How safe are our streets?
The Journal-World has completed an investigation into traffic accidents in Lawrence. Read the reports Sunday and Monday and on LJWorld.com.
Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, friends and anyone else helping move freshmen into Kansas University’s residence halls this weekend will be packing into what just might be the world’s largest loading zone atop Daisy Hill.
The best advice for everybody else? Get out of the way.
“It’s always going to be a mess,” said Chuck Soules, the city’s director of public works, who pushed to have road work near campus completed before Hawk Week begins. “Be alert. Be courteous. Be patient. That’s my advice.”
The mass move-in — some 3,000 students into the five halls on Daisy Hill, plus Oliver Hall down off a freshly repaved Naismith Drive — starts at 8 a.m. Sunday. During the mid-morning to late-afternoon rush, vehicles have been known to back up off Engel Road and into the intersection of 15th and Iowa streets.
This year, KU officials are asking incoming students to follow a schedule: Students whose last names start with H-R are advised to show up from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.; A-G from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and S-Z from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
For the whole day, all of Daisy Hill’s 1,156 parking spaces — except three spots reserved for staffers in Nunemaker Hall — will be limited to 20 minutes for loading and unloading. Depending on which hall they’re going to, drivers have been advised to use either Engel or Irving Hill Road.
“Come with a good sense of humor, some patience, and be ready to move it,” said Donna Hultine, director of KU Parking and Transit, awaiting her 29th annual moving day on staff.
Jennifer Wamelink, KU associate director for residence life, knows that Sunday’s congestion won’t be limited to residence halls. Once all the residents get moved in, they’ll be fanning out throughout town for food, drink and anything else that can be purchased on their parents’ dime.
“Most of our students, after they arrive, they go out shopping with their families,” Wamelink said. “I suspect that all the big stores will be busy on Sunday.”
Some students will be getting a head start.
About 1,000 students can start moving into university housing — Jayhawker Towers and GSP and Corbin residence halls — this morning. GSP and Corbin open early to accommodate women participating in sorority rush.
Students in that area will find that most of the streets are open surrounding the nearby construction site for The Oread hotel, retail and condominium project, Soules said. Even the intersection of 11th and Indiana streets has reopened, including limited access for traffic heading south.
“The road’s open, but they’ll still have equipment up there,” he said.