Archive for Thursday, September 25, 2008

Steep order

It’s unfortunate that a key route to the Kansas University campus will remain closed through the winter.

September 25, 2008


It may not be safe to open Indiana Street now, but city officials should keep the pressure on developers of the new Oread Inn project to get the street open as soon as possible.

Although developers had hoped to open Indiana Street partially from 11th to 12th streets this fall, they now are asking the city to keep the street fully closed for almost another year. City commissioners decided Tuesday to review the situation in February to see whether the street can be opened sooner.

Unfortunately city commissioners have little leverage in this situation. The hotel construction has created a dangerous situation in the area, including a hole 30 feet deep and a large crane operating just a few feet from Indiana Street. It would be unsafe to allow traffic in the area now, but is there any possibility the street could be at least partially opened by February or even earlier?

Indiana Street is one of the least steep routes to the Kansas University campus, putting it in high demand during icy weather. The city and the developers have promised to put a priority on treating 11th and 12th streets for ice and snow, but it will be a tall order to keep either of those steep routes safe for motorists if we have a harsh winter.

There's no going back on this project, so it seems that city officials and the community now must depend on the goodwill of the developers to try to get Indiana Street open as soon as possible. It's unfortunate they misjudged their ability to open the street this fall; hopefully, as work progresses on the hotel project, they will find a way to beat their latest street-opening estimate of August 2009.


Chris Ogle 9 years, 7 months ago

One would think the contractor would have known about this before starting the project... After all, it is about location, location, location.

grimpeur 9 years, 7 months ago

Oh, believe me, the view from Mangino-Vue Terrace Condos will make all this hassle soooo worth it. At least for the four people who will live there, where they and the rotund ringmaster of the circus at the bottom of the hill can admire each other through their panoramic windows across three football fields. Ye gods, the colossal hubris and freakish disconnect between these two projects (football complex and appended hotel) and the needs of the citizens of this city truly epitomize the way KU simply tramples our streets, drains our pocketbooks, and completely takes for granted our continued support, both willing and forced.TIF for this lovely foam building? Of course. Whoops, we broke your water line and who could have predicted that the project would have far greater negative impact than we originally let on? (Answer: about 95% of observers.) You weren't using that street, were you? Meanwhile, across the street, the players can't walk from Anschutz to the stadium or to any of the four (three outdoor and one indoor) practice fields immediately adjacent to the existing training facility? Obviously, we need to build fields five and six. And a new training facility, coz that state-of-the-art weight room in Anschutz sucks! Oops, someone might see the team practicing! Quick build a wall! Of trees! No, bricks! No, dryvit and styrofoam in a nice post-industrial-beigy-tannish-blah to match the new hotel and every other architectural error legitimized by mere repetition. Sorry about the view, and you were only using that walk from the campanile down the hill once per year, anyway, but we need this wall to prevent freeloaders..errr, spies from watching KU football.

Tony Kisner 9 years, 7 months ago

The Crossing and Yellow sub never had these types of issues.

grimpeur 9 years, 7 months ago

You know, this KU sports machine, with its tentacles reaching into the surrounding streets, would make a great model for any high school or school district seeking to cram a sports facility into a neighborhood completely unsuited to support the traffic, lights, and construction it would require. Especially if said neighborhood were, say, already overwhelmed with the cars of students and faculty driving their less-than-a-mile commutes, alone, in seven-passenger comfort, dumping their fast-food trash in the streets and lawns, and generally creating artificial demand for even more parking. After all, who could have predicted that Centennial would be targeted as a place to build more parking and encourage more and more people to drive to LHS when they should be walking, thus generating even more need for future taxes to support the abuse of our roads by lazy drivers? Or that the "surplus" of 2+ million bond dollars would give grisly birth to such an idea? You know what? Let's forget transit. Forget sidewalks near the biggest destinations in our city? Let's skip the bike facilities on campus and in town (KU's definitely in the lead here). We don't need chaperones to walk our kids to school, and we certainly don't need Safe Routes to School. What we need is to make sure that every cent we spend from here on out goes to new parking lots, TIF financing of KU's ancillary needs disguised as private enterprise, a second (and third) stadium for USD497, and making darn sure that the only way to get anywhere in this city is by using my own car. Except on Indiana St. So far, so good!

sunflour 9 years, 7 months ago

I would be willing to bet that the developers knew before they ever started that they would close the street for more than a year. They just kept it a secret, and are using the "beg forgiveness later" mentality.

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