31st St. decay

To the editor:

The recent protest by the “wetlands advocates” over actions taken by Douglas County to preserve the existing 31st Street (Journal-World, May 27) speaks volumes about their vision of how the wetlands should be preserved, going beyond opposition to the selected alignment of the South Lawrence Trafficway.

Traffic forecasts prepared for the SLT Environmental Impact Statement indicate that 20,000 vehicles a day will use 31st regardless of the final alignment of the trafficway, 27,000 if the SLT is never built. Therefore, the EIS presumes that 31st will need to be rebuilt and/or widened to handle the anticipated traffic load.

The same people who protested the county’s actions, and who are protesting the current EIS, are also likely to be opposed to improvements of 31st Street. Instead of making 31st into an arterial roadway, they seek to rebuild 31st in a way that discourages traffic from using it, if not outright seeking a way to remove 31st from the street system completely. Previous letters in this forum have even suggested that 31st should never have been built in the first place.

In order to achieve effective transportation infrastructure, direct impacts to the Baker Wetlands are unavoidable. Those that find disturbing the wetlands unacceptable would rather allow that system to decay.