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Archive for Saturday, November 1, 2008

Scary K-10

Many motorists probably will find comfort in an increased law enforcement presence on a heavily traveled local highway.

November 1, 2008

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Kansas Highway 10, especially the portion of the highway known as the South Lawrence Trafficway, has become a pretty scary road.

So scary, in fact, that many local residents probably will welcome the increased law enforcement patrols planned for the highway.

In the last two weeks, four people have died in three K-10 collisions. The accidents still are under investigation, but they have prompted concern from many residents who regularly witness drivers operating vehicles carelessly or at high speeds on the road.

Special patrols are planned today to handle traffic to and from the Kansas University football game against Kansas State University, but Kansas Highway Patrol troopers in Douglas and Franklin counties also have been ordered to spend at least two hours of every shift patrolling K-10 on a regular basis. State engineers also are looking at other steps, such a rumble strip down the center of the two-lane bypass as a way to cut down on accidents.

Rumble strips would seem to have limited effect. They might wake up a driver who was falling asleep or fiddling with a radio, but they wouldn't stop a driver from passing another vehicle at an unsafe place or time, as occurred in one of the recent fatal accidents.

It's all right to investigate physical changes to the road, but there's really nothing like the presence of law enforcement patrols - and a willingness to hand out some costly tickets - to get drivers' attention.

The South Lawrence Trafficway hasn't proven to be a particularly hazardous road in recent years, but increased traffic and speed on the bypass could be a deadly combination. Perhaps the recent accidents are simply an aberration, but state officials are right to step up the law enforcement presence and take a close look at the safety of K-10 both around Lawrence and to the east.

Comments

deec 5 years, 5 months ago

Years ago I saw a woman folding her laundry while at the stoplight on Iowa at 23rd. When the light turned green she kept folding as she proceeded north.

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none2 5 years, 5 months ago

birdsandflowers (Anonymous) says: Two things :1) Place memorials (crosses and flowers) along the SLT stretch where every accident has occurred involving a death. When I've driven along unfamiliar roads and see a number of these memorials in a short stretch, it makes me more cognizant of possible dangers.2) Think outside of the box and into the future - build a rail transportation system connecting Topeka, Lawrence, and KC. Costly?? Sure, but in the long run it will save lives, time and money. Very much needed!!============================Your post is well thought out. I would just say:1) I have seen markers before. They don't usually stay. Plus I'm not sure how much people pay attention. Currently you can see the burn spots from one accident on the SLT, and a cross with another.2) I have long thought that we need to have a regional transportation starting with the I-70 corridor between Salina all the way to St Louis. Of that area, I would think Topeka, Lawrence, KC would be quite the bulk of it on the west side. We do have Amtrak from Topeka to KC as well as another one from KC to St Louis, but these routes only come through the area once a day. I'm also not too impressed with Amtrak, they tend to put themselves first -- customers last. Using the existing rails as Amtrak does would make the cost a lot less, but then the railroads really don't like passenger trains on their tracks. That might change if we had the USPS go back onto trains. However, I'm sure the USPS had their reasons -- hopefully it was a cost savings. Otherwise, it seems like it would have been a poor move.

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none2 5 years, 5 months ago

srj (Anonymous) says:People die driving. Fact of life. I-70, I-35, 24, 59. Wear a seat belt, get off the phone, check your tires and brakes, tell the kids to shut up in, and don't drink and drive. I just solved 90% of all traffic deaths.==========================Good points. I would just add a bit more:There is another major road around here: US-40.I'm not surprised more people haven't mentioned it in these discussions. It is many more times dangerous than any of these other roads, yet no one ever talks about making it 4 lane with barriers, or even straightening it out.Also, there are many things that people are inattentive. I'm glad you know have the sense to know there isn't one inattention cause. I remember watching a lady once balancing her check book -- she was NOT her phone. She just had checkbook open.

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Steve Jacob 5 years, 5 months ago

People die driving. Fact of life. I-70, I-35, 24, 59. Wear a seat belt, get off the phone, check your tires and brakes, tell the kids to shut up in, and don't drink and drive. I just solved 90% of all traffic deaths.

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SMe 5 years, 5 months ago

mom-of-three try *47 - that's a connection to the HP dispatcher who will issue a BOLO for that vehicle. You'll find that quite often when you put the phone to your ear they'll (the tailgater) will know what's coming and back off. If they do pass you give the dispatcher pertinent information about the vehicle, driver, license, color, etc.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 5 months ago

merrill..use Osage Orange like the Texans did for security fences.The green brown slush might be a little hazardous.Odd, I lived at the intersection of the SLT and 27th/Wak.Drove it all the time, even to the west end.This is nothing in 'danger' compared to 40.Sunshine can be a problem, and those in too big a hurry. I have. too many times, seen people run the stop light going East at the stoplight. For some reason, they just don't see it, very very scary, espescially when it's a semi going 80 or more down that hill.

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birdsandflowers 5 years, 5 months ago

Two things . . .1) Place memorials (crosses and flowers) along the SLT stretch where every accident has occurred involving a death. When I've driven along unfamiliar roads and see a number of these memorials in a short stretch, it makes me more cognizant of possible dangers.2) Think outside of the box and into the future -- build a rail transportation system connecting Topeka, Lawrence, and KC. Costly?? Sure, but in the long run it will save lives, time and money. Very much needed!!

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logrithmic 5 years, 5 months ago

Folks,It's important to keep some perspective. Presently KDOT, that taxpayer funded corporate welfare agency, is spending $250 million to six lane 59 highway under the theory that converting this road from two to four lanes it will provide safe transportation between Lawrence and Ottawa (the existing two-lane road will become a service road). But, even as the brain-dead crybabies still cling to their belief that spending money on roads and highways will somehow free them of long commutes, it should be apparent that four-laning roads do not necessarily make them safer. If that was so, there would not have been any deaths on K-10.And they still want to spend $200 million to pave a shortcut between south Iowa street and K-10 through the wetlands. What a joke. Studies have proven that it will not solve the problem on 23rd Street.What is most amusing is that most of the people that continue to push for this dated sprawl type spending that benefits commuters that buy into the suburban sprawl scenario and corporate-owned truckers are the same ones that rail against taxes. It reminds me of the saying: "Their lies are old, but they tell them well." And they keep on telling them - to themselves. Which just goes to show you - you can fool yourself all of the time....

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mom_of_three 5 years, 5 months ago

And what should be done when you are driving in the left lane, passing slower cars, and some dumb head comes barrelling down the left lane, and rides your bumper until you complete your passing. Those are the ones who are probably the unsafest drivers on the road.

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dontcallmedan 5 years, 5 months ago

I'll take my K-TAG enhanced drive to KC over the Russian Roulette just-doin'-the-right-thing-one-minute-and-you're-dead-the-next K-10 experience! Just how many lives need to be wasted before safety dividers are installed?

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Centurion 5 years, 5 months ago

Parrotuya... Sounds like you should get a "Darwin Award" for that post.If you think we have a police state you should go visit somewhere that truly has a "Police State" and then reavaluate your opinion on our "Police State"Let me get this straight. You want your freedom but you want to take away the freedom of others? (week and inept)The police are chasing down criminals. They have a special division for that. It's called the Highway Patrol. And the problem with bad drivers is that the majority seem to still be alive after the crash. The ones they hit, the "good drivers" are the ones getting killed.

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feeble 5 years, 5 months ago

Parrotuya, you are off by six months, today is Nov 1st, not April 1st.

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parrotuya 5 years, 5 months ago

We don't need more police. We already have a police state so don't add to it. We need a removal of all speed limits so that the week and inept will stay off the roads. It's called freedom. The police should spend their time chasing down criminals, not wasting our time slowing us down on the highway. If bad drivers die on the highway, they should be recognized posthumously with a Darwin award.

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Chris Ogle 5 years, 5 months ago

I know this is very complex, but maybe would could slow down and pay attention.....Nope, lets throw some money at it.....

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

Forget the cement barriers that will cost too much money. Instead allow trees to grow in the median strip...stop mowing them down. Other states have plenty a natural growth barriers. "K-10 western leg (SLT) needs to be a four lane divided highway." Absolutely. Do this first and forget about the eastern leg. This western leg can be designated as an I-70 connector. Build one to the east between Desoto and Eudoragoing north off K-10...... make it part of the KTA toll road.K-10 east needs a larger contingent of troopers in the area as well. 6AM-10AM / 3PM-7PM and game day hours. K-10 is one well known highway as the K-10 speedway.

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somebodynew 5 years, 5 months ago

I am not sure about Kansas, but several states have laws against the "left lane cruisers" and actually enforce them. If Kansas has that law, it certainly is not enforced. Although even without a law, that is basic driver ed, in that the left lane is the passing lane, not the driving lane. (As in drive as far to the right as permitted.) And if you can't tell, it is one of my pet peeves!!

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hipper_than_hip 5 years, 5 months ago

There were more than the usual amount of left lane cruisers yesterday from OP to Lawrence. If you want to drive in the left lane, that's fine. Just be polite and move to the right when a faster vehicle wants to pass you.

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thebcman 5 years, 5 months ago

K-10 from Lawrence to Lenexa needs a cement barrier down the median to prevent crossovers.K-10 western leg (SLT) needs to be a four lane divided highway. It really is as simple as that. If our lawmakers were truly here to serve us, they would make the above happen ASAP.

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DouglasCountySucks 5 years, 5 months ago

The tickets to the speeders is good. The saturation of KHP is good. Now ban cell phones while driving.........................I bet not one political figure will even look into doing it......... Tickets = High insurance ,so that will help.

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tumbilweed 5 years, 5 months ago

at some point the best law enforcement coverage, 100% coverage, in fact, would be to revoke the privileges of all but the most necessary drivers. food distribution, etc.if banging your head on the wall makes it hurt, how does banging it against the wall harder solve anything?

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