Letters to the Editor

Close the deal

November 4, 2008


To the editor:

Just for a moment let's leave aside the rights and wrongs of siting the South Lawrence Trafficway and look at the big picture from a pure planning perspective. Here's how it looks to me.

1. Whether we need it now or not, Lawrence is going to need a major south and east arterial at some point.

2. Because of rising land costs, it's better for the community to build it sooner rather than later.

3. Moreover, it's better to build sooner with an imperfect transportation route than later with a perfect route.

4. Opponents of the wetlands route are not going to compromise on the route, because they don't agree that we need the road at all.

5. If proponents of the road backed off from perfection and accepted an imperfect route south of the Wakarusa, it would probably get built a lot sooner.

Now getting back to rights and wrongs, it may not be fair to put the burden of compromise on the proponents, but that's how the cards lie. That raises the question of why the proponents won't compromise. Is it possible that they care more about winning battles or protecting real estate speculations than they do about closing the deal?

David Burress,


Richard Heckler 9 years, 5 months ago

According to a phone conversation HNTB did study an SOR route that would connect to an existing K-10 interchange 1057/E1900 rd. This option completely avoided the wetlands.This could be a toll road thereby users, to include 18 wheelers, become a defacto benefit district.This design was never presented to the public. Why did the proponents not want this design? I-70 connectors east of Eudora were also among the potential choices. This could be a toll road thereby users to include 18 wheelers help finance the project. This concept accomplishes many things. It services:¢ Johnson and Douglas county traffic going to northwest Lawrence or Topeka. Or Topeka going to JOCO.¢ the Eudora Business Park east of 1057.¢ East Hills Business Park and the southeast Lawrence industrial park.¢ the Lawrence airport.And it:¢ diverts traffic around the city.¢ keeps the SLT out of the wetlands.¢ reduces congestion for morning and afternoon commuters.¢ might save Douglas County taxpayers millions of dollars.¢ Eliminates use of tax dollars.¢ Eliminates the need for an eastern bypass* Would not dump fast moving traffic off uncomfortably close to the congested city limits¢ allows KTA fees to pay for the highway and maintenance.

SMe 9 years, 5 months ago

Really only one thing wrong with your observations and proposal David - It's been suggested for years but the "powers that be" the "we know more than youers" the "developers" the "lackey government officials" (local, state and federal) are inflexible in their desire for the route that many don't want. Then, of course, there's always the chance (and a pretty good one I'd say) that those who argue a more southern alignment is actually better could be right.

honestone 9 years, 5 months ago

I wonder...check and see who will financially benefit the most from the current alignment. That might tell us a lot about who wants what route and why. Does anyone know this info???

jonas_opines 9 years, 5 months ago

Man, you really do want us to have a Depression in 2010, don't you?

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years, 5 months ago

"4. Opponents of the wetlands route are not going to compromise on the route, because they don't agree that we need the road at all.""That raises the question of why the proponents won't compromise."Do you think we're all that dumb, Burress? You draw the intellectually dishonest conclusion that advocates of the Baker/Haskell/Wakarusa wetlands are reasonably stubborn but that proponents of the original SLT route somehow are not. In fact, you go so far as to suggest that what motivates SLT proponents is pride or greed, while not ascribing that motivation (or any selfish or unscrupulous motivation) to the wetlands crowd. Please.

Phil Minkin 9 years, 5 months ago

For the the proponents of 31st, it's clearly a case of "My way or no highway"

honestone 9 years, 5 months ago

Hawk...maybe it is time to fly to better places. The SLT could have been settled long ago but it seems the competing interests just couldn't come together. It seems to make sense to move the road a little south and move on but those that stand to make the most money seem like they would rather see it die in the courts

Trobs 9 years, 5 months ago

Blueharley has it right. If people want the southern route why was there no discussion. from those that had the power to move it? Instead they just yelled NO.

honestone 9 years, 5 months ago

You don't seem happy hawk...maybe its time to go now but...you are right about 23rd and LA. Too bad the south of the river issue couldn't be settled and the proponets of 32nd just wouldn't let it go to look for other options. You need to look at who's going to make the money and that is where you should start the questions.

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