Archive for Monday, June 27, 2011

Town Talk: Dillons still working on new design for South Mass store; speed cushions coming to streets near KU; seat belt fine to drop from $100 to $10

New renderings submitted by Dillons in April 2011 for its proposed store at 17th and Massachusetts streets.

New renderings submitted by Dillons in April 2011 for its proposed store at 17th and Massachusetts streets.

June 27, 2011


Subscribe to the Town Talk email edition

Subscribe to the email edition of Town Talk and we'll deliver you the latest city news and notes every weekday at noon.

News and notes from around town:

• Yes, Dillons still has plans to tear down its grocery store on South Massachusetts Street and replace it with a larger and more modern facility. But no, the company hasn’t yet received all the approvals it needs from City Hall to start the project. As we last reported, Dillons won most of the major approvals it needed from city commissioners. But commissioners didn’t like the exterior design of the proposed building. In particular, commissioners said the south half of the building was too non-descript for their liking. So, Dillons architects have been working to come up with a new design for the facade. Scott McCullough, the city’s planning director, told me recently that his office is still waiting to receive those new designs. But McCullough said Dillons continues to actively work on the project. Once the new design is submitted, it will be presented to city commissioners for approval, along with other site plan issues. Bottomline: I suspect it will be a few more weeks before Dillons has the green light to close the existing store and begin building anew.

• Motorist who use West Campus Road as an expressway into KU may get a surprise come next semester. The city and KU are teaming up to install new traffic calming devices in the area. Expect to see some “speed cushions,” which are a close cousin to speed humps, in place by mid-August. The city plans to build two speed humps near West Campus Road and Stratford and two more near 11th and West Campus Road. The $60,000 project was approved by city leaders, but will be paid for by Kansas University. The city has a long list of traffic calming projects that have been approved but haven’t been built because of lack of funding. KU’s offer to pay for the project likely was critical to making it happen. The university asked the city for the devices because of concerns about how fast vehicles travel in the area, which has a lot of student pedestrian traffic.

• There’s been a lot of attention lately on the law change that will bump speed limits to 75 miles per hour on some major highways in the state. But there also has been a change in state law impacting fines for motorists who don’t wear a seat belt. Beginning July 1, no city will be allowed to fine a person more than $10 for not wearing a seat belt. Cities also won’t be able to charge any court costs related to the offense. That’s a big change from what the city of Lawrence has been charging seat belt violators. Previously, the city assessed a $40 fine and also collected $60 in court costs. But during the last legislative session, lawmakers passed House Bill 2192, which mandated that all cities charge the same fine for seat belt violations. Previously, cities were allowed to set their own fines for the violation. (Many did, since the state fine previously was just $5.) So, to review: Speed limits on some area highways are on the way up; fines for not wearing a seat belt are on the way down.


Gandalf 6 years, 11 months ago

Seat belts are a personal choice. Shouldn't be any fine at all.

Adrienne Sanders 6 years, 11 months ago

It's only a personal choice if we let you die if you wreck. If you instead have a wreck and incur a hospital bill that you don't pay which drives up cost for the rest of us, and end up on disability that's paid for by the public's tax dollars, nope, that's not a personal choice.

KUGreenMachine 6 years, 11 months ago

So can the same be said for drinking and driving?

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Over doing drinking and smoking are wrong, but both carry huge taxes. No excuse for driving while impaired. but.....

. What does the 68 year old guy trying to act like Bruce Jenner pay for all his "athletic" injuries.

Wish there was a Math wiz out there who could tally estimated taxes paid by a heavy social drinker and smoker by say 60.

notanota 6 years, 11 months ago

You don't have to buckle in when you ride the bus. Personal choice restored.

gccs14r 6 years, 11 months ago

Stupid, stupid state. The fine should be $1000 plus a moving violation. If you aren't buckled in, you're not in control of your vehicle and are a hazard to yourself and others.

Adrienne Sanders 6 years, 11 months ago

Uh, what? I'm all for seatbelts but I don't see how the lack of one makes you not in control of your vehicle.

gccs14r 6 years, 11 months ago

If you're not belted in, you're expending effort to keep yourself in the seat when maneuvering. It's hard to steer when you're also using your hands to hang on. Before shoulder harnesses were self-adjusting and permanently affixed to the lap belt (and before side bolsters came along), I'd find myself hooking an elbow to the seatback to stay upright when going around corners. That meant that I was steering with only one hand, and that was with a lap belt on. Had I been completely unbelted, I would have been sliding all over the place on the vinyl seat.

Vinny1 6 years, 11 months ago

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

ksjayhawk74 6 years, 11 months ago

$1,000 fine plus moving violation for not wearing a seat belt? Why go easy on them?

I say mandatory 20 years hard labor plus they get put on the sex offenders registry.

Cai 6 years, 11 months ago

how in the world do you figure that a seatbelt is required for control? I can see this argument being used for cell phone use (which has all kinds of laws being changed, fines etc all over the nation).

Like dulcinea, I'm all for the mandatory seatbelt use.

However, if you're going to argue for something, it should at least be logical.

irvan moore 6 years, 11 months ago

the state cares about your well being before birth but not after?

RoeDapple 6 years, 11 months ago

You can strap me in when you pry my cold dead fingers from the steering wheel . . . . Oh, wait . . .

shadowlady 6 years, 11 months ago

Hate to differ, but I got a ticket, right there at the railroad tracks on 6th, for not stopping behind the white line, in case a train was coming, and nope I didn't have a seat belt on and I got a whopping ticket, $10.00 for no seat belt, the rest was for not stopping behind the white line and court costs, ended up being right around $200.00. And if you think they are no court cost, get a ticket.

riverdrifter 6 years, 11 months ago

That is one sorry-assed excuse to issue one a ticket, there on the 6th st. tracks. It's simply the lead to the World Company and they get a car or two a week. The switcher crews make that switch at walking speed with plenty of bell & whistle and they are not going to run into anybody. The Chief of Police should instruct his officers to stop writing these tickets. BTW, I'm surprised BNSF hasn't just pulled these tracks out long before now.

Brian Hall 6 years, 11 months ago

Have you ever been stuck at that intersection when someone was on the tracks and a train was coming? It is a pain in the butt because everybody has to work together and back up so the moron on the tracks can back up or pull forward. Fifteen minutes wasted because some idiot can't read or refuses to obey a sign.

Chad Lawhorn 6 years, 11 months ago

Hi: I got the information from this city memo: It says the fine is $40 and the city has the ability to charge $60 in court costs on top of that. I'm writing some more about this today, so I'll dig a little deeper to see if the $60 in court costs has been the city's practice or not. Thanks, Chad Lawhorn Journal-World

lawrencerulz 6 years, 11 months ago

I can tell with 100% certainity that that City does not charge court costs for a seat belt ticket. Its $40.00 TOTAL. Plus the City's court costs are only $53.00 not $60.00.

Lindsey Buscher 6 years, 11 months ago

Wait, they still enforce the white line at railroad tracks on 6th??? As in 6th and Mass/Vermont? Trains do not cross 6th anymore.

kernal 6 years, 11 months ago

cheeseburger's right, Puggy. Haven't you ever wondered why those particular tracks are in such good shape? It's because they're still in use! I have been there when the train crosses those tracks.

Wonder what the fine is for stopping on the tracks, especially when a train is trying to cross there?

mrbig 6 years, 11 months ago

I think court costs are very close to $60, but they don't make you pay them with the seatbelt tickets.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 11 months ago

Seat belt laws are just another place where the tax and spend government sees another way to relieve the citizens from their money. And that is the real issue. Make laws that are virtually unenforcable, sporadiclly applied and just plain stupid. Law enforcement needs to enforce other traffic laws and keep idiots off the streets. Seat belt laws make sense for childern, of course, but there is the same problem, most people who ignore seat belt laws for themselves will likely ignore those for childern also. You cannot cure stupid in idiots.

notanota 6 years, 11 months ago

Really? A tax? I've never gotten a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. Know why? Because I always wear one. Easy solution.

Deb Stavin 6 years, 11 months ago

Being buckled in keeps you in the correct position for keeping your hands on the steering wheel and your feet on the pedals to maintain control of the car.

Gail Grant 6 years, 11 months ago

What about the pavement done on 6th st and on Bob Billings? they are being completly re-paved

Curtis Lange 6 years, 11 months ago

Where at on 6th St? The only work currently being done is to widen the road from Folks Rd to Monterey Way.

On the seat belt topic: The fine needs to RAISED, not lowered.

pizzapete 6 years, 11 months ago

I hope we can get the Dillons store approved soon. I'm kinda bummed this is being held up. At this rate we won't have a new store until 2013.

ivalueamerica 6 years, 11 months ago

The facts around seat belts are pretty clear, while a small portion of accidents are made worse by seat belts, the overwhelming majority of accidents, seat belts save lives and limit injury.

Further, there is a very public cost to not wearing seat belts. Unpaid medical bills, adults on disability insurance, children and widows receiving SSI benefits...all out of our pockets for those who feel it is their God given right to be ignorant.

Curtis Lange 6 years, 11 months ago

Why go that far when you can go to Checkers? It is closer and you'd be less likely to be killed by the idiots on 23rd St, lol.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

As a dolt who rode the T once just to ride it I have a question to all who live sans car. The T goes nowhere near where I live or work otherwise I would give it a whirl.

OK, say if you live near Mass. Street Dillons and you want to do a go and back trip to Dilons on 23rd St. how much time would have to be spent?

Tammy Copp-Barta 6 years, 11 months ago

There's a sign right on the side of the road that says not to block the tracks.

hujiko 6 years, 11 months ago

"The university asked the city for the devices because of concerns about how fast vehicles travel in the area, which has a lot of student pedestrian traffic."

How about a lower speed limit? We really don't need more crap on the roads that will only end up causing more wear, plus the police would have a field day writing all those tickets for the freshmen and their parents.

Eugehne Normandin 6 years, 11 months ago

dillons should save money on architects and let the city commissioners design their store. maybe they forgot to add a roundabout ????

LogicMan 6 years, 11 months ago

The bankruptcy portion of the LJW shows that Papa Keno's, and separately its owner, have filed for bankruptcy. Is the shop still open?

The Kansas Tax Delinquencies website shows that he owes them bucks:

Lots of other local businesses and individuals on those lists too. It is a little surprising that we haven't heard of any more tax raids.

BigPrune 6 years, 11 months ago

This Dillons business was first reported November 5th, 2010, but discussions had already started with the City prior to that date. It is June 27th. That is 234 DAYS!?!?

234 DAYS?!?!

Sure....Lawrence hasn't changed a bit! Business unfriendly, as usual.

I bet it will be a long while before Dillons tries to do something in this town again, and who could blame them?

What's the matter with Lawrence?

pizzapete 6 years, 11 months ago

Yea, I agree it's taken way to long to get this approved. Maybe if they were building a 7 story building with no additional parking added it would have gone through a little smoother?

Carol Bowen 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't recall a hassle when the Dillon's on 23rd St. was remodeled, CVS was built, or the KMart property was redeveloped. Sometimes, variances are requested, but the design does not justify the variance.

There's nothing wrong with development standards. The problem with Lawrence is inconsistency. Sometimes the commission will approve a variance and sometimes not with no apparent criteria.

BigPrune 6 years, 11 months ago

You probably don't recall the hassle because there wasn't a traceable timeline, but I bet money it was a hassle. This is Lawrence. But you're right about too many gray areas. The facts of the matter are: Lawrence used to be a good city to work with when it came to getting things worked out and done. Now, things are done and delayed just to justify a job. The City government tripled in size during the 1990's. It hasn't shrunk a bit since, especially since the construction industry took a nose dive. With all the workers, you'd think they could get things done faster.

kristyj 6 years, 11 months ago

What's the matter with Lawrence indeed? I just got a $55 parking ticket for parking within 30 feet of a stop sign. Didn't know that was a rule. Would have been cheaper to skip my seat belt once (provided the court fee didn't happen). Oh well, I can't even get away with laws I don't know exist.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.