A temporary traffic calming circle in the University Place neighborhood will remain, despite objections from some residents who say it is creating unsafe driving conditions.
Lawrence city commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday agreed that a traffic calming circle at 17th and Illinois streets should not be removed. About 20 residents of the neighborhood had signed a petition asking for its removal because they said it confused motorists and often created dangerous turning movements.
But commissioners also heard from neighbors who said the device was partially doing its job by slowing down motorists who travel through the neighborhood, which is between Kansas University and 19th Street.
Commissioners side with the city Traffic Safety Commission, which previously had said the device should remain in place unless a more detailed study was done on its removal.
Commissioners, though, said they understood how the traffic circle was bothersome to some residents. The device was installed in 2004 as a temporary traffic calming circle until the city could fund a more permanent traffic calming project for the neighborhood. Funding for much of that project never materialized, and four of the “temporary” devices remain in place in the neighborhood.
Citywide there are more than a dozen unfunded traffic calming projects. Commissioners directed staff members to review that list, prioritize the projects and come back with suggestions on a funding plan. Many of the devices are expected cost $20,000 to $50,000 to construct.