the traffic in Lawrence anyday, even in the middle of summer when the KU students have left. And I believe everyone knows they would benefit from having all trucks take a route around town than going through it.I got a no brainer for ya! The city of Lawrence already owns street rights to 31st street right-of-way. Why not veer the SLT right-of-way around the wetlands onto 31st street, then after reaching (going east of) Haskell, veer back south around Mary's Lake. The "wetlands" would be undisturbed, the enviromentalist would have no reason to bitch, Lawrence could at least have a 4 lane road. Oh, that's right. The people that stand to lose millions would do just that. Wake up Lawrence. This is a war of money, and just who stands to make it. Most (but not all, as demonstrated by 40 people) could give a rat's ass about where the road is built. But they do care that the road IS built. It's the money that keeps it from happening.And one other thing. Make it a toll road. Make it pay for itself. I believe that is an excellent idea. The people who have the postage size lots with the rediculously large house in West Lawrence, can stand to help pay for what they want. I know I'll drop in my buck for a five minute ride on a tollway, rather than fight traffic for 25 minutes!This country is supposed to be a democracy of the people, not of the money. Like Captain Picard of star trek fame said, "Make it So!" I'll hope to see you on the bypass soon.

gr 6 years, 6 months ago

bozo, you are so funny!BOZO for Prez!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

So what if it isn't built, Satirical? Will you hold your breath?

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Baille...Despite allegation to the contrary, I am able to read, and it was unnecessary for you to repeat your previous post. Your statement neither clearly supports nor contradicts my post, which is why I asked for an explanation of what point you were trying to make.

MattressMan 6 years, 6 months ago

Baille (Anonymous) says: By building strip malls and gas stations along the route and at the eastern terminus. Note in the plans that there is an interchange planned at Louisiana or Haskell. The south of the river plan includes no interchange at Louisiana which will work to prevent unnecessary sprawl and promote the stated purpose of the SLT: efficiency.If the 32nd route is taken you will find another 6th and Wak at Louisiana. And remember when the speculators/developers said no retail at 6th and SLT during the planning phases? Now we have not only zoned retail there but discussions about light industrial. Promises are only good until the motion is passed, then all bets are off. So we should plan accordingly.Build it. South of the river with no interchange at Louisiana or Haskell.So what if speculators want to build along the route, if it's not in the swamp area what does it matter where they build? Will they not build along the route or eastern teminus if it is SOR? The map I see on KDOT website doesnt exactly show an interchange at LA, could be an at grade crossing. It does show an interchange at Haskell but what difference does that make? They (streets) are being moved a quarter to half mile out from the swamp anyways.Maybe the people SOR dont want it out there and would rather see it closer to town where it would do more good.

kcwarpony 6 years, 6 months ago

kansas778, I'm guessing Haskell wanted to see what the outcome of the other roadblocks would be. The Kansas attorney generals ruling on the 'no public vote' bond issue, then waiting to see if there would be a lawsuit on the 'no public vote', there was (Blevins' lawsuit) and then waiting on the outcome of the vote when one was finally put to the voters. Plus, all the attention was going towards the northwest leg in the beginning anyway. Haskell thought long and hard before coming forward. They knew what they were going to be up against but to be excluded from the 404 was the last insult. So if Haskell didn't speak up soon enough, maybe it was because Haskell didn't want their concerns to be lost in all the drama. Also, I suppose one could call it (the timing) a strategic move.As for the "$", it was Roger Boyd who had his head turned by money, not Haskell. Haskell was offered money and it was turned down.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Maybe those self-righteous people donating money to a legal fund to save the wetlands would get more out of their money if they just bought the wetlands surrounding the SLT and not allow any development, thus preservnig the wetlands. Or even better they could take their money and buy some land and make a new and even better swamp that is the swampiest in the nation!

Baille 6 years, 6 months ago

I believe it was 18th century economic theory, Satirical.

manus_flexibilis 6 years, 6 months ago

What about them Celtics?Shamrocks can thrive in swamps!

kcwarpony 6 years, 6 months ago

kansas778 (Anonymous) says: "This is a complete lie. Haskell was in on the road from day one, and was directly consulted about the project. The original plan was to extend Mass St. south to connect to the SLT, but Haskell asked that that part of the project be removed, and the city obliged them. Haskell had years to raise any other objections and they did not. The only objection they raised was heard by the city and they respectfully agreed to change the plans. Bozo is a liar and has no clue what he's talking about."Not quite. The problem was Haskell being left out of the Permit 404 process."The Permit 404 is a main point of contention between Haskell and the county. To fill wetlands along the trafficway and build new wetlands as a replacement, the county had to apply for a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The corps solicits comments from all adjacent land owners, based on a mailing list from the applicant, in this case Douglas County.Haskell was not on the list."http://www2.ljworld.com/news/1993/oct/27/haskell_demands_action_on/BTW, the issues were taken up with the county, not the city...the SLT is a Douglas county project.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

scott3460...How bout you take your Bush hating oil theory to another message board. On this blog we want to destroy our homes and replace them with wetlands, and figure out how to raise enough money to build as many swamps as possible.

scott3460 6 years, 6 months ago

"Ya right! How ignorant are people? Why do you think the cost of fuel is so outrageous? It will be so much worse if (which will never happen) Obama would ever be sworn in!"The reason the price of gas is so obscenely high is because bush essentially removed all safeguards and regulation of the commodities speculators. They have driven the price of oil skyward. Check the recent tesitmony of oil executives to the same effect before Congress. Oil's true price should be something like $80-100 per barrel. The premium on top of that to get to the (current) $140 is pure market manipulation and speculation. Like the dot.com & housing markets before it, it too will burst, but not before a lot of wall street folks extract a lot of money from our economy. Yet another example of the ills of unrestrained capitalism. Obama, once sworn in, will indeed bring sanity and control back to these markets and you will see a correction gas prices. bush is in bed with the thieves, so you will not see any meaningful relief until he and his ilk are removed.

scott3460 6 years, 6 months ago

Why, Blue, because I disagree with you? Why shouldn't the masses that have created the traffic and congestion have to endure the mess of their own making?

kansas778 6 years, 6 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: The vote was many, many years ago, and the the ballot measure was written in a way designed to intentionally skew the vote. There has never been an open and honest debate on the route, and Haskell was shut out from day one.*******This is a complete lie. Haskell was in on the road from day one, and was directly consulted about the project. The original plan was to extend Mass St. south to connect to the SLT, but Haskell asked that that part of the project be removed, and the city obliged them. Haskell had years to raise any other objections and they did not. The only objection they raised was heard by the city and they respectfully agreed to change the plans. Bozo is a liar and has no clue what he's talking about.

Baille 6 years, 6 months ago

"1. there is not all much that space at the intersections you mention. SOR would be wide open for developers."There is enough for strip malls and gas stations. Plus there will be a frontage road at 31st. I see sprawl."2. An SOR route would encourage more suburban housing development."No more than is down there. Without intersections at Louisiana and Haskell, there is no more incentive to build SOR than there is now.

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Wow, Baille, I had no idea Columbus did all that. Pretty much figured he was dead already by the 1760s-1860s.

scott3460 6 years, 6 months ago

"Uh, maybe we should stop breeding as well as driving?"Many should give the idea serious consideration.

scott3460 6 years, 6 months ago

"scott3460:How bout you take your Bush hating oil theory to another message board. On this blog we want to destroy our homes and replace them with wetlands, and figure out how to raise enough money to build as many swamps as possible."How about you quit telling me what to do. As far as raising money for remedial wetlands, excellent idea. I suggest everyone save $.50 a day by not purchasing a LJW & that get pooled until there are sufficient funds to pay for a south of the river route. I would contribute, but I have been sending my spare charitable funds to support the litigation effort to protect the Wetlands. Sorry.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

scott3460..."...I have been sending my spare charitable funds to support the litigation effort to protect the Wetlands"You are wasting your money. You should use that money to purchase the land surrounding the SLT, prevent development, and to build more swamps. Since swamps are so much more important than development I am sure you will be the first to destroy your home and turn your land it into a swamp. Then you can convince all the donees to the SLT wetland defense fund to destroy their homes. You will be hailed as the savior of Lawrence!

SloMo 6 years, 6 months ago

The voters didn't approve it! They (we) approved a Bypass and it was immediately turned into a TrafficWay!Shelve it already!

phenommenom 6 years, 6 months ago

With gas prices going up not to many people will be driving as much, no STL needed......if you are sick of being bumper to bumper on 23rd take your bike or walk!

hillside 6 years, 6 months ago

I left out one other point. Right now we are addicted to fossil fuels, and like any good addiction (ask your local junkie!!) we will pay whatever it takes to keep this addiction up. We will one day rid ourselves of this drug on our society, but not soon.My point is, is that no matter how we fuel our personal conveyance, we will do just that. And we will need roads to drive them on.By the way, God is still making more people to buy those means of getting around. The problem of 23rd street will in time only get worse. It is your problem to fix. I already have left.

Baille 6 years, 6 months ago

"Are we talking about the SLT or a tangential issue of free markets?"~"I believe we were discussing 18th century economic theory, Satirical."Not making any point. Just trying to answer your questions as best I can.

scott3460 6 years, 6 months ago

"I agree, free markets are a stupid idea that only produces effeciency. Lots of bureacracy and government regulation is what we definitely need. Adam Smith was a moron. The whole supply and demand thing is just a myth anyway.I liked my bureacratic and regulated $1.50 a gallon gas a whole lot better than this efficient $4.00 a gallon bush gas. Silly me.

budwhysir 6 years, 6 months ago

Unless I am the only one that has noticed, due to recent events in the weather, the wetlands now extend well into the city limits. Many areas effected by the recent rains must be protected under the wetlands act of 2008. This act states that all parties must argue for a period of 6 months prior to anyone making a very bad decision showing lack of judgement

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

" I don't think 16000 acres of wetlands are really going to make a difference to the earth, and it really won't care when we are out of fossil fuels either."It'll probably survive without you even easier-- when are you leaving?

Baille 6 years, 6 months ago

"As for those complaining of the SLT adding to "sprawl", a SOR route would have encouraged much more development than 32nd St."How? The Wetland Destruction route has interchanges at Louisiana and Haskell that will create additional retail and light industrial developments. The SOR route does not and would not.Furthermore, if allowing traffic to move more quickly from 10 to 70 and points in between the difference in the Wetlands Destruction route and the SOR route is negligible.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Opponents of SLT: "Whine, whine, whine. I don't want the SLT because the precious swamp is important to me. I am afriad of change."It is a swamp people. If you care about swamps so much, build one in your backyard and stop interfering with progress and what is best for the city.

sjschlag 6 years, 6 months ago

Build it! now! Move the Wetlands! I'm tired of being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on 23rd street.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"Seriously, to get everyone to agree on a SOR route and get all the approvals up to the Federal level would take years of additional work."Fine by me.

scott3460 6 years, 6 months ago

"Bush is definitely at fault for oil prices. He wanted the economy to do bad to ensure that his party would not be elected again. What a genius! I agree there is no way gas prices could be the result of higher demand from China and India."Thank you for agreeing with me. Not many, of course, have claimed genius status for george w(orst Preseident ever) bush, but perhaps you are correct. And if the demand from China and India is at fault, who were the geniuses telling us all the great things that would happen when we opened their markets and brought free trade to the world. Republican businessment, as I recall. How smart is that proving to be? My original comment was in response to the idiot who claimed Obama would lead to higher gas prices. As one stares at the devastation caused by 20 years of Republican rule, it boggles the mind to think that there are still some so brain dead and brainwashed to believe that the Democrats are the ones to fear. Could Obama be any worse for the country than the current creep?

doc1 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm going to sue Michael Caron, of Save the Wakarusa Wetlands Organization. The organization itself and every person I can gather on my list. Fire with Fire. I don't care if I lose. Thats not the point the point is I have money and I'm gonna start suing them back.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"As for going SOR, it would have been the best option but it is too late. "Not a shovel full of dirt has been turned-- it's not too late."a SOR route would have encouraged much more development than 32nd St."The primary purpose of the SLT is to promote sprawl-- the route is irrelevant.

scott3460 6 years, 6 months ago

Satirical:Nope, I like the Wetlands & will fight to save them. Sorry.

kansas778 6 years, 6 months ago

Joe Collins, a Kansas University herpetologist and speaker at the event. "People don't understand that this is not something you're going to recover."*******I wish the reporter had called him on this BS. We'll never be able to recover the recovered wetlands? Apparantly we lost that technology...

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says: "I see that the pave-the-Earth types are out in force this morning. The road could have been built 20 years ago if it had been built south of the river."Build it a few miles farther south and there would have been less opposition still. Funny how there tends to be more opposition to building roads where they're actually useful.****clown_rants_from_bus (Anonymous) says: "Do you realize how whiny you are in saying that?"As one of the last three people complaining about the SLT, boohoozo, who do you think sounds like they're whining?*****merrill (Anonymous) says: "$200,000,000 and climbing..."Gee, think how much could have been saved if the eco-nut Don Quixotes of Lawrence had just shut up and let it be built 20 years ago?*******Add one more vote to "Build it!"And name it the Columbus trafficway. ;)

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Baille...What is the point you are trying to make?Are we talking about the SLT or a tangential issue of free markets?

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

scott3460...Then you must love the idea of subsidies to oil companies b/c that is the only way you will see $1.50 a gallon gas again in your lifetime. Bush is definitely at fault for oil prices. He wanted the economy to do bad to ensure that his party would not be elected again. What a genius! I agree there is no way gas prices could be the result of higher demand from China and India.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

scott3460...I agree, free markets are a stupid idea that only produces effeciency. Lots of bureacracy and government regulation is what we definitely need. Adam Smith was a moron. The whole supply and demand thing is just a myth anyway. Oh wait, what was the topic of this article?

kansas778 6 years, 6 months ago

kcwarpony, check the date on that story, it's from 1993. How many years went by between the time Haskell was sent the initial plans and the time they brought up enviornmental concerns? Now what exactly changed their mind$?

Baille 6 years, 6 months ago

I believe it was 18th century economic theory, Satirical. Please continue.

gr 6 years, 6 months ago

"Make it a toll road. Make it pay for itself. "Lowell!!!!!!!!!!Could you give us one example of a toll road that ever paid for itself?I can think of several examples of where tolls keep rising every year for decades after the road supposedly was to have been "paid for".Maybe you mean to say a permanent toll road that pays for its upkeep (and more).

coolhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

My prediction: Follow the money. Whoever benefits the most will win. If there is money behind the venture, it will be done especially if some folk will pad their pocket books. It's not a question of who is right and who is wrong. It's always an answer of who has the most money and who benefits the most from a financial perspective. History reflects this. So in this case, anti-SLT loses and SLT wins. I'm not saying it's right or wrong. I'm just saying that will be the result.

SloMo 6 years, 6 months ago

Not only did we vote for a Bypass and Not a Trafficway, way back when it was voted on, but the route was to be settled on at some later time.Build it south of the river or shelve it!

blessed3x 6 years, 6 months ago

"stuckinthemiddle (Anonymous) says: all you people who want this useless road built need to start pooling your money together to pay for it:or is it just more of the same old "I want this! I want it now! and I want everyone else to pay for it!" "Does this apply to bike paths, walking trails and the like?

Baille 6 years, 6 months ago

What is clear is that there are entrenched positions on both sides. People aren't changing their minds. Either we find a way to compromise or we fight it out. I don't mind the fight. I think a protracted fight favors those who would preserve the Wetlands. If those supporters who don't stand to make a small fortune off the Wetlands Destruction route are willing to pay out the nose for the 32nd St. alignment, then fine. Have fun paying. You don't want to fight and pay to make some speculator money, then we should work together to find a route for a bypass that will accommodate the community's entrenched positions.

Baille 6 years, 6 months ago

Entrenched works both ways: those who are fervently opposed to destroying the Wetlands and those that are fervently committed to seeing that the 32nd Street alignment is chosen.While I would disagree with your perception of the numbers who support preserving the Wetlands, the reality is that whether it be a small but committed minority or a sizable number of our community the result will be the same. Our system was designed to prevent a tyranny of the majority, and those opposed to needlessly destroying the Wetlands to line the pockets of a handful of speculators are prepared to use that system to ensure that their position prevails. They may lose, but it is going to cost dearly to find out.Compromise seems the better course for not only our coffers but also for our community.

blessed3x 6 years, 6 months ago

bozo...that may be, but my comment was regarding stuckinthemiddle's reluctance to pay for something he doesn't use. Shouldn't that work both ways, not just in your favor. Should he not be allowed to purchase goods driven in on trucks using the roadway? Should he be denied fire, ambulance or police service that uses the roadway? Should bike paths get toll booths? Should the SLT have a toll booth? We all pay for things we don't use.As for the SLT, I couldn't give a flying fart. Don't build it and let the 20,000 cars a day sit and wait at stop lights burning up gas and creating thousands of tons of pollution every year. Build it and kill off all the little fishies and things. Whatever! Seems to me to be a tragedy either way. I just enjoy all the pissing and whining!

fu7il3 6 years, 6 months ago

It seems to be small, very vocal section of the community that is entrenched. The rest either say build it or don't care one way or the other.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

For a 1/4 of a $billion, we could build a hell of a lot of bike paths, walking trails and the like, and still fully fund a real bus system for the next 25 years.

phenommenom 6 years, 6 months ago

Some people condider some places scared or special while others could care less about a place, for instance I wonder how people would feel if they were to run a highway/trafficway through the fields of the battle of black jack?"About 600 acres of the Wakarusa Wetlands was located directly south of thedorms at Haskell Institute. This last major remnant of the Wetlands was acrucial refuge where Native students from all across the country survivedgovernment efforts to exterminate their cultures in off-reservation boardingschools.There, in the Wakarusa Wetlands refuge, young Indians from Maine toCalifornia sang forbidden songs, performed dances that were federallypunishable with jail time and refused to let the authorities "kill the Indian" in them.Parents and other tribal leaders camped, often for weeks, beside theseWetlands on the bank of the Wakarusa, awaiting permission from schoolofficials to retrieve or at least visit their children. These elders used theWetlands as an outdoor classroom to pass on final lessons about healingand other traditional knowledge.Despite efforts to drain the Wetlands in the early twentieth century, andHaskell's loss of this property during the Eisenhower termination era, theWakarusa Wetlands, like Haskell Indian Nations University itself, hassurvived and flourished. The entire historic Haskell campus, including theWetlands, is being considered for designation as a National Historic Heritagearea."

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: "For a 1/4 of a $billion, we could build a hell of a lot of bike paths, walking trails and the like, and still fully fund a real bus system for the next 25 years."Good idea, boohoozo. 'Cause an awful lot of people ride their bikes and walk to Johnson County. And we really need more buses that nobody rides. Brilliant as always.

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