Archive for Friday, January 20, 2012

Street name change would create intersection of Fambrough and — ack! — Missouri

A sticker worn on the back of each player's helmet pays tribute to former Kansas coach, player and longtime supporter Don Fambrough in this file photo from September. Fambrough — a noted hater of all things Missouri — died in September.

A sticker worn on the back of each player's helmet pays tribute to former Kansas coach, player and longtime supporter Don Fambrough in this file photo from September. Fambrough — a noted hater of all things Missouri — died in September.

January 20, 2012


Not even death and conference realignment, it appears, can separate Don Fambrough and his arch nemesis, Missouri.

Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday are set to rename the stretch of 11th Street that runs along the north of edge of Kansas University’s Memorial Stadium in honor of Fambrough, who died in September.

And what intersection would that create? You guessed it, the intersection of Fambrough Drive and Missouri Street. As in, meet me at Fambrough and Missouri, and when we get there we’ll cuss, talk about Quantrill, call the Tigers a bunch of cheaters, and, for good measure, cuss a little more.

Thus far, the idea seems to have good support.

“It is perfect because hundreds of his former players and thousands of his fans will line both sides of that street on a lot of future Saturdays,” David Lawrence, a former player and longtime friend of Fambrough, said of the street that has become a prime spot for tailgating on KU football game days.

City Commissioner Hugh Carter has brought the idea of the name change forward, after hearing from former Lawrence Mayor Sue Hack and other supporters of the coach, who was twice the head coach of the KU football program in the 1970s and 1980s and played for the Jayhawks in the 1940s.

Carter said changing the name of a city street would be a way to honor Fambrough for more than just his on-field accomplishments at KU.

“You know, Fam was fired twice by the university as a coach, but neither time did he leave this place,” Carter said. “He loved Lawrence, and he was as much an ambassador to Lawrence as he was the university.”

The proposal calls only for the portion of 11th Street from Mississippi to Missouri streets to be renamed. By limiting the length, the city can ensure that no existing mailing addresses will need to be changed because of the new name.

Several years ago, supporters had tried to get a portion of Missouri Street renamed after Fambrough, but that idea drew concern from neighbors who did not want their addresses changed.

One other street in the area also will be changed to honor the coach. Kansas University is proceeding with plans to rename the private street on the west side of Memorial Stadium to Fambrough Way. Jim Marchiony with Kansas University Athletics said tentative plans are for the university and the city to host a joint celebration at KU’s spring football game in April to unveil both new street names.

Carter said he has heard from only a handful of people who have expressed concern about the idea of changing the city street name. He said most were concerned that addresses would have to be changed, although some said it could be setting a bad precedent or could create problems with GPS readings.

But Carter said the short nature of the street should limit practical problems, and he said he’s not concerned about setting a bad precedent. If anything, he said, the city ought to look for ways to honor other people who have played an important role in the city, although he said it might be easier to do on new streets because of the address issue.

Commissioners meet at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.


Jonathan Fox 5 years ago

Why does Lawrence keep changing numbered street names to other things? I'm really tired of people out of town having to ask me where 15th or 23rd street is and then have to explain to them that only a certain section of those numbered streets have a different name. It is the most confusing and unnecessary Lawrence idea ever and would make this entire article never have to exist because the street would go somewhere else and it would be no big deal at all.

Just put it somewhere else please.

Jayhawk_4_Life 5 years ago

the whole point of putting it there is because it's right by the stadium. It wouldn't mean nearly as much if it was just in some random part of town.

peartree 5 years ago

I completely agree that it is confusing, especially in a town with an influx of thousands of new students every year. Honorary street names should be posted along with the legal street names, but in an alternate color.

Uhjh 5 years ago

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

Tony Kisner 5 years ago

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

George_Braziller 5 years ago

I've lived in Lawrence for 29 years and graduated from KU. When he died I had to read the article in the paper to figure out who he was.

My only reference point was that he was some guy promoting hearing aids on a local cable commercial.

Jayhawk_4_Life 5 years ago

Then you don't know anything about KU or KU Football. I knew about Fambrough growing up in Lawrence by the age of 12 at the latest

Jonathan Fox 5 years ago

The fact that if Lawrence put his name on a different street the current conversation would never have to be a waste of everyone here's time.

Tim Quest 5 years ago

Why not just do what cities like Chicago do - "honorary" street names, marked with brown signs in conjunction with the legal name?

Fred Sherman 5 years ago

I agree completely - as well as naming Clinton Bob Billings Way back to 15th St. Some context and history to Chicago's system:

The story of Edward P. Brennan, known to admirers as the father of Chicago's street name and numbering system. A man of humble station, Ed's great passion was imposing order on the city's chaotic street nomenclature. OK, it's not up there with curing cancer. But if you've ever had to find your way in locales with less enlightened systems, you'll be grateful he was able to do what he did.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Chicago street naming and numbering was a mess, a consequence of the mass annexations of 1889-'93, which quintupled the city's area. There were 12 different Washingtons. There was a 42nd and Lake on the west side and another on the south side.

Numbers weren't much better. The city was divided into three sections, each with a more or less independent numbering system. The dividing line for east-west streets was the north and south branches of the river until you got north of Fullerton, whereupon the dividing line became Western. Since the river meandered, so did the street numbers. Streets that didn't start at a baseline usually began with number 1 at the point nearest a baseline.

Ed's wasn't the first attempt to rationalize Chicago street names and numbers; numerous suggestions had appeared in the newspapers over the years. However, as often happens in Chicago, most of them were made by lunatics. In 1901, for example, one Charles Morrell proposed that "street" and "avenue," being insufficiently descriptive, ought to be replaced with a collection of 16 street designations, including aisle, bev, obe, inter, div, veer, and erv, which supposedly would tell you what part of the city a given street was in and what direction it ran.

Fortunately, Eddie P.'s more sensible ideas appeared in a letter to the editor around the same time. Originally he wanted to have 1,000 numbers to the mile, but since south-side numbered streets were already laid out at 800 to the mile he settled on the latter figure, with a new number every 20 feet of street frontage. After considerable discussion and no doubt a determined application of clout (Ed's cousin was an alderman), the City Council approved the Brennan system in 1908, and by 1911 it was in use throughout the city.

Numbers having been dealt with, Ed next turned to street names. After much additional wrangling, the council in 1913 changed the names of 567 streets, of which Ed is said to have personally renamed 130. In general the idea was to eliminate duplication and make names of streets uniform throughout their length. Perhaps the only person in Chicago public life who didn't make out like a bandit, Eddie received a City Council testimonial for his efforts and later an honor that surely meant more to him than gold: the public way at 2300 east, from 95th to 98th, was named South Brennan Street.

Fred Sherman 5 years ago

The current method for adopting honorary street names in Chicago reflects the determination of city leaders to preserve this rational system. On Dec. 3, 1984, the City Council passed an Honorary Street Name Ordinance crafted by Charles O'Connor, head of the city's Bureau of Maps and Plats. Instead of changing a street's name to recognize a local hero, the city would create an honorary designation, posted on a special brown sign. The "real" address, however, for the purposes of mail delivery, police and fire departments, and the friend visiting from out of town, remained as part of the city's official grid-imposed street naming and numbering system.

Lawrence Morgan 5 years ago

I think FarneyMac has a great idea, one that I have also promoted in previous posts (but to no avail, of course). San Francisco does this, and people like it a great deal.

Uhjh 5 years ago

I say rename Missouri Street By Memorial Stadium!!

George_Braziller 5 years ago

I guess my full class load while trying to also work a full-time job must have distracted me. Thank you for pointing out the "important" things I missed along the way.

Jean Robart 4 years, 12 months ago

I worked at KU and never heard his name.

Abdu Omar 5 years ago

Super, your posts are way over the top. Some people don't care that much about games and coaches. Some people are interested in other areas of life such as music and theatre, art and literature instead of a "famed footballer". Frankly, I think they can name any street what ever they want as far as I am concerned and I personally don't care. Missouri is one of the 50 states and we named our streets in order of their becoming states. So whether or not they beat us or are our rivals matters not, but, what bothers me is people who are bothered about this whole affair. Who cares?

bearded_gnome 5 years ago

so ignorant that Superswagger even misspells the name of his "beloved coach!"

lol. priceless.

danmoore 5 years ago

It's his dedication to KU that inspires so much reverence for Coach Fam. You obviously don't share those feelings. Fine. Is it really going to bother you if the city renames a small section of a street in his memory. How small and petty can one person be?

classclown 5 years ago

"Carter said changing the name of a city street would be a way to honor Fambrough for more than just his on-field accomplishments at KU."


Well it would certainly have to be more since his on field accomplishments weren't really that much. The problem with that though is, what more is there? This was a dumb idea when it came up a couple of years ago, it's still a dumb idea now.

Lew Perkins still lives in Lawrence. How do we honor him? Change Naismith to Perkins Way?

bearded_gnome 5 years ago

hahaha, no, CC here's how to honor Lew Perkins:

name the exercise equipment at all of the lawrence park and rec sites "the lew perkins exercise equipment!"

that'd about do it. lol!

50YearResident 5 years ago

Now we just need to figure out where we are going to put Roy Williams Drive, Mangino Ct, and Bill Self Parkway. Anyone have some ideas?

bearded_gnome 5 years ago

friends don't let friends vote for hughey carter!!!

bearded_gnome 5 years ago

to my knowledge we do not have a 'Ronald Reagan rd.' [the greatest president in my lifetime, perhaps in the 20th cetury.

we don't have a 'Franklin Delano Roosevelt dr.' he's only the president who won the second world war.

they kinda dwarf Coach Fambro for importance in the real world.

but what I'm really intending to say here: even if we were naming a street after Reagan or Roosevelt, I would insist that we not change some portion of an existing street, not change the name of an existing street.
too many streets already change halfway through. we lose our history when we do this. we make our streets less intelligible to others. we go further and further from having a kind of intuitive organization. stop it!

put clinton parkway as 23rd, and fix Bob Billingsley parkingway!

or else, I demand that that curvey section of connecticut north of 15th must be renamed ...

"Bearded Gnome blvd.!" and if I don't get it, Iwill 'occupy' that street until I darned well get my way! qualifications? just note my thousands of posts, my opposition to flaming liberals, and heck I've coached other conservative posters. plus, I've never been fired by KU.

bearded_gnome 5 years ago

superswagg56 (anonymous) replies …

observant..No!!! You should just do a little research about Don Fambrought before you start spouting such ignorant statements!!

January 20, 2012 at 8:37 p.m.

so funny. superswagger can't even spell the name of his "beloved coach!"

classclown 5 years ago

bearded_gnome (anonymous) replies…

hahaha, no, CC here's how to honor Lew Perkins:

name the exercise equipment at all of the lawrence park and rec sites "the lew perkins exercise equipment!"

that'd about do it. lol!


Perfect! Mangino should get a roundabout.

bearded_gnome 5 years ago

Mangino should get a roundabout.

---lol! yes, a veeeeeeeeeeeery round roundabout!

bearded_gnome 5 years ago

Carter said he has heard from only a handful of people who have expressed concern about the idea of changing the city street name. He said most were concerned that addresses would have to be changed, although some said it could be setting a bad precedent or could create problems with GPS readings.

---yes, it does set a bad precedence. in fact, this highlights what I've written each time such silliness comes up:

instead of leaving street naming up to the developers, we must come up with a civic process for naming our streets. and, develop a process for the consideration of extremely rare* changes for street names, to change the name of streets in their entirety.

street name confusion and disruption likely does diminish traffic safety.

Hughey carter's comment implies that he's computer illiterate and hasn't read the complaints under ljw articles about his and other name change sillinesses.

Tony Holladay 5 years ago

That dang Missouri stopped Fambrough and wouldn't let him get to West Campus Rd. at the top of the hill!

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Forget changing the street name.

Let KU build some kind of monument in his name for whatever reason....

Changing the street name makes all street maps obsolete. Is it worth that for anybody?

muddfoot55 5 years ago

leave our streets alone! I have lived here all my life and the names they have are just fine. If you must name a street after him, do it in some new construction, housing developement that needs a name. Good Grief!

50YearResident 5 years ago

It's not fair to name a street after Fambrough without also naming one after Coach Turner Gill. I think to recognize Coach Gill a good street name would be "Ten Million Easy Way", now all we have to decide is where to put it.

classclown 5 years ago

Looking at the map...

It would appear that Fambrough Drive would be spreading its legs for Missouri. Is that the honor Hugh Carter had in mind for Fambrough all along? Very poetic.

beaujackson 5 years ago

The city can REALLY CONFUSE everyone by renaming ALL numbered streets to ones with names, like Olathe.

Most Olathe streets are named (no numbers), and even they change occasionally, which even confuse my GPS - ironic, because Garmin is located in Olathe.

Please stick with numbered & named streets, and do NOT change names for a few blocks.

It's impossible to give, or find, directions when streets change names.

Also, please leave the trash system "as is".

jayhawklawrence 5 years ago

I think this is the best idea that I have heard introduced by a city commissioner in the past few years.

Some people will probably never understand the value of a man like Fambrough in the same way that some people will never appreciate Shakespeare.

I vote YES!!!

Matt Schwartz 5 years ago

are you talking about that sissy sport soccer...and i'd pay a dollar to watch you eat a dog turd.

guess_again 5 years ago

If we renamed more of the streets in town for people who were wonderful people, none of us would be able to navigate to anywhere.

Street signs have a purpose. Navigation. If they want to add a second honorific name to a street (with an additional sign), that is OK I guess, but I am not sure the late Coach even deserves that.

Numbered streets are for way-finding, not honoring people.

This is as stupid as Bob Billings, (who was also a wonderful man), and Clinton Parkway.

danmoore 5 years ago

I like Farney Macs idea. It would satisfy those who find the name change confusing and challenging.

Ockhams_Razor 5 years ago

This idea reflects the tiny size of Commissioner Carter's brain and male body parts.

H_Lecter 5 years ago

Let them name the SLT after him.
Leave the existing street names alone.

Dayna Lee 5 years ago

I'm from here. I call 23rd street -23rd street. I call 15th street-15th street. (The whole thing.) The numbered streets are very handy when trying to find something. I do on occasion call 23rd Clinton Parkway, but only when someone wants to know how to get to the Lake. There are stretches of highway that are dedicated. Is it possible to dedicate streets, without changing their name?

dipweed 5 years ago

Commissioners.....renaming Missouri Street would be a brilliant move. Renaming another numbered street is just plain stupidity.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Better idea for honoring sports figures who in reality are no better than anyone else doing their jobs. KU set aside some KU property for honoring their employees as they see fit. Why is so much focus on sports figures?

What about KU students and professors that which excelled in: Graphic Design Ballet Natural History Linguistics Piano Clean Energy Biology Education LEED Architecture

Face it - if it were not for all of the other academic departments on a campus there would be no private athletic corporation and over paid coaches.

Is it truly an honor to be named after a street?

moralebooster 4 years, 12 months ago

Why did this come back up? Is there a TOTAL lack of ability in how to honor someone? STOP changing the street names! Yes, it continues a terrible precedent. This isn't what we hired the commissioners to do and if they don't get it, they shouldn't be in this position. I have a feeling that Sue Hack had a long talk with Hugh Carter about how wonderful she thinks the former coach was. Here's an idea, build a fountain next to his bench, put in another bench, or how about a bust of his head? Lay off trying to change our street names in this town!

killjoy 4 years, 12 months ago

So am I being redundant if I say "Nooooooooo, Don't change the street names!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I don't care if you want to hang an extra sign under the legal sign, but this is crazy to (again) suggest changing the street names. Please, just stop.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.