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Archive for Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Final federal permit for SLT issued

May 7, 2008

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SLT may run through Baker Wetlands

There's new reason to believe the controversial South Lawrence Trafficway will be built through the Baker Wetlands. Enlarge video

South Lawrence Trafficway: 32nd and 42nd St. options

South Lawrence Trafficway: 32nd and 42nd St. options

On the street

How long do you think it will take to begin construction on the South Lawrence Trafficway?

I bet that it’s at least five years away. I think the population here has a difficult task in balancing growth and what is beneficial for the environment, and I think a lot of people here are going to fight it until the very end.

More responses

For the first time in more than a decade, supporters of the South Lawrence Trafficway have all the necessary federal permits to build the road through the Baker Wetlands.

And once again, opponents of the nearly 25-year old project have all they need to head back to court.

The Kansas Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that the Federal Highway Administration has issued a key permit allowing the road to be built along a 32nd Street route, which runs through the northern part of the Baker Wetlands.

"This is another key step toward the completion of the trafficway," Douglas County Commissioner Bob Johnson said of the project, which would connect Interstate 70 west of Lawrence with Kansas Highway 10 east of Lawrence.

The permit - called a Record of Decision - brought a promise of a new lawsuit from leaders of the Save the Wakarusa Wetlands organization.

"We certainly will go to court," said Michael Caron, executive director of the wetlands group. "I have no doubt that the road will never be built there."

The Federal Highway Administration had approved preliminary permits that found the 32nd Street route did the least amount of environmental harm to the wetlands. Opponents of the project have disputed that finding, saying a route south of the Wakarusa River would do less environmental harm.

The new permit is significant, though. It marks the first time since 1994 that roadway builders have had the necessary federal permits to build the road through the wetlands. It was 1994 when county commissioners suspended the wetlands portion of the project to allow for a new study reviewing the environmental impacts the road would have on adjacent Haskell Indian Nations University and the wetlands. Ever since, the project has been tied up in lawsuits and federal bureaucracy.

Technically, the permit would allow road builders to begin construction. Work, though, is not likely to happen soon. Funding for the road remains a major issue.

It is estimated that about $150 million in funding is needed to complete the project. State and federal funding is expected to be sought, but Johnson said new money may not develop until 2010.

State legislators next year are expected to begin discussions about a new multiyear comprehensive transportation plan. The state's current plan - which funded $5.5 billion in construction projects - is set to expire in 2009.

The project, however, does have about $1.5 million in federal funding that would allow small-scale work to begin. The money - secured by U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts - could be used to begin work to create a new wetlands area to replace the approximately 58 acres of wetlands disturbed by the project.

Joe Erskine, deputy secretary of transportation for KDOT, said removing some plants from the wetlands to be transferred to a planned 247-acre wetlands site west of Louisiana Street is a possibility. But Erskine said no major excavation work is planned in the wetlands until funding and possible litigation matters are resolved.

Johnson said he believes both the funding issues and the litigation matters will be resolved in favor of the road project.

"I think everybody feels pretty good about what has been done and the attention that has been paid to all the details," Johnson said. "We're pretty confident that we'll prevail in litigation."

The last time the project was in court - in the late 1990s - the county and other SLT supporters lost. But this time a key fact has changed. In the 1990s lawsuit, roadway supporters were arguing that they did not need the federal permit to proceed with the project. A federal judge rejected that argument. This time, the county and KDOT have the needed permit, and it will be up to opponents to show that the permit was incorrectly issued.

Caron - who said his group still has the services of noted environmental attorney Bob Eye - said he's more confident than ever that a court will stop the road project. He said unlike in the 1990s, the city now has clear plans to grow south of the Wakarusa River. He said building a bypass project north of the Wakarusa River makes no sense.

"I think this road is far more outrageous than it was in the '90s even," Caron said. "Any court is going to see that this is not what you do to a wetland."

Project opponents have 180 days to file a lawsuit.

Comments

hatealluwant 5 years, 10 months ago

I like the word dude or would you rather me call you scum of the Earth?

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"Dude you really are stupid."Says the guy who uses "dude" in a sentence.

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hatealluwant 5 years, 11 months ago

Screw the 'natives' (they are not really natives anymore), Screw what they think, screw what they 'know', and screw what they want. There is a reason that we are here. Remember that.Natives: Fight back if you think it's wrong. If you lose:.well:..It's a road you've walked before.Your wetlands are nothing. This is a city trying to save lives by creating a traffic-way. To hell with your 'wetlands/burials/precious moments/prima donna'.Seriously, all of you, go hump a rock. Welcome to the 21st century, and I am happy to introduce you to it.Okay Mr. Racist. Why don't you tell me your name. Dude you really are stupid. We are native. And I bet it was your people that tried to beat it out of us. Just because you have no respect for this earth doesnt mean we don't.

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JackRipper 5 years, 11 months ago

"If we don't invest in infrastructure and make it easier for individuals to commute and goods to be shipped, we are continuing to constrain the Lawrence economy. "My gosh, haven't you noticed I-70 or any of the other highways coming into town? We are hardly on the verge of being cut off from supplies. This road is about finishing is making the stupid decision to live on the wrong side of town work. If we were really serious about getting traffic off of 23rd street and on to I-70 they would have built the eastern arm first and maybe only with a new bridge, not the stupid idea of going through east Lawrence. "No matter what happens with development, Lawrence will never be JoCo. "Oh? Funny when I look at the stuff out west I can't distinguish it from JOCO."Just look at Austin, TX. Another city with a unique culture that has managed to thrive with growth."Perhaps but I would hope Lawrence is never like Austin. It is nice not having big city problems and all the traffic. If you want that Overland Park is a pretty nice city, not far away at all.

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profwriter 5 years, 11 months ago

weather congratulations on your complete liberation from decency, truth & intelligence.Probably won't be long before you make the Darwin Award winner's list & give the world a good belly laugh.Bone what the knowledge powerhouse you are (NOT). The sweatlodges were there long before '94. Attended many sweats at Haskell & spent many hours by the lodges since I moved here in '93. Driving on 31st seeing imaginary alcohol containers doesn't qualify you as an authoritative source of Haskell information.Never saw a single 40oz bottle except at Mary's Lake where the flannel-shirted-Wrangler-jeaned-cowboy-booted-truck-transported-types fish & leave their lovely trash for all to treasure.South of the Wak is smarter which is exactly why the cerebrally-challenged can't comprehend moving in that direction & fight to proceed within their comfort zone of stupidity.32nd Street SLT Slogans:Sorry Lacky's TrailStupid Lovers' ThoroughfareSlacker's Loathe ThinkingStrangle Logic TherewithSquash Lawrence TinyStymie Local TruthsScript Lame TalesSnub Legal TreatiesSpend Lots TryingSubjective Lies ToldSome Lawrence TrollsScummy Leadership Testimonial

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Oracle_of_Rhode 5 years, 11 months ago

I am against disturbing the wetlands in any way. This highway proposal amounts to a crime against nature and common sense.

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manus_flexibilis 5 years, 11 months ago

Touche', all this nonsense is 'unsound' and 'absurd'! What have you brought to Lawrence that is so amazing? Last time I checked Haskell brought an array of colorful cultures that have ties to the drum that mimics a heartbeat. That beat has been getting stronger with the educational tools that assimilation presented.

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weatherguy48 5 years, 11 months ago

Screw the 'natives' (they are not really natives anymore), Screw what they think, screw what they 'know', and screw what they want. There is a reason that we are here. Remember that.Natives: Fight back if you think it's wrong. If you lose....well.....It's a road you've walked before.Your wetlands are nothing. This is a city trying to save lives by creating a traffic-way. To hell with your 'wetlands/burials/precious moments/prima donna'.Seriously, all of you, go hump a rock. Welcome to the 21st century, and I am happy to introduce you to it.

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VTHawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Finally. This has been in the works longer than I have been alive.If we don't invest in infrastructure and make it easier for individuals to commute and goods to be shipped, we are continuing to constrain the Lawrence economy. No matter what happens with development, Lawrence will never be JoCo. Just look at Austin, TX. Another city with a unique culture that has managed to thrive with growth.

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hatealluwant 5 years, 11 months ago

Not quite. Build the SLT down 31st, right behind the free native american college:It's not free my people paid with their blood for me to have an education. Because living off the land was being a savage. Kill the indian save the man. And my people did save yours. Get it right.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"bozo = boog!"According to Marion, I'm Clark Coan.

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kansas778 5 years, 11 months ago

You're right Merrill, let's just close the city down to anyone who wants to move here, after all, everyone knows that no city has ever grown larger than 85,000 people and been able to afford all those things.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

Following the construction of the $200 million roadway,which in and of itself increases the cost of community services, will be more demands which will demand more tax dollars: water and sewer lines streets and repairshousespublic schools fire stations law enforcement manpowersidewalks snow removal bike trails and cross walks Traffic signals Traffic calming developers requesting more tax dollar assistance(new infrastructure) for theirwarehouses and retail strip malls.*In general increases the cost of community services to all taxpayers.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

If this is the case there is no need for the 31st street expansion:. A savings for local taxpayers. Well probably not with this group of commissioners.There is no reason to dump the traffic way off at 1750rd. Take it to K-10 interchange to and save millions more. Sooooo when the politicians come wanting to take more of your big time tax dollars from your wallet what are you going to say? This does create more tax dollar spending for maintenance. The city road maintenance budget will also be expanded as 23rd street will no longer be state highway 10. It becomes 23rd street and the full responsibility of Lawrence,Kansas instead of the majority of maintenance being the responsibility of KDOT. Some of those who say they are concerned about tax dollars sure have a funny way of demonstrating that concern. When it comes to pork barrel spending roads are at the top of the list. Even though they increase local tax bills. Big time tax increases taking place in Lawrence, Kansas aka:â SLTâ 31st expansionâ New North Lawrence Industrial Park may never pay its' wayâ Farmlamd Industrial park stuck with it because corp America filed bankruptcyâ New LeCompton Industrial Park may never pay its' wayâ Tanger Mall still basically empty- not paying its' wayâ Empty homes throughout Lawrence never paying their wayâ Empty commecial throughout Lawrence not paying their wayâ Large new 600,000 sq ft warehouse at East Hills still sitting empty after all these years has never paid its' way

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 11 months ago

Poon (Anonymous) says: Actually, no. Lets dig a tunnel instead of building a suspension bridge. We could have a Big Dig like Boston. Then we could happily drive under the wetlands, the beavers would be happy and the trafficway would be out of sight.I think that would disturb the magnetic compass of the blind mole rats too much. They'd be bumping into the drills, or the rotation might make them flip about in their tunnels.*PS, while reading this thread, shortly before the noon posts,I swear a saw a couple of beer bottles go sailing across the screen. It's starting to sound like a Louisiana bar brawl!

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Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 5 years, 11 months ago

Snap's comment, by far, was the most hilarious.For the rest of you, YES we do need this road. Have you tried to get down 31st street lately? YES, the land belongs to Baker University, which has no poblem with the road. YES, nature will prevail. There are hundreds of other wetlands that thrive beside major roadways. YES! Build the damn road, already.

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kansas778 5 years, 11 months ago

Sorry Scott, but we'd rather live the life of the suburban consumerist than have your vie boheme thrust upon us. Go find some other town to turn into a giant slum.

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scott3460 5 years, 11 months ago

"And BTW, to those of you complaining about turning Lawrence into JoCo, guess what: that's what we want, and we are the majority. Have a nice day!"The future of Lawrence!! Like pigeons fouling their souroundings because they are too lazy and stupid to do otherwise, the suburban consumerist overtakes and destroys all (my apologies to pigeons.) I stand by my earlier statement. If it comes to pass, may you be forced to endure it.

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kansas778 5 years, 11 months ago

And BTW, to those of you complaining about turning Lawrence into JoCo, guess what: that's what we want, and we are the majority. Have a nice day!

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kansas778 5 years, 11 months ago

tuschkahouma, I'll read your writings anytime, just tell me where I can find them.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 11 months ago

Build the road. Fill in the Haskell Swamp. It is in violation of city ordnances, but you will hear nothing about that from the city commission, there is no one on the city staff to recommend that this nuisance be disposed of. Nevertheless, the Haskell Swamp is a violation of city ordnances. Fill it and remove the source of most of the mosquito clouds in south Lawrence.

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Poon 5 years, 11 months ago

Actually, no. Lets dig a tunnel instead of building a suspension bridge. We could have a Big Dig like Boston. Then we could happily drive under the wetlands, the beavers would be happy and the trafficway would be out of sight.

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Poon 5 years, 11 months ago

The only problem with the bridge over 59 is that it is too short. We need a large suspension bridge that will carry the SLT for several miles from Clinton Dam to Blue Mound. Trucks will be happy. Beavers will be happy. Building the bridge will create employment. Workers will be happy.

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ksfunone 5 years, 11 months ago

Do you ever wonder why we started the bypass when we didnt have all the land secured to complete the whole thing or why we built a bridge over 59 hwy that will never go anywhere.You talk about a waste of tax dollars

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Mike Ford 5 years, 11 months ago

Wow, the stupidity never left!!!!Let's see, $4 gas, gas tax holidays proposed that take$10 billion in revenue away from federal highway funds.When do you think this road will be built?Hello Kansas778, glad to see you're still not gettinga balanced education at KU. You ought to read my recentwritings in the Kansan and the Lawrencian concerningJohn Roberts and his lack of knowledge in tribal law.This trafficway project will be tied up until Barack orMcCain's halfway through their first term. And beforeyou get excited at the prospect of a McCain presidency,He's not the rubber-stamping environmental destroyerthat Dumya has been. Mr. McCain has been on theU.S. Joint Senate Commission on Indian Affairs fora decade. That's why the Dumblicans won't vote forhim because he doesn't drink the Kool-Aid ofboot-stepping stupidity. He actually obeys the lawunless it's the Keating S & L situation.This road will never be built along 32nd. There's nomoney to build it. The proponents of this fiasco willbe bled dry in federal courts much in the way thatthe western KS dumblicans have been bled dry withthe coal plants. Enough already, learn something and give the planet a break.

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RuralKsGirl 5 years, 11 months ago

The Wetlands was man-made? Well, that's great. So why would it be so difficult to relocate it just south of the SLT? And why in the world would they want to spend more money to divert the SLT south of the Wakarusa River? Because the project isn't pricey enough already? I was born and raised within a mile or three from the Wetlands, and I honestly don't give a crap if the road is built or not. Traffic in Lawrence is still far less than in the KC metro area, and it's not as though commuting through Lawrence takes for-freaking-ever, either. And those that live in Lawrence and know the area fairly well know which areas to avoid at certain times of the day. EVERY city is that way.This squabbling back and forth between everyone makes me want to vomit. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, regardless of whether or not others agree with it. All of the name calling and personal attacks are ridiculous. You're telling each other to grow up. Seriously, maybe you should take a stab at it. I love Lawrence. I've always loved Lawrence. And I always will. Build the road. Don't build the road. I could give a crap less.This was just some lowly sap's opinion........

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

A healthy wetlands ecosystem isn't "mosquito-infested." But if the SLT goes through there, it will no longer be a healthy wetlands eco-system. Hello mosquitos.

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Bone777 5 years, 11 months ago

No, but I would be willing to save them from another 150 feet of mosquito infested, slack water...

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Great-- then you'll gladly save them from the tyranny of highway-builders, too, right?

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Bone777 5 years, 11 months ago

Bozo - we saved the indians from the tyranny of the French.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

It was never "perfectly good farmland." It was a drained wetlands area that was never good farmland-- that's why they restored it to the state it had been for thousands of years before it was drained-- wetlands.

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MyOpinionCounts 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm not sure & don't really care why they took perfectly good farmland & turned it into a breeding ground for mosquitoes & the like (alias "the wetlands"). Build the SLT to complete the loop around the city & be done with it.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"Free as in fully subsidized by the rapers and pilagers:"It wasn't free-- it cost Native Americans an entire continent to get it.

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Bone777 5 years, 11 months ago

Free as in fully subsidized by the rapers and pilagers...

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Bone777 5 years, 11 months ago

"Haven't we raped and pillaged the native americans and nature enough?"Not quite. Build the SLT down 31st, right behind the free native american college...

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kmat 5 years, 11 months ago

http://www.genuinekansas.com/history_baker_wetlands_controversy_timeline_kansas.htmSo many of you should be ashamed of yourselves. Educate yourselves about this land and this issue (link provided).The BAKER wetlands are on the National Natural Landmark list, but so many of you idiots (yes - you are selfish idiots) don't give a rats ass about nature,or what's best for Lawrence (keeping it from becoming JoCo). There is no reason it can't be built south of the Waka, but "I might have to drive an additional 5 minutes if they put it all the way down there). I commute to KC everyday, but obviously I actually care about this town and nature more than many. Must be because my parents taught me to respect the native americans and nature.Haven't we raped and pillaged the native americans and nature enough? http://www.nature.nps.gov/nnl/Registry/USA_Map/States/Kansas/NNL/BUW/index.cfm

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Bone777 5 years, 11 months ago

When I was a kid, 31st street was something everyone avoided and the Baker Wetlands was a mosquito pit that the Indians used to throw their 40oz. bottles in. Haskell's campus was designed to stay away from the area. As soon as the talk of a SLT came up, Haskell students started erecting sweat lodges and other religeous symbols out by the fence line. Funny, how liberals and Indians will come together to fight "THE MAN".

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LawrencePothole 5 years, 11 months ago

To all saying that the SLT is only for commuters:There are people, real, actual people, who live near 23rd and use it often to get around Lawrence itself, and they would like this built as well. Get over yourselves.

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jackbinkelman 5 years, 11 months ago

This will be in the courts another 10 years.. just build it south of Wak already!!!!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

The Haskell wetlands are part of 17,000 acres of wetlands that once ran the length of the Wakarusa River. They were drained for agriculture and other development, but If left alone, they would restore themselves to a natural wetland state.

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JackRipper 5 years, 11 months ago

Wetlands were naturally part of the river systems, nothing to fear really plus they help to control flooding downstream and filter the crap out of the water before returning it to a system that has been out of sight, out of mind. It would also help control the silting up of our reservoirs, the problem of the future. Not only should be protect this wetland but we should be creating them everywhere possible. We continue to live as though water resources as well as fuel and food are guaranteed.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"You didn't hear anybody gripping when 31 street was built, it goes through the wetlands."Correct, that was before Injunz got all uppity and knew to stay quiet and invisible, and obeyed all the Jim Crow laws Lawrence laid down for them.

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scott3460 5 years, 11 months ago

KSAIf many of us wanted to live the "better" life beltways and highways delivered, we'd live in Kansas City, amongst all the "better" schools and jobs and alleged better quality of life. Lawrence with a Trafficway is not better. Nor is Lawrence without the Wetlands. Perhaps you'd be kind enough to explain how you think the SLT results in this better quality of life, as opposed to simply turning Lawrence in to JoCo.

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HootyWho 5 years, 11 months ago

The Baker Wetlands are man-made, Its the run-off from building south of 23rd street.You didn't hear anybody gripping when 31 street was built, it goes through the wetlands.

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JackRipper 5 years, 11 months ago

It is also hilarious that the people who created this problem now are telling us we have to make it work because we can't survive without the taxes they provide. Funny, before all that was built we didn't seem to have budget crises quite like what we are looking at now days. No, please don't play that game. I'd be more then willing to have reduced services if it means stopping idiot development. To think our city approved an apartment complex around a golf course when this town has a glut of apartments and our city golf course can't even make money! Hey where are all those people who use to comment about the previous commission being the demise of Lawrence when it appears had he had smart growth many of these issues wouldn't be so critical now! Where are all the fixes that were promised?

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Harderfaster 5 years, 11 months ago

the bus, really paints Indigenous people as helpless, emotional, petty weaklings that require protecting by self appointed saviors like himself.Your rants are not helping the cause.

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blue73harley 5 years, 11 months ago

It is really not an east or west issue. People that live in their parents basement don't have much need for the SLT.

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scott3460 5 years, 11 months ago

"I wonder if thinking about where you are going to live before moving there is no longer required because you can always go to the government and have them fix it for you. Funny thing is many times they are the same people against the government helping people without anything. So let's get this straight, a person takes a job in KC and then thinks the government is suppose to build them a road to work? Has personal responsibility completely disappeared from the professional yuppie type crowd? Of course for those who are so willing to take all of our money to pay for your perk that is suppose to be fine but you are too cheap to either take the K-10 connector or the turnpike for a situation you put yourself into. Spoiled rotten boomers and their offspring who think they should always get what they want."Just don't call them selfish.

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

KSA_21_3503I think that the cart and the horse have been in a race to see which can crash first since the conception of this project... and that to a certain extent the building of this road cannot be separated from the funding in any discussion about moving forward...I have concerns about the issues with Haskell... but my knowledge of the situation is limited... I do think that there have been some ridiculous, nasty things said about Haskell in these posts... as for the wetlands... I posted about this yesterday... I'm not worried about them... much... I think that nature can heal itself in this situation...the wetlands would be changed... but not all lost...some things would be lost... but likely there would be some gains...but yes... my greatest concern is the spending of $150 million on something I don't believe is going to benefit a great deal of people who live in the eastern part of town...I really don't see how anyone who lives east of Iowa is going to get much of any use out of this...at the some time we are all driving on roads in the middle of town that are in horrible shape...it's a priority thing with me... and I think the focus should be on taking care of the things we have before we go building new things...(much too long an answer)

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JackRipper 5 years, 11 months ago

I wonder if thinking about where you are going to live before moving there is no longer required because you can always go to the government and have them fix it for you. Funny thing is many times they are the same people against the government helping people without anything. So let's get this straight, a person takes a job in KC and then thinks the government is suppose to build them a road to work? Has personal responsibility completely disappeared from the professional yuppie type crowd? Of course for those who are so willing to take all of our money to pay for your perk that is suppose to be fine but you are too cheap to either take the K-10 connector or the turnpike for a situation you put yourself into. Spoiled rotten boomers and their offspring who think they should always get what they want.

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"The SLT route is being put through the wetlands because you commuters want less congestion (a selfish reason) and so that you can shave some time from your ill-considered commutes (again, selfish) and because you refuse to pay more for a more agreeable route (also selfish.) If you cannot see that, then please don't bother reading or responding to any more of my posts."Who is this "you?" Are you referring to me? Try again."By the way, there is perfectly good infrastructure in and out of Lawrence, but it makes too much money for the KTA, so it is avoided by many (most.) A far superior solution to this whole mess is to create several north/south feeder routes to the turnpike and remove the toll road between Topeka and KC. That will never happen, of course, but would be far less expensive, destructive, controversial, etc. than the current route."I-70 intersects I-435 very far north of where many people need to go. Because of this, it actually takes the exact same amount of time to travel I-70 as it does to drive through Lawrence and use K-10. Given that I-70 requires a toll, the choice is obvious for those people affected by this. That being said, those who need to go to Downtown KC do use I-70 because it is much faster for that destination. Kansas City is much bigger than Lawrence. All roads don't end at the same place there."Finally, why do you think it acceptable to tell me to "grow up" simply because I have a differing opinion. Sounds, I don't know, kind of spolied and self-centered, if you ask me."I told you to grow up because you said this: "Funny, coming from someone who insists that a road be built for his/her convenience & ease of travel." When it is clearly not supported by the evidence. In fact, it is an assumption that you have made, an immature one at that, hence the need for you to grow up. You lack the ability to see the benefit for the greater good. To you, people are only driven to action by selfish motivations. It couldn't be that someone actually wants to see Lawrence improve with better jobs, better roads, better schools, better quality of life....no no no.This is further evidence of your lack of mental capacity: "Funny how the same people who can't spend a few dollars for an agreeable route are the same ones that excuse bush's actions." Please explain how all pro-SLT people are inherently Bush-voting Republicans.

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scott3460 5 years, 11 months ago

"Build the road, through the wetlands, south of the river, who cares: just build the darn thing"Build the road, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, south of the river, who cares: just build the darn thing.Agreed. Problem solved.

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newsreader 5 years, 11 months ago

Build the road, through the wetlands, south of the river, who cares... just build the darn thing

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scott3460 5 years, 11 months ago

KSALawrence functioned just fine without the hideous development in West Lawrence & I suspect would be fine should it all wither and disappear. The SLT route is being put through the wetlands because you commuters want less congestion (a selfish reason) and so that you can shave some time from your ill-considered commutes (again, selfish) and because you refuse to pay more for a more agreeable route (also selfish.) If you cannot see that, then please don't bother reading or responding to any more of my posts. By the way, there is perfectly good infrastructure in and out of Lawrence, but it makes too much money for the KTA, so it is avoided by many (most.) A far superior solution to this whole mess is to create several north/south feeder routes to the turnpike and remove the toll road between Topeka and KC. That will never happen, of course, but would be far less expensive, destructive, controversial, etc. than the current route. Of course, that appraoch suffers from not encouraging rural land development & that probably won't sit well with many of Lawrence's"important" folks. Finally, why do you think it acceptable to tell me to "grow up" simply because I have a differing opinion. Sounds, I don't know, kind of spolied and self-centered, if you ask me.

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

Just to be clear then, you are not arguing against the building of the road, but only the funding?

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

KSA_21_3503 you make the same kind of arguments that people make for the T... "for the progress of the greater good"...you're plain wrong about it being for everyone's benefit...and telling people to "grow up" gets you no where...some of us have had our eyes wide open on this escalation of entitlement as people have come to the city, the county and state saying that they need more and more and swear that it is for the good of everyone...make it a toll road: the people working in Johnson County have such better jobs than folks working here in town they should be able to afford a 4 or 5 dollar toll:after all: it will save them 40 minutes a day and $10 dollars worth of gas:

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"Of course each and every one of you has been mortgaged to the hilt by our current President to the tune of plenty more than a south of the river route would cost. Funny how the same people who can't spend a few dollars for an agreeable route are the same ones that excuse bush's actions."And with that non sequitur, you lose all credibility.

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scott3460 5 years, 11 months ago

"This burden will not be borne forever. Something's gotta give."As usual, it is the natural world that "gives" (is extinguished, is a more accurate term.) Of course each and every one of you has been mortgaged to the hilt by our current President to the tune of plenty more than a south of the river route would cost. Funny how the same people who can't spend a few dollars for an agreeable route are the same ones that excuse bush's actions.

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"but you are asking others to bear the burden of $150 million dollars for a road that we don't need:"No, the evidence is clear. We do need the road. Fact-deniers don't usually get very far, try opening your eyes.

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"Funny, coming from someone who insists that a road be built for his/her convenience & ease of travel."Interesting, considering that this is not a reason that I advocate for the completion of the road. Please demonstrate where I indicated that this was for my own personal convenience? Oh that's right, you can't, because you are a liar.The SLT will alleviate congestion for EVERYONE on 23rd, 19th, 31st, Haskell, Iowa, 6th, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, etc. The SLT will provide for the long term stability of West Lawrence, which is essential if this city does not want to become a ghost town. The SLT is essential for the attraction of any decent paying jobs to this town as no business desires to be located in a place that lacks adequate infrastructure.Now, explain again how ANY of this is selfish for my own person? All of these would help the ENTIRE community. Grow up.

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

KSA_21_3503 but you are asking others to bear the burden of $150 million dollars for a road that we don't need...

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scott3460 5 years, 11 months ago

"They are, by far, the most selfish people I have ever encountered." said about Haskell.Funny, coming from someone who insists that a road be built for his/her convenience & ease of travel.Another added "Please finish the wetlands." by which I assume they meant finish the SLT, but perhaps they got it right, after all. My wish: that those of you who cannot be bothered to pay more for a south of the river alternative someday come to appreciate the harm you are doing.

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"and in Lawrence: who do you think will suffer the most if the "foreclosure tsunami" hits? East or West Lawrence?I think West: I think those folks are rather over-extended:"No disagreement here."as for the 20 minutes each way: that's ridiculous:if it's taking someone 20 minutes to get from Wakarusa to Harper in the morning they must be getting lost:I drove it in ten minutes yesterday evening at 5:00:"Sometimes you may get lucky. Nevertheless, on average Wakarusa to Harper takes 23 minutes, double that if you take 23rd."as for the burden: it belongs to the people who brought it on themselves:"And...? I'm not suggesting that anyone else bear this burden. I'm saying that given the current conditions (The exact conditions you describe), Lawrence is in big trouble. When these people can no longer make it work, Lawrence will lose a huge chunk of tax revenue. The SLT will alleviate this and provide for long-term stability. That is the whole point.

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plainspeaker5 5 years, 11 months ago

I can't believe I'm on here, having read the insane comments, but I can't stand it anymore.I do not claim to be an expert on any of this, but common sense must prevail, so, here's my 2 cents on SLT:1) Any native American discussion in this situation must be removed. You live here. You are a violator of any "land grab" that you are lamenting. It is intellectually fraudulent to make any argument on behalf of the native Americans if you are not one and still reside here. That discussion ends now.2) Lawrence would be in a world of hurt if it weren't for those that commute to KC and Topeka. Given that our property taxes are due in a few days makes that all the more topical. Any criticism about those folks that do all that driving ought to be met with a rebate check on their property and sales tax money spent here.3) As I understand the 31st street history, there were NO wetlands along that road in the 1970s. That was told to me by a lifelong resident. It was a farm. Now, the offer is to expand current square footage of the wetlands and improve visitor access. Why is that wrong?!? 4) 23rd street is rather embarrassing for a city that thinks of itself as the likes of Boulder, CO or Berkeley, CA. I'm not the stereotype resident of those towns, but I would think those that are who live here would want the least number of people who they want to impress with their "progressive city" to be on that run down thoroughfare.Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.-PS5

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

KSA_21_3503and in Lawrence... who do you think will suffer the most if the "foreclosure tsunami" hits? East or West Lawrence?I think West... I think those folks are rather over-extended...as for the 20 minutes each way... that's ridiculous...if it's taking someone 20 minutes to get from Wakarusa to Harper in the morning they must be getting lost...I drove it in ten minutes yesterday evening at 5:00...as for the burden... it belongs to the people who brought it on themselves...

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JackRipper 5 years, 11 months ago

"all the while whining about how they need a new road to save them 20 minutes a day and a couple gallons of gas:"That's 20 minutes EACH way, so 40 minutes per day. A couple of gallons of gas ~~ $10/day.This burden will not be borne forever. Something's gotta give.________I'm assuming following your other post that you think this burden of extra minutes and fuel is some how something we all should bare by building a bypass even though it is a personal decision that a person makes who lives here and works there. Here is the cheaper decision, how about living in one of those JOCO shacks instead of the ones in west Lawrence and then we wouldn't need the road and you wouldn't have to drive so much.

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JackRipper 5 years, 11 months ago

We should out of just plain common sense be building more wetlands in the first place but that will never fly now that we decided we need more corn so we can pretend the lifestyles we created can continue on and pretend that the demand for fuel worldwide isn't going to be a factor. That's the way we do it though, one crises to the next because the giant ponzie scheme must continue. We may see the final leg ready to be pulled out in the months and years to come. Have we forgot not only are we in debt out the wazoo personally and at the government level but now we can start adding Social Security and Medicare to the equation since now we will be paying out more then is being taken in. When will it begin to make sense to you all? We are building more infrastructure and not taking care of what we already have and even that fund is going down the crapper.

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timetospeakup 5 years, 11 months ago

KSA_21_3503 - just curious, is there a special reason for your name? Seems odd to pick that statute as your name.

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"and: it may be a little late for those folks to move out now, anyway:not sure who would be interested in buying any of those over-sized, over priced crap shacks:"Just wait, the foreclosure tsunami will be here soon enough."all the while whining about how they need a new road to save them 20 minutes a day and a couple gallons of gas:"That's 20 minutes EACH way, so 40 minutes per day. A couple of gallons of gas ~~ $10/day.This burden will not be borne forever. Something's gotta give.

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

KSA_21_3503 first off... I don't think there is anything precious about the T... I view it much as I do the west Lawrence dream road...those who use it should pay for it... as for what would happen if all the commuters left town... along with the tax base dropping so would all the expense the city has to dump into new west Lawrence development and it's upkeep... and... it may be a little late for those folks to move out now, anyway... not sure who would be interested in buying any of those over-sized, over priced crap shacks...and: if people could sell they'd likely lose their shirts... and pants in the process...I think they're stuck with them... and the $2,000 plus a month mortgages... and paying $4 dollars a gallon for gas... as they drive 70, 80 miles a day... so that they can pay the $2,000 plus a month for their mortgage...all the while whining about how they need a new road to save them 20 minutes a day and a couple gallons of gas...

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chzypoof1 5 years, 11 months ago

Jack/Bozo...you know what happens when you assume right? If I and my "money grubbing, SUV driving" commuters leave the town that we love, you will lose our tax money and our overall commitment to the community. Oh yeah, remember, we're going to create MORE wetlands from this project. That's a convenient thing to forget in this argument. Have a nice day everyone!Viva la SLTpoof

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Yep, the bedroom community sprawl that was passed off as economic development is showing itself for the elaborate pyramid scheme it always was.

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kansas778 5 years, 11 months ago

Yep bozo, schools, roads, firestations, parks, how terrible! I can see why you are so against this.

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JackRipper 5 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, that is where lack of political leadership has really burned us. In their desire to benefit their cronies they overbuilt the west side bringing more expenses to the entire city and we haven't even built the new sewer system but this was predicted. While those who crammed down everybody's throat their right to drive their ol SUV to KC everyday since it was affordable when you mortgaged the house for value that wasn't there now are finding out that all that hot air was really just hot air. Now the rest of us are suppose to pony up and help them out by trying to lure in companies for jobs at our taxpayers expense. Yep, same mentality that screwed the Native Americans, by gosh we are greedy bastards.

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"if they like sterile they should consider the new developments in Eudora: or western Johnson County: maybe De Soto:it's their choice:"Be careful what you wish for... This town could not survive a mass exodus of the commuters living on the west side. The money coming into this town comes from them. No westside residents -> drastically reduced property tax base. You think the precious 'T' is in trouble now...that's just the tip of the iceberg.

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

KSA_21_3503~chuckle~if they like sterile they should consider the new developments in Eudora... or western Johnson County... maybe De Soto...it's their choice...

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"They used the property to build schools, a firestation, and a nature preserve. Yep, that sounds like something a bunch of "cronies" would do! You are a joke."You forgot 31st Street, which along with the school and the firestation, as well as Broken Arrow Park, were necessary to facilitate the development projects of said cronies.And Haskell had no problem with Baker controlling their land as long as they restored the wetlands (which had been there for thousands of years, for all of you ignorant of local natural history) and were using it as an outdoor, living classroom. The problem comes when they sell it off for $8 million dollars for the purpose of paving it over.

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JackRipper 5 years, 11 months ago

chzypoof1 you are so right. I mean the Native Americans have really cut into that American pie too much. Let's be sure that we get it all. They were here before we were. They were using the land. Maybe not the way you money grubbers think it should be used but were making due. Many were willing to share the land, made treaties allowing commerce. We violated our own treaties! Have you no sense of honor or decency to recognize that many of them played by our rules and were still screwed so you really think they don't have an attitude that this one little piece of land that they honor in their way hasn't legitimacy? And as far as farming, is that all you think land is good for? Do you not recognize that land sitting idle doing its own thing is actually not providing service that you may not be able to put a dollar sign on like cleaning the water and providing habitat? Is land really so scare that we can't just let this little piece of land alone?As far as commuting isn't the problem that people moved here to work there? There were never that many jobs here goof! Why should people who chose to move here think that someone is going to create jobs when the job engine is the major metropolitan city to our east which is also building the same cheap homes over there that you want.

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"and many of them choose to live in far west Lawrence:that probably still doesn't cover it all: but what people choose to do is worth a bit of consideration:"The minute East Lawrence cleans itself up, these people will be willing to consider living there. You can't really be serious, though. There is no question that West Lawrence is far nicer than East Lawrence. Space, cleanliness, quietness as opposed to crowdedness, filth, and noise. Gee, I wonder why people want to live out west?!?!

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

chzypoof1 you missed the part about how those commuters choose to live here in Lawrence... and many of them choose to live in far west Lawrence...that probably still doesn't cover it all... but what people choose to do is worth a bit of consideration...

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chzypoof1 5 years, 11 months ago

I always love when this topic comes up. The "intelligent" comments ooze out from the "protectors" of the native americans. Let's make it simple:1. It is the BAKER wetlands. Not Wakarusa. Not your decision. This land was given to the natives for farming. They chose not to farm it, so BAKER took the land back (legal). End of story.2. This is DOUGLAS COUNTY land, not Lawrence. No more letters from you or the city will stop the project.3. Commuting from Lawrence to KC will not stop until better jobs come to Lawrence. We will never get that when our infrastructure, including the bypass, are a joke.I think that about covers it. Thanks Bozo for inspiring me to help explain the facts.Poof

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kansas778 5 years, 11 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: Oh, come on. Haskell was run by white folks looking out for themselves and their cronies for decades, including when the transfer of this property initially happened.******LOL, complete ignorance. When the transfer of property intially happened, bozo thinks they had the SLT in mind! What a dope. They used the property to build schools, a firestation, and a nature preserve. Yep, that sounds like something a bunch of "cronies" would do! You are a joke.

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

~chuckle~newsreader... the most exspensive street repair project done in this city over the past several years was all that work on Kasold...I already got the bill for that...I think it would be great if you all paid for your roads (including this 150 million dollar dream road) and we paid for ours...

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JackRipper 5 years, 11 months ago

Guess it is easy to overlook all the LEGAL treaties with the Native Americans, many who helped whites, that were broken. What whites did in regards to teaching them our laws and then showing them how they could be broken was reprehensible. The same mentality exists today as the money grubbers continue to cram down everybody's throats there way of doing things. Even when commuting to KC from west Lawrence may be coming to a halt for many as the insanity of our way of doing things starts to hit the wall.Not surprised that many in this town apparently feel that they can walk all over the Native Americans since as proud as Lawrence is of it's "free state" status the dirty dark secret is Lawrence also was segregated up until the 60's. Many times I think Lawrence is far more redneck then any city in Kansas as is constantly demonstrated on this site.

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newsreader 5 years, 11 months ago

Stuckinthemiddle;I live in West Lawrence and I dont need to pay for the constant upkeep on your crappy roads, mabye we could just send you and your other East Lawrence residents a bill for that??

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swhite 5 years, 11 months ago

I've lived in Lawrence all my life. I've lived in the south/southeast part of Lawrence. I went to Broken Arrow and the old South. I don't remember such an uproar about the wetlands until they wanted to finish the SLT. I think they should finish it. Yes our family enjoys the wetlands. We have tagged butterflies and watched all the other living things there but please finish the SLT. The nature will survive and continue to grow. I remember when the city captured the beaver that was living at 31st and Louisiana. They thought he was gone. Guess what there are still some there and at Mary's Lake. Please finish the wetlands.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Oh, come on. Haskell was run by white folks looking out for themselves and their cronies for decades, including when the transfer of this property initially happened. It's only been over the last 20-30 years that Indians actually gained meaningful control over their own property. That they weren't able to cover every legal contingency to regain control of their property may mean that the transfer is "legal," but it certainly doesn't make it any less larcenous.

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"I really don't care about the veneer of legality that might be overlaid on the theft of the wetlands."Ahh, but it is so much more than a "veneer." It IS legal. The law is applied equally, to all parties. But for some reason, Haskell believes that it deserves special treatment. Haskell would rather cause conflict at every turn than try to work on building a positive relationship with its neighbors. Haskell doesn't care about anyone else, indeed Haskell wants to make everyone else's lives as difficult as it can get away with.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

I really don't care about the veneer of legality that might be overlaid on the theft of the wetlands. The disrespect of Haskell in this whole debacle is merely a continuation of the racism that has typified European attitudes towards Native Americans for 500 years. So you can drag that little legal fig leaf over your barely concealed racism-- but your racist ass is still butt naked.

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"As long as you can find a legal rationale for stealing Native American lands, it's OK. That's the Euro-American way."Better yet, it's the law. On another note, just how far back to the Native Americans claim to have an interest in the lands in question? 90 years? Is that about right? And before that? Right... facts seem to always get in the way of your inane ramblings.Here, I'll save you the trouble: Of course I would be looking to facts and reasonably objective measures of justice, I'm a "racist." "Non-racists" like you look to fairy tales and pejorative rhetoric for your evidence (ironically based entirely on the race of the speaker).

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

you know... people drive on 23rd by choice...

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ralphralph 5 years, 11 months ago

Michael Caron -- "I have no doubt that the road will never be built there."Me -- "I doubt that the road will ever be built ... anywhere."See you on 23rd St.! Enjoy my fumes!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

As long as you can find a legal rationale for stealing Native American lands, it's OK. That's the Euro-American way.

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"What have you done for Haskell, lately, KSA_21_3503, aside from advocating the theft of their land?"We've been over this bozo. It is not Haskell's land. Even if it was, the statute of limitations ran decades ago. Adverse possession laws apply. Keep fishing.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"Haskell people don't care about Lawrence."What have you done for Haskell, lately, KSA_21_3503, aside from advocating the theft of their land?

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

Just wait, tuschkahouma will be here soon enough with incomprehensible posts touting the virtues of the wetlands and the inherent racism in this decision. Bozo and tuschkahouma will team up as a duo of idiocy in an effort to make you apologize for the trail of tears and submit to Haskell's every whim.Haskell people don't care about Lawrence. They will do everything they can to make the rest of our lives as difficult as possible. They are, by far, the most selfish people I have ever encountered. "It doesn't do anything for us, so no one else should have it."

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"I think everybody feels pretty good about what has been done and the attention that has been paid to all the details," Johnson said. "Everybody" being the movers and shakers who expect to make a killing off of this road, and likely the only folks Johnson talks to or cares about."The SLT will be built right down the middle of 32nd street whether Haskell, who cares nothing about Lawrence, likes it or not!"You've already flown your racist flag high on these forums, kubacker, and we know what you really mean is you couldn't care less about Haskell or what they want for their wetlands.

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kubacker 5 years, 11 months ago

Bob Eye isn't a "noted environmental attorney." He is a local yokle Topeka lawyer with nothing to point to but the SLT case, which was a no-brainer to win on the first pass because obviously an environmental impact study had to be done before the road was built.It won't matter who their attorney is because all the administrative hoops have been jumped through and all the law is on the City's side. The SLT will be built right down the middle of 32nd street whether Haskell, who cares nothing about Lawrence, likes it or not!

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Poon 5 years, 11 months ago

All we need in Lawrence is a giant roundabout with four exits. The exits will be for:1. Memorial Stadium2. Allen Fieldhouse3. Mass. Street4. The Dirty BirdIn the morning, we will leave our house which is about to be foreclosed, drive to our job which does not exist, and occasionally exit to a city street that we can not afford to repair due to a lack of tax base because of our desire to discourage businesses from locating here. In the center of the roundie, we will build a museum which will chronicle the demise of a city through economic policy.

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm not concerned about the wet lands... I believe nature will take care of itself, whether this road goes in or not...but I'd rather not have to pay for something that I don't need...us folks who live east of Iowa really don't need this raod at all...maybe there should be a tax just for those people who live west of Iowa... or make it a toll road...

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K_dub 5 years, 11 months ago

What I don't understand...if Baker is agreeable to the decision [and that's who "own" the current wetlands], then why does anybody else have a say in the matter?I'm probably being extremely naive...but, it makes sense [an absent detail these days] that Baker would make this decision.

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c_dubya 5 years, 11 months ago

"It is estimated that about $150 million in funding is needed to complete the project."This is the only time in my life I've ever said please increase my taxes. Build the road. Now.

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doubledogleg 5 years, 11 months ago

many thanks to Senator Pat Roberts who was the key person in initiating this permitting process. this is a huge step. Thank you Senator.

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