Archive for Thursday, September 10, 2009

Drawing the lines

The city should place a higher priority on repainting lane markings on Lawrence streets.

September 10, 2009


City officials seem a bit cavalier about the importance of properly maintaining the lines that mark driving lanes on Lawrence streets.

Clearly marked lanes are a basic component of driving safety in the city.

Special problems arose this summer because of the gooey liquid asphalt that was used to repair cracks in a number of city thoroughfares. In additional to raising concerns among motorcyclists who reported losing traction on the slimy stuff, the black goo also obscured lane markings that may already have dimmed with age.

In some cases, crews were hired to repaint the lines, but the city’s traffic engineer, David Woosley, said he wasn’t sure the city would have enough money to do all of the restriping that is needed. “You just have to prioritize,” he said.

That phrase has been used often in recent years as Lawrence tackles a huge backlog of street maintenance projects. Even with new sales tax revenue dedicated to trying to catch up on those projects, the overall condition of many Lawrence streets remains an embarrassment.

We understand that it is a matter of priorities, but maintaining lane markings is a safety issue. Especially when visibility is poor — at night or during a thunderstorm, for instance — clear, bright lines marking traffic and turning lanes are vital to the smooth flow of traffic. Markings that have been obscured by repair work or have simply faded with age, pose a real driving hazard.

The list of needed street improvements still is long. Cold weather isn’t that far away and potholes still haven’t been fixed from last winter. A few streets, such as Ninth Street west of downtown, got a major upgrade this summer, but those streets are the exception to the rule for Lawrence drivers.

New lane markings aren’t the only priority for street repairs, but a relatively small investment by the city in paint and labor could make a big difference in the safety of city streets.


BigPrune 8 years, 9 months ago

If the elected officials didn't let the fringe minority of our community run the show, city coffers would've been full years ago to weather the national economic crisis. City blames national economy (their cavalier attitude), when in reality, the City started its financial ruin years ago by being anti-business, and absolutely nothing has changed in the mean time.

grimpeur 8 years, 9 months ago



Hey Pavlova, once again, what "anti-business" problems have you personally encountered? How have these problems affected you specifically? What have these problems cost you? How was the city or "fringe" elements responsible for the problems? What decisions can you point to that led to financial ruin?

Folks, don't lose sight of why we have to raise special taxes to pay for road maintenance that already is not covered by the gas and registration taxes we pay. The reason is not poor budgeting in city hall or fringe anti-tax or goofy green groups.

The reason is the lazy, wasteful use of the personal auto by people who live less than two miles from work or school and drive alone, every day, past their co-workers' houses, past their neighbors' workplaces, with 5-8 empty seats in the car. The problem is the senseless addition of unnecessary parking at LHS and KU to serve customers and employees who live within walking or biking distance but choose instead to drive these embarrassingly short distances. Why? Laziness.

Laziness, and the need to be seen in the car you get your identity from. Without your car (and the status you seek in showing them off) you're nothing. But hey, you paid more than you can afford, and as long as you're overextended in debt, you might as well show off, right? And you wouldn't want your drive time interrupted by having to drive a couple blocks out of the way to pick up a neighbor or co-worker, right? And you wouldn't want anyone to think that (gasp) you don't own a car, right? Heavens, no!

The addition of parking at LHS, where too many of the students and teachers already drive stupidly short distances (because they have cars!), the continuing failure of KU to end its encouragement of this same behavior, and the refusal of lazy drivers to consider walking or biking these short distances are what causes our streets to crumble. The problem is not city hall or neighborhood groups or idle meddlers.

The problem is behind the wheel.

BigPrune 8 years, 9 months ago

grimpeur, You've read my bitch before, just look it up. How can you own 4 dump and cement trucks in this town and survive? How many employees are you down too with this City's anti-business policies, one (yourself)?

I think you are a big phony.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 9 months ago

There is one spot in Lawrence that absolutely kills me. and it could be fixed with a little simple striping. It's southbound Mass. street from south park to 14th street. This is a single lane with parking. Please stop trying to pass people on the right in this area. if you'll look to the northbound lanes, they are clearly marked with white dashes. This means two lanes. the absence of dashes means one lane. albeit a wide lane, but just one nonetheless. I implore the city to come up with some markings for this area.

corduroypants 8 years, 9 months ago

9th west of Vermont always reminded me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer adopted a stretch of highway and painted over the lane lines...

"Hey, look at this. Wide lanes. This is so luxurious."

bearded_gnome 8 years, 9 months ago

hey LJWorld, your news article introducing this topic included quote and text implying that city poobahs were surprised and amazed that smearing the goop on the streets would actually obscure the lines!

sorry, that is sorta reeeeeeeeeeeeeally obvious!

Special problems arose this summer because of the gooey liquid asphalt that was used to repair cracks in a number of city thoroughfares. In additional to raising concerns among motorcyclists who reported losing traction on the slimy stuff, the black goo also obscured lane markings that may already have dimmed

---in additional to, edit the editorial, please.

besides, editorial writer, what are you complaining about. our commissioners just voted to sink $25,000 into yet another study. tuesday they voted to hire a consultant to look into refurbishing that train depot!

talk about goofy greenie wheenies!
how many street lines could we paint for $25,000. or, how many streets could be properly fixed instead of smearing silly puddy on them?

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