Archive for Tuesday, January 24, 2012

City agrees to rename street for Fambrough

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 24, 2012


If ever there is to be a museum devoted to exploring all things vile about Missouri, Lawrence soon will have the perfect intersection for it.

Lawrence city commissioners at their Tuesday evening meeting unanimously agreed to rename the portion of 11th Street near Kansas University’s Memorial Stadium to Fambrough Drive, in honor of the former KU football coach who gained notoriety on both sides of the state line for his fiery speeches denouncing KU’s chief rival.

The section of 11th Street between Mississippi and Missouri streets will be renamed Fambrough Drive in the spring. The change actually will create not only an intersection of Fambrough and Missouri but also an intersection of Fambrough Drive and Fambrough Way. KU officials already had planned on naming the private street just west of the stadium to Fambrough Way, in memory of the coach who died in September.

Both streets are tentatively scheduled to be unveiled as part of a ceremony at KU’s spring football game in April.

Fambrough was best known for his frequent tales regarding Missouri, the raider William Quantrill and the fierce rivalry between Jayhawks and Tigers that Fambrough experienced first as a player at KU in the 1940s and then during two stints as head coach in the 1970s and 1980s.

But city commissioners were told Tuesday — about two dozen people showed up for the item — that Fambrough’s largest impact on the community likely was the unwavering love that he showed for the city and the university.

“Don probably had as much positive influence on my life as anyone,” said Joe Flannery, a longtime friend of Fambrough’s and the president of Weaver’s Department Store. “No matter what happened in his career at KU, his love for the university and Lawrence never wavered. I think it would inspire the thousands of people who knew Don whenever we look at this sign.”

But the idea did face some opposition. Four members of the public spoke against the idea, all saying that the renaming of such a short section of street would create confusion.

“I can tell you that it is very confusing already to give direction and to find our location,” said Janet Campbell of Kansas Public Radio and the Audio Reader Network, which has its offices just west of where Fambrough Drive would turn back into 11th Street. “I respect the intent but very strongly oppose the change.”

Commissioners largely were unswayed but did direct staff members to look at designing a street sign that would have 11th Street on it in smaller letters under Fambrough’s name.

“Someone said we don’t want to confuse future generations, but I have faith that they’ll be less confused than we are,” City Commissioner Hugh Carter said. “I think they’ll find their way on Fambrough Drive.”

The city’s public works department estimated the cost of changing the name of the street will be about $200 for signs and other materials.

In other news, commissioners:

• Approved a request to eliminate on-street parking on the north side of 12th Street between Indiana and Mississippi streets. Commissioners were told the parking situation could make it difficult for emergency vehicles to access the area.

• Agreed to initiate a text amendment that would loosen the on-street parking standards for boarding houses of at least 4,500 square feet in size and that are on certain sized lots in multifamily zoning districts, like the Oread neighborhood. The proposed change now will go to the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission for consideration, likely in March.


Tony Holladay 6 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence needs an ordinance against changing existing street names.

RockyInn 6 years, 3 months ago

How the hell did this happen? This is 2012 and the city has a history of detrimental street name-changes. Apparently, the current city commissioners lack the ability to learn from past mistakes.

There are so many other ways to honor a person, but they chose to disrupt the streets? Why couldn't they just add the honorary street sign and leave the name?

Dear Lord, they voted to change the name of a section of a NUMBERED street again?


Bob Forer 6 years, 3 months ago

Like you, I disagee with the change. However, Coach Fambrough's legacy goes well beyond hating Missouri. He was hired and fired twice as head coach, and he accepted those decisions with class and dignity, and choose to remain loyal to the University of Kansas. His greatest legacy was his undying loyalty iand love for Kansas University and Kansas Football n the face of rejection.

While commendable, I don't think it warrants changing the name of a street. But please don't ignore Fambrough's greatest character attribute.

somebodynew 6 years, 3 months ago

Wow, all you people on here saying how stupid this idea is, BUT only 4 people showed up to talk against it. At least those 4 people actually cared enough, AND had enough courage to show up and show their conviction.

What is the old saying - - if you don't vote, you can't b&&^^^%.

dickmerkin 6 years, 3 months ago

You're right.

unfortunately we did vote...for the wrong city commissioners. Apparently, none of them had the guts to stand up and say, "Fam may have been a real fan, former player and coach (losing record), but we don't need to screw up the street maps in his honor."

They need to back off and change it to honorary signs, not the legal street name.

GardenMomma 6 years, 3 months ago

What I don't understand is why the City wants to name a street after Fambrough when the University already is. That's two streets named after him. I can understand KU renaming a street after Fambrough because of his history with KU (coach, Missouri rivalry, etc). Why does the City feel the need to rename a street too? I don't get it.

irvan moore 6 years, 3 months ago

have we figured it out yet. this commission doesn't care what the citizens want or what's good for the city

trollkiller 6 years, 3 months ago

Good thing we don't have a coach with a winning record like Bill Snyder, we'd have to re-name the entire town (Snyderville).

Scott Morgan 6 years, 3 months ago

Among other items we are running short on nowadays are real old fashioned characters as Fambrough.

Me thinks he is worthy of a street name change, but as the saying goes, "ye be careful in changing pike names." How would you feel taking a louie on White Owl Street then continuing on Roy Williams Way?

kenny_powers 6 years, 3 months ago

What was it that Fambrough did that was so great?

Purell 6 years, 3 months ago

Nothing. He had a losing record and a documented foul mouth.

Don Whiteley 6 years, 3 months ago

Exactly! He lost a lot of games, that's for sure. And regardless of his verbally accosting them every chance he got, lots of those losses were at the hands of Missouri.

Deb Engstrom 6 years, 3 months ago

What's the big deal? It's not a new street. It's just a few blocks of an existing street and won't make one bit of difference to anyone except those who want to honor Don Fambrough.

H_Lecter 6 years, 3 months ago

The "big deal" is this. The city commission had several more intelligent options and they failed to use good judgement by exercising them. The best option would have been to add an honorary designation to that section of 11th street. The last thing they needed to do deliberately, was to change the name of an existing street and especially in a sectional manner. Another option is to let KU rename private drive on the west side of the stadium. Naming a new street after Fam would have been a better option than changing a numerically named street.

"won't make one bit of difference to anyone except those who want to honor Don Fambrough. "
I think the men of Delta Tau Delta would argue that point with you; every time that have give someone directions, they have to explain the street name change.

MarcoPogo 6 years, 3 months ago

One could almost follow the thought process here except that they're already renaming the other little now they meet at Fambrough Drive and Fambrough Way.

That is "kinda stupid."

Jean Robart 6 years, 2 months ago

sorry--it will also make a difference to the people who live on the section of street.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 3 months ago

Even frat guys are capable of those directions , H_L. Its highly doubtful that anyone, including newcomers, will become confused by this name change. Change it or not, I don't care, but the outrage is laughable.

H_Lecter 6 years, 3 months ago

No, the stupidity is laughable, it's unnecessary.

Ragingbear 6 years, 3 months ago

Every time a section or street is renamed, another person is lost forever trying to find an old address. When people are lost they tend to talk to strangers and ask directions. When they talk to strangers then one of them may be a psycho-serial killer. If one of them are psycho-killers, then somebody ends up in a hole dug in a basement. When that happens people make Silence of the Lambs references. When that happens then Anthony Hopkins gets a commission. When Anthony Hopkins gets enough money he will build an army of cybernetic kangaroos. When that happens they will seek to destroy their maker. When they destroy their maker it produces movies like The Matrix. When that happens people make two more movies that ruins the first one.

Please, think of the second and third Matrix Movies. I don't want to have to warn people again about how horrible they were.

classclown 6 years, 3 months ago

Looking at the map...

You can see how Fambrough Drive will be spreading its legs for Missouri. Kinda fitting I guess.

beaujackson 6 years, 3 months ago

Time for 7 commissioners - from 7 wards?

Linda Aikins 6 years, 3 months ago

Being chosen as Mr. Football his senior year in high school in TEXAS kind of blows your comment about being a mediocre player.

Melissa Kounelaki 6 years, 3 months ago

I don't remember there being much of an uproar when 15th street (which is how I still refer to it) got changed to Bob Billings Parkway. People figured out how to navigate the streets and read a map. It's not that big a deal, especially for such a short stretch of road.

Jean Robart 6 years, 2 months ago

the length of the section of street to be renamed is exactly the problem. Why not change the whole street, instead of two blocks. Stupid, stupid,stupid

CLARKKENT 6 years, 3 months ago


BlackVelvet 6 years, 3 months ago

I wonder how many of the above posters railed and fumed when the city renamed 15th street west of Iowa Bob Billings Parkway. To me, it's all just 15th street.

BlackVelvet 6 years, 2 months ago

Wouldn't be the first time. But I don't lose sleep over it.

Linda Aikins 6 years, 3 months ago

If you had indeed attended, you would have known that none of the arguments for the change were about Coach Fambrough but about Don Fambrough. He was so much more that a KU coach. And renaming that street does not change a single address. There are no residences along that stretch. I promise none of you will be inconvenienced.

There will be signage at intersections that remind drivers that after 10th street is 11th Street, now know also as Fambrough Drive. Those of us who attended to support the honor knew the private coach that gave of his time without compensation for over 60 years to promote KU as well as several charities and needy individuals. He was a humble and wonderful man. And we as humans have survived on our ability to adapt. This one will be an easy one. Your commission made sure of that before voting.

1southernjayhawk 6 years, 3 months ago

I, for one, like the idea. If any of the negative posters had even a very small portion of positive approach of Fam, Lawrence would be a much nicer place.

71_Hawk 6 years, 3 months ago

I like it! All you objectionists should turn your rath on something important like the state of our economy and the direction our incompetent "leader" is taking us.

Linda Aikins 6 years, 3 months ago

Then let's stop the argument being about his coaching and about him. That argument says that someone else would be ok, just not Coach.

Linda Aikins 6 years, 3 months ago

Ok. I could defend him all day but it is unnecessary. And moot at this point. So I will stop!

Dale Stringer 6 years, 3 months ago

I think it would be cool if there was an apostrophe S after Fambrough... Fambrough's Way and Fambrough's Drive. He had a Way that he did things and the Drive to do it.

trollkiller 6 years, 3 months ago

Gootsie, I think both are valid points. 1. They shouldn't change street names 2. Of all the people to pick...Fam isn't the one

CocoaCrystal 6 years, 3 months ago

Please, don't change the street name!

Just put up another sign on the existing street sign, a different color, that says HONORARY COACH DON FAMBROUGH STREET.

See example here:

And 15th Street is still 15th for me, not Bob Billings Parkway!

clarkk 6 years, 2 months ago

Why does this name change have to be? This is the most stupid change of our history in Lawrence. Apparently the Commissioners don't care what the people want or think. They have the power to do this, so their doing it because they can.

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