Archive for Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lawrence Transit bus winds up in ditch near East Hills Business Park

A Lawrence Transit bus became stuck in a ditch Wednesday after leaving the roadway. None of the passengers were injured during the accident and the bus was towed from the ditch.

April 7, 2010


A Lawrence Transit bus ended up in a ditch near East Hills Business Park Wednesday afternoon. According to a spokesperson for the T, who was at the scene, the bus was heading for Vangent in the East Hills Business Park when it left Noria Road and ended up in the ditch. The spokesperson said no passengers on the bus were injured and that they walked to Vangent.

A Lawrence Transit bus ended up in a ditch near East Hills Business Park Wednesday afternoon. According to a spokesperson for the T, who was at the scene, the bus was heading for Vangent in the East Hills Business Park when it left Noria Road and ended up in the ditch. The spokesperson said no passengers on the bus were injured and that they walked to Vangent.

A Lawrence Transit bus found itself in a ditch near the East Hills Business Park Wednesday afternoon.

According to a spokesperson for the T, who was at the scene, the bus was heading for Vangent in the East Hills Business Park when it left Noria Road and ended up in the ditch.

The spokesperson said no passengers on the bus were injured and that they walked to Vangent.

Noria Road was shut down at Kansas Highway 10 in an effort to get the bus out of the ditch.


devobrun 8 years ago

The passengers probably numbered about, um, two.

1029 8 years ago

ha, lawrenceguy40 has been on a Lawrence bus before? right.....

Or maybe he meant that one day he was lurking behind a tree or something on the side of the road when he saw a bus drive by and only saw one passenger?

Bud Stagg 8 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

fairplay 8 years ago

That is an impressive distance off the road! Glad no one was injured. Sad that we now have to use funds from the Transit budget to pay for recovery and fix the bus. It now becomes a double waste of money.

geekin_topekan 8 years ago

I wonder if the insurance company will check the drivers cell log.

LogicMan 8 years ago

Maybe the driver was daydreaming about his swampbuggy racing days?

sad_lawrencian 8 years ago

I'm tired of people talking about the city transit system and calling it a waste of money! Lawrence needs its bus system! Many people rely on it daily to go to work and back. If you all really feel the T is a waste of money, do something about it! Don't just sit around on your rear ends, making idle comments on here. Direct your concerns to the city commission where those types of remarks belong.

Anyway, is there any explanation of how this accident happened? Not looking for glib comments about alleged cellphone use. Looking for something substantive like too much water on the road surface or something like that.

NotASquishHead 8 years ago

Typical squishhead...

1) "I'm tired of people talking about the city transit system and calling it a waste of money!" = Sounds just like Hussein Obama's philosophy... I'm so tired of people calling Socialized Healthcare bad things....

2) "Not looking for glib comments about alleged cellphone use. Looking for something substantive like too much water on the road surface or something like that." = Another typical squishhead mindset. Always trying to blame someone or something else for their mistakes, never taking responsibility for their screw ups.

Sure looked like the road was plenty dry to me. It would take a lot of running water to wash a bus like that off of the road. Try again....

parrothead8 8 years ago

So if people can't afford their life, they should move? Where do you suggest people move to? India? It's expensive to live everywhere in the USA, and many of the jobs our society demands don't make enough to sustain a decent living.

A city without a bus system demands that all citizens own a car. When all jobs in Lawrence pay enough for all people to own cars (and all the associated costs that come with them), then we won't need a bus system.

Kat Christian 8 years ago

Thank you and I agree with you. We do need this bus system, though I think the routes and times should be more efficiently curtailed. Not all people have the luxuary to own a car. Remarks like those are just so snobbish and that is what our society has become. They wouldn't be so snobbish if they lost everything and had to start from the bottom up again.

But anyway, I just don't see how that person ended up in the ditch. Crappy driver I say. Not paying attention. I've driven those buses before and they are easy to manuver. The only way that person ended up there was not paying attention. I just bet they were on the cell phone. Oh well I just wouldn't want to be that person right now. Good luck to them.

tomatogrower 8 years ago

My granddaughter's car was out of commission the other week, and she wanted to take a taxi, but she goes to work when a lot of other people go, and the taxi's told her they were all booked up. I showed her how the bus would be easy for her to take, and save her money. The bad thing is the buses aren't running when she gets off work.

Liberty275 8 years ago

The cure for that is owning two cars.

youarewhatyoueat 8 years ago

healthcare moocher, I'm glad you've never had a car break down so you couldn't otherwise get to work across town, that you make enough money for $9 + tip cab fare for every day you don't have a car. I'm glad you never needed to work your way up to afford a car (most of us were not handed cars when we hit 18 and went to college/the work force--some even have to work at 15 to help their families pay bills instead of saving for a car).

Most of all, I'm glad that 75% of this town does not share your extremely black and white view. Here's an idea: if the T bothers you so much, Eudora does not have any public transit. Go ahead and move. I'm thankful to have the option of it, even if it is not as efficient as we'd all like.

I happily pay the extra sales tax so if my car has to be in the shop for a few days, I don't have to sweat making it to work. So I can make it across town without having to put so much wear and tear on my car. Obviously, you've had it so easy, you don't even have to think about these things.

bearded_gnome 8 years ago

I'm just glad nobody was hurt!

and it is important to note that when put to a vote, both measures for the T passed with 70% of the vote, pretty much all over town.

think_about_it 8 years ago

Whiners like that don't have any friends. They can't take care of themselves and keep spending other peoples money.

youarewhatyoueat 8 years ago

Dial a friend. So, what if the friend, or even friends, can't, because of other obligations? Like family, their own jobs, etc. Maybe some don't have cars because they can walk to work and the grocery store--easy to do in certain areas of this town (but not all). Funny you mention it, because I do in fact take a friend to work every day, an hour earlier than I go, but if I ever get sick (really sick), the bus is the only option. BTW ever tried the cab companies here in town? I have gotten no answer for 20 minutes before giving up more than once.

As for people "not voting" because of work, the polls open early enough and stay open late enough for most to make it if they truly want to vote. I also believe there is a law about employers allowing you time to vote if you indeed work all those hours.

I see you also don't like the bike paths. Isn't biking an alternative to your loathed T bus? So you'd rather people take out bad loans for cars they can't afford? That sounds familiar...

vega 8 years ago

Really, how it ended up in a ditch?

youarewhatyoueat 8 years ago

I'm sure there's people who take the T bus and don't stop at the liquor store. I'm also sure there's people who don't who

70% of the voters made that decision. Not just me. It is how our voting system works.

I don't take bong hits, I operate heavy machinery and submit to random drug tests and always pass ;) Operating heavy machinery isn't exactly the laziest job, either. Sure more hard work involved there than sitting behind a desk or trading on Wall Street.

youarewhatyoueat 8 years ago

first sentence was supposed to say "some do, some don't."

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

When I read this story's first sentence, I imagined a bus waking up with a hang-over, opening its eyes & saying "what did I do last night?" :)

Moderateguy 8 years ago

"Your City in Motion" Wow, that may be the most profound photograph ever published on this site. It's like an onion. So many layers...

Yup, my Window's desktop now as well. Wish it was a little higher resolution.

terrapin2 8 years ago

Fortunately Healthcare_Moocher doesn't make these kinds of decisions for the rest of us civil citizens. I too am tired of the trash-talk about the Lawrence bus system. Obviously the folks who are so against the T aren't doing much more than whining about it in this online arena.

For those of you who are still complaining about the city bus system I suggest you wake up and face the reality that Lawrence is a big enough city to require a transit system, and now that the Lawrence system is interlinked with the KU bus system it isn't likely to go away anytime soon! If you don't like your tax dollars paying for it I suggest you leave Lawrence and move to a smaller town that doesn't have a bus system!

JuliansWright 8 years ago

If you are so upset at how things are run in this city...why not move?

frustratedtenant 8 years ago

So, I assume that you'll be running for some sort of office since you're obviously the smartest person around. Poor does NOT equal stupid... in your case wealthy/rich equals ignorant. Have some compassion.

maxcrabb 8 years ago

Did i see someone say they couldn't vote against the T because they were at work!?!?


sad_lawrencian 8 years ago

In response to Not A Squishhead:

This is what's wrong with this forum. Lazy people sitting around and calling other people names. I am a "squishhead" because I said I'm tired of the trash talk directed at the local bus system? And because I asked for an explanation for the bus going off the road?

If the people who use these comments for name-calling and making idiotic comments directed their time and energy toward useful and productive resources, like attending city commission meetings, Lawrence would be a much better place to live. Instead, these people sit around, make idle comments, namecall and blame government, Lawrence voters, and whoever they please for all of society's ills. They are bullies and they've chosen the relatively safe environment of the LJW website as a means to an end.

I work in the area of East Hills and I know the streets over there can be flooded quite often, especially in heavy rain and bad weather. Most of us who work there drive ourselves to work. Sometimes we have to find alternative ways to come to work, including utilizing Lawrence's taxicab services and the T. Walking to East Hills is impossible because it's out on the highway. That leaves the T as the only option for transportation from time to time. I'm happy to have it and I hope it continues to be funded by the city.

As far as asking for a logical explanation for the bus accident, as someone who drives to East Hills every day, perhaps there is a road issue or traffic issue I should know about, so the same thing doesn't happen to me and my car. I don't even own a cell phone, so don't start in with the crapola about cell phones and driving.

I moved to Lawrence long after the T was approved by voters. I am disappointed that so many people choose to use these forums to spew their idiotic viewpoints and act like children. I would love to see the Journal-World cut out these comments completely on the majority of their stories, but now they're not going to do that because they'd lose a huge chunk of their Internet visitors. Imagine where all those people would go if they couldn't spew forth on here.

peacock 8 years ago

i am with youarewhatyoueat!!! we are a one-car family because that is more economical and environmentally friendly. so, i have to ride the bus to work sometimes, and it is extremely convenient!! we aren't moochers, bums or anything else that has been suggested by some people here. we pay taxes and support the local community. on the few occasions that we do go to a liquor store, we use a local one and DO NOT use the T to get there!

i have never seen a 'bum' on the route i take. actually, there are several students and other people in the neighborhood that use the bus to get to work as well. if you actually ever attempted to use the T, you would note that there are strict rules about using the bus to ride around all day without the intent of getting off at a stop. i also suspect the very friendly and observant drivers would ask someone like that to please exit the bus.

please stop assuming everyone is as self-righteous and entitled as you, and is able to:

  1. have all the resources necessary to NEVER rely on public transit and
  2. that everyone can fit into the neat little boxes you make for them in your head.


peacock 8 years ago

i have enough self respect that i am not going to get in to an argument with someone on a message board about my opinions on entitlements and taxes....

it is a beautiful day outside, so i am going to get some exercise by walking to work ;)

igby 8 years ago

The Toyota ghost!

"Yotota go too fast, no stopping!". Lol.

Bob Forer 8 years ago

Probably was listening to some "Asleep at the Wheel" just prior to accident. Talk about "unavoidable." A big black mark and frowny face on the driver's CDL.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

70% voter turnout is high for Lawrence,Kansas.

There was plenty of info on the matter thanks to GrassRoots Action taking the time to inform the public.

It received support from a wide spectrum of the voting public.

What else deserves the voters attention?

  1. All annexation proposals = tax increase

  2. Lawrence Public Library

  3. ALL USD 497 spending proposals( no more creative financing)

  4. All Tax Increment Financing Proposals

  5. All Tax Abatement Proposals

  6. All Bio-Science Spending Proposals(Bio-Science is a new buzzword no guarantee voters will get their money back. Many many many many states are reaching out for this same so called golden goose)

  7. All new housing develpments - with increased numbers of houses you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by residential housing does not pay for the services, they require from a municipality.

  8. All new retail developments - Lawrence has enough spending to support about 4.1 million square feet of retail space, but the City Commission permitted developers to expand the supply to over 5.5 million square feet.

Lawrence has too much retail space chasing too few vendors, which means that many stores go empty, especially in the older shopping centers like downtown.

The surplus development has stalled redevelopment plans downtown and has pushed the vacancy rates so high that disinvestment and blight now threaten. Investment, both public and private, is wasted. The taxpayers’ $8 million parking garage stands largely empty. The Hobbs-Taylor building and the 600 block of Massachusetts should be the top performing spaces in the community, but they have significant vacancies.

Kim McClure

  1. All new road projects - Developers and roads are huge and expensive budget items that never quit costing the taxpayers money

  2. Voting Out The High Dollar "Free Lunch" for Developers

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

merrill, could we see the set of links about Reagan again? It's got to be at least a day since you've posted them.

werekoala 8 years ago

Health care moocher, etc: You're not helping!

I say this as someone who is opposed to the T system, at least as it has been implemented. My objections aren't because I'm offended that the users aren't boot-strappy enough to never need a hand.

But from a practical standpoint, we're spending far too much money to benefit far too few people, all because we want the warm fuzzies that come with being able to say we have a bus system. It's frustrating because no one wants to look deeper and find out who we're really helping or how much, and if that's the most efficient way to help the most people.

I hope for instance, that you know that their ridership statistics are wildly skewed. Case in point; if you get on at Stop A, ride it past Stops B, C, and D before getting off at stop E; they don't count that as one ride, but as four rides. (A-B, B-C, C-D, & D-E). They say it's because they can't track who gets off when, but I;m sure the fact that it nicely inflates their ridership statistics doesn't hurt.

This is what really bugged me during the election, "Save the T!" You had a handful of people who were really motivated to vote, everyone else stayed home (shame on them, btw). And no one trying to save it ever really even looked at whether or not it was worth saving; it was "progressive", hence we must defend it. You had people saying "the buses aren't empty", in complete opposition to objective reality. I'm sorry, but that's disappointing. As an adult, you're supposed to be able to tell when the Emperor is streaking...

Look, basic economics says that every dollar you spend one place is a dollar you can't spend somewhere else (opportunity cost). And when we're spending several million on mostly-empty buses (ironically, the East Hills route is one of the few that tends to be heavily traveled), there has to be a better way, if only anyone wanted to hear about it. Right now, most buses/routes are mostly-empty mobile air-conditioning suites for vagrants. There's gotta be a way to spend the money more efficiently.

My ideas: - keep the buses/routes that tend to be full as is. scrap the runs that are generally empty - actual market research to determine if there are other starts/stops that could actually be filled - merge KU/T services. Interface with the Jo connector stop - with the money saved from closed buses routes, set up a system where citizens qualifying under income/disability guidelines can call the day before and schedule a round trip to/from any location in town. Calling ahead allows a route to be planned each day. They send either small T buses, vans, or private cabs with vouchers to actually take these people door to door.

There's probably other good ideas too, the fact is that just as eliminating all public transit would be a bad idea, so too is the way we're currently doing it one of the most wasteful and inefficient means possible.

verity 8 years ago

Shocking! A clear-headed person with rational ideas instead of snark and name-calling. Are you sure you're in the right place?

All kidding aside, it's nice to see some alternative ideas. I suppose it would be too much to ask you to run for city council.

Liberty275 8 years ago

My vette loves that road.

As for the bus, I pay enough taxes to support the "T" that I desrve a good laugh at one running into the ditch. Silver lining.

sunflour 8 years ago

werekoala, I think you have some wrong info: riders are counted ONCE, as they get on the bus.

The only time that the number of people on the bus from one stop to the next stop is counted is in federally mandated ridership sampling, the purpose of which is to calculate the annual passenger miles (x number of people rode y number of miles).

werekoala 8 years ago

sunflour, you're right, I misspoke.

But you're wrong too...

Because we have a nifty "hub" system, many T riders have to get on at least 2 buses to get to their destinations, sometimes more. It's a nice way to double your ridership count, without, you know, doubling actual riders...

tomatogrower 8 years ago

Maybe some of us are tired of paying taxes to fix the roads that you all drive on. Or fight wars in countries, so we can keep the oil flowing. We have been subsidizing you people who are in love with your cars for years, at a much higher price than any bus system.

Gene Wallace 8 years ago

I drove the #5 T route for a bit over a year and passed through East Hills over 1500 times. Those curves on Noria Road are hazardous in a bus, since the road is narrow, unbanked, and without shoulders or guard rails. The slightest distraction can end the bus ride in that ditch.

Close to 2000 people are employed in the East Hills Business Park. Many of them can not afford a car or taxi fare. Ever try to ride a bicycle on K-10? The T is their only way to work and back. BTW: The new Homeless Shelter will probably be on that #5 T route.

Liberty275 8 years ago

"We have been subsidizing you people who are in love with your cars for years, at a much higher price than any bus system."

Pay for my car registrations, Insurance, Gasoline and maintenance, then we'll talk. I don't have to make any car payments, so you get off easy on that one.

If you want to start complaining about your tax money going to roads, just think of them as strops of asphalt paid for mainly by private automobile and truck registrations and gas taxes or part of the nation's military infrastructure where mostly-empty busses are allowed to run.

"people who are in love with your cars"

I really love both of mine. Especially the 8 MPG beast. I drive it every nice day and leave the 25 MPG econbox at home all lonely. The extra money is worth the ride.

"Or fight wars in countries, so we can keep the oil flowing."

We fought wars to keep the oil flowing from Canada, Mexico Saudi Arabia and Nigeria? Those are our top five suppliers. Iraq is further down and I'm not even sure Afghanistan, Vietnam, Germany and Japan are on the list. Your best example would be Kuwait, but we went there after the sovereign of that nation begged us (and others) to expel a foreign invader. Wars for oil. Don't make me laugh.

My philosophy: drill here, drill when everyone else is dry.

parrothead8 8 years ago

Correct...bicycles do not pay taxes, but bicyclists do. I am a bicyclist who pays property taxes and sales taxes, the same as if I were driving a car. The only taxes I pay less than most are gasoline taxes, because I choose to drive my car less than most.

How much less road work would the city of Lawrence need if more of its citizens rode bikes instead of driving cars? I guarantee you I save the city of Lawrence more by riding my bike on a near daily basis than they lose by not getting as much money from my gasoline taxes. How much healthier would the population be if more citizens rode bikes instead of driving cars, and how much money would we save on health care if that were the case?

You are correct that we live in an entitlement world, but it's not the people who have little that are the problem. It's the people who have LOTS, think they are entitled to all of it at the expense of others, and are willing to take advantage of others to get it.

Liberty275 8 years ago

"Weird thing. Here are businesses, some of which are getting tax breaks, that don't pay their employees enough to afford a car."

Guess again. I have a pretty good idea what the working stiffs make at Vangent (even though I don't work there) and it is more than enough to buy and drive a car.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago



* In 2008, citizens overwhelmingly passed a 0.20% sales tax to support transit in its current form, and an additional 0.05% sales tax to provide new resources for route enhancements and vehicle improvements.
* Lawrence Transit System made great strides toward better coordination with the University of Kansas, establishing a joint transit planning team, implementing a reciprocal pass program, releasing two joint requests for proposal, hosting two open house events and conducting surveys to gather input from the public on what the future of transit in Lawrence should look like.
* The T joined Google Transit as the first transit system in Kansas to do so, enabling users to plan trips online anytime.

2007 * The Lawrence Transit System received the Award of Excellence from the Federal Transit Administration for the highest percentage increase in ridership in the Kansas Urbanized Area Transit Program for 2007. The annual ridership increase was largely attributed to partnership efforts in the addition of a Park & Ride facility at the University of Kansas. * Planning for the future was a theme for 2007, with participation in the T2030 Long Range Transportation Plan for Lawrence-Douglas County, an Intelligent Transportation System architecture for Lawrence-Douglas County, and the state's Long Range Transportation Plan. * Revised service and fare policies help the transit system better manage the rising demand and cost for service. * The T provided 388,325 one-way trips, and the T Lift provided 57,497 one-way trips.


* Highlights of 2006 included launching Carpool Connection, helping the University of Kansas start its Park & Ride system, improving passenger amenities by adding trash bins and route map decals in the shelters, and partnering with the University for the Coordinated Public Transportation Development Plan.
* The T provided 421,864 one-way trips, and the T Lift provided 55,176 one-way trips.


* In September 2005, the T received the FTA award for highest ridership increase for a small urban system in Kansas.
* The T provided 387,790 one-way trips, and the T Lift provided 51,341 one-way trips.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago


* Lawrence Transit System received the FTA Award of Excellence, paratransit vehicles became GPS test site with Kantronics, T exceeded its productivity goal, route enhancements were made, and a new publicity campaign began.
* The T hit its million ride mark in August 2004. The T provided 327,780 one-way trips, and the T Lift provided 49,739 one-way trips.


* Highlights of 2003 were the introduction of T stickers, E-Routes, and improvements to the Web site. Lawrence Transit System's road calls were substantially lower than the national average, according to the National Transit Database.
* The T provided 267,862 one-way trips, and the T Lift provided 45,034 one-way trips.


* Highlights of 2002 were the Triennial Review, the first Communities in Motion Day promotion, and the Community Mercantile becoming an outlet for bus pass and ticket sales. Fare revenues were almost equal to state funding, and federal funding was greater than local funding.
* The T provided 234,743 one-way trips, and the T Lift provided 45,485 one-way trips.


* The first year of service provided 155,737 one-way trips on the T fixed route service and 44,408 one-way trips on the T Lift ADA complementary paratransit service.


* The Public Transit Advisory Committee (PTAC) was established April 11, 2000.
* Lawrence Transit System began service December 16, 2000 on a very icy and snowy day.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

Riders Dec 2009 - 44,180
December 2008 31,420

Average Daily Rides in December : 2009 - 1,767
December 2008 - 1,208

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

Pilgrim supports tax increases by way of local big government corporate welfare to our wealthy real estate/developer industry that in essence is trying to kill downtown. And by approving more residential projects that in fact do not pay for themselves = tax increase.

Isn't it time our wealthy real estate/developer industry paid their own way? From what I've read this may well be the group that DOES NOT pay personal property taxes on their empty properties.

Lawrence Kansas could easily live without anymore new neighborhoods,or new streets or developers who raise our taxes with the approval of the so called representative government.

This so called representative city commission was elected with only 12%-15% of voters participating. Low low low voter turnout. Because of low low low voter turnout there was not a mandate for a laissez faire reckless spending city government. Which demands at this point that certain big spending tax increasing issues SHOULD BE put to a vote once a year either in April or November when elections occur.

If citizens were forced into a vote for a public transit system that set the precedent. How do WE taxpaying citizens want to spend OUR tax dollars? Give the taxpaying citizens a voice at the ballot box once a year with a list of tax increasing projects.

Citizens indicated they were NOT interested is spending big bucks on a Chamber of Commerce PLAY project. The government did it anyway. First they hid behind USD 497 and recklessly spent USD 497 dollars of which Tom Bracciano admitted this is a part of the PLAY project as did a current city commissioner.

The new field house is indeed another portion of PLAY. It is my feeling the high dollar Clinton Lake Regional Park project also a part of PLAY.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

Taxpayers DID NOT want to spend $20 million on the PLAY project:

Instead it will likely be a $60 million tax dollar project in which TAXPAYERS were eliminated from the process. Not only that it has been hidden from the taxpaying citizens by going through USD 497 and OUR park department.

Our laissez faire reckless spending city government did not make the most fiscal prudent decision and ignored the citizens.

Yet this same government hesitates to rehab our existing library for $18 million saying we cannot afford it. Our library is not one of their special interest money projects.

YES it is time Lawrence,Kansas moved into a true representative city government system represented by way of a taxpaying citizen approval system. Taxpayers are fiscally responsible voters that would likely spend money maintaining existing resources instead of voting to increase our taxes most every week at city commission meetings.

Driver_611400 7 years, 9 months ago

Remember, Public Transportation is a common target of international terrorism. You should support public transportation. Every time you disrespect the T, the terrorists WIN. Why do you hate America?

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