Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New lights near KU campus designed to improve student safety

February 7, 2012

Advertisement

Two people walk Monday evening beneath new LED lights that illuminate the sidewalk and area along 12th Street from Mount Oread to South Park and Massachusetts Street. The city and Kansas University worked together to create the safer path for pedestrians walking to and from campus at night.

Two people walk Monday evening beneath new LED lights that illuminate the sidewalk and area along 12th Street from Mount Oread to South Park and Massachusetts Street. The city and Kansas University worked together to create the safer path for pedestrians walking to and from campus at night.

Those involved in planning a lighted pathway on 12th Street between the downtown area and the Kansas University campus hope the improvements will make the area safer for students walking late at night.

The project has several components. An improved sidewalk on 12th Street runs from Louisiana to Vermont streets and through South Park to Massachusetts Street, said Mark Thiel, assistant director of Public Works for the city.

Along the path are Victorian-style light posts with LED lights triggered by a motion sensor. The lights have high and low illuminations, Thiel said, so at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m., when few people are walking by, the lights are dimmed, but they become brighter when the motion sensor is triggered.

“It’s not so much that lighted pathways will magically make the criminal activity disappear,” he said. “If we could get the majority of students using one centralized pathway from campus to downtown, just the sheer numbers would increase the safety and deter criminal activity.”

New pedestrian traffic signals are in place at 12th and Tennessee and 12th and Kentucky streets.

The project’s budget was $307,000, Thiel said — including $120,000 from KU student fees, $137,000 from the federal Community Development Block Grant program and $50,000 from city funds. Though the project still isn’t fully complete, and so the complete cost isn’t known, Thiel said he anticipated the cost should come in “significantly under” the budgeted figure.

Still to be completed, he said, are concrete brick crosswalks at Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio streets.

Elise Higgins is a 2010 graduate of KU who helped come up with the idea for the lighted pathway when she was working as the community affairs director for KU’s Student Senate.

Higgins, who lives in Lawrence, said she was encouraged to see the projects she helped start become operational during the last two weeks.

“I’m really pleased that it’s happening,” she said.

She said she hoped that the pathway would create some safety both because of the lights and because of the numbers of students she hoped would use it.

Comments

hujiko 2 years, 10 months ago

"New pedestrian traffic signals are in place at 12th and Tennessee and 12th and Kentucky streets."

Unnecessary.

gccs14r 2 years, 10 months ago

Really? How many drivers do you see stop on either of those streets to let waiting pedestrians cross?

Alceste 2 years, 10 months ago

@gccs14r: How many people have been smacked by cars while crossing that intersection? Provide the number to document the need. Another "feel good" project that wasted precious resources that could have been spent on rehabbing the core infrastructure of Lawrence....which by the way is rotting....

parrothead8 2 years, 10 months ago

So we should only make an intersection safer if someone gets smacked by a car?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

Someone was killed trying to cross that street just a couple of years ago.

appleaday 2 years, 10 months ago

Over the years there have been several pedestrians killed on both Tennessee and Kentucky streets. The idea here is to establish a walkway so that folks will have a safe place to cross for both streets. The lighting should help females feel safer. I like the idea. It makes the neighborhood look a little better as well.

hujiko 2 years, 10 months ago

Have you ever walked across either street? If there happens to be traffic, it's never more than a twenty second wait for a lull long enough to cross. Not really a big enough problem to merit such measures.

The signals were a waste and will cost more in maintaining long term; meanwhile critical infrastructure continues to decay.

classclown 2 years, 10 months ago

How about stationing someone there to hold their hands while they walk the path?

There are already crosswalk lights on 11th. Why can't the students use 11th? Or take the drunk bus?

Disgusting how this town bends over for KU at the snap of their fingers.

parrothead8 2 years, 10 months ago

Yes, disgusting how the town "bends over" to make things safer for an institution that is by far the largest employer in town and provides about half the town's population. Simply disgusting.

Alceste 2 years, 10 months ago

How many low or moderate income owner occupied homes could have been rehabilitated with all that money? When is Lawrence, Kansas going to do the right thing for the working class of this town and use community development money in a constructive fashion.

There already does exist a very small program run by the City for low to moderate income owner occupants to rehab their houses, but it is grossly underfunded because the money intended for such programs is siphoned off for these trinket tokens that really benefit nobody. The money wasted on these silly lamps which provide little if any "extra" lighting" should have been spent helping the working poor rehab (not spruce up) their owner occupied homes.

This path does nothing but serve the bar crowd going from the Oread Hotel to a downtown bar; or from a downtown bar to the Oread Hotel. It was ill thought out; ill planned; rammed down the throats of the people of Lawrence by a mere handful of clowns who clamor about "preservation" and then squander what money is available on "pretty lights". Absurd.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.