Archive for Thursday, May 23, 2013

Long-term plan suggests toll lanes on K-10 corridor

May 23, 2013


A long-range plan for future highway projects in the Lawrence-Kansas City metropolitan area suggests that Kansas Highway 10 between Lawrence and Johnson County should become a partial toll road.

The plan, released today by the Kansas Department of Transportation, proposes that in the next 20 years or so, K-10 should be widened to six lanes by adding "high occupancy toll," or HOT lanes, in each direction.

Those are lanes in which mass transit and car pool vehicles travel free of charge, but single-occupant vehicles have to pay a toll. HOT lanes have become an increasingly popular transportation feature in congested urban areas to both encourage carpooling and raise revenue.

Related document

K-10 Corridor Plan ( .PDF )

The recommendation is part of the Five County Regional Transportation Study, a project that has been in the works for at least three years by KDOT, the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Office and the Mid-America Regional Council.

The group released a preliminary report in 2010. The final report released today will be used to identify projects that may be undertaken in a future multiyear transportation program, after the current program, known as T-WORKS, is completed in 2020.

The proposed HOT lanes for K-10 are slated for the 2030-2040 decade.

Douglas County Commissioner Mike Gaughn, who served on the planning group, said that by that time, as development continues along K-10 in southeast Lawrence and Johnson County, he believes there will be a need to widen K-10 to six lanes, and toll lanes may be the only viable way of funding it.

"The traditional source of funding is fuel taxes," Gaughan said. "As cars and trucks become more efficient and use less fuel, there will necessarily be less funding derived from that source. You're obviously seeing this across the country and tolling is becoming a more regular way to fund projects on this scale."

The cost of adding the HOT lanes from East 1750 Road to Interstate 435 is estimated at $205.6 million, according to the report.

That was just one of several recommendations for K-10, which has become a high-volume route for people who commute between Lawrence and the Kansas City metro area.

And the K-10 corridor plan is just one of several parts of an overall long-range plan for the metro area. The study also includes plans for the I-70, I-435 and I-35 corridors, as well as the U.S. Highway 24-40 corridor and others.

One proposed project that is not recommended in the study is the so-called "Outer Loop" around the metro area, a kind of second ring around the area a few miles beyond the I-435 loop.

For K-10, some of the other, more immediate recommendations, and their estimated costs, for construction beginning around 2020 include:

• Widening the existing road from Interstate 70 to U.S. Highway 59 to a four-lane freeway: $98.5 million.

• Expanding operating hours for the transit K-10 Connector Service: $10.1 million over 10 years.

• Widening K-10 between K-7 and I-435 to eight lanes: $82.2 million.

• Building a bicycle path along K-10 across K-7 to Prairie Star Parkway to connect with existing paths: $1.1 million.

• Installing dynamic message signs to warn drivers of upcoming travel conditions and a camera system to monitor the real-time flow of traffic between East 1750 Road and Cedar Creek Road: $2.5 million.

• Constructing Park and Ride facilities near Eudora and DeSoto, as well as near U.S. 59 and East 1750 Road: $3 million.

• Adding bicycle and pedestrian facilities on all new or reconstructed bridges over K-10: $1.6 million.


d_prowess 4 years, 11 months ago

Why not just make K10 a toll road instead of creating a system where only single occupant drivers pay. How is it even enforced. If I have a kid in a car seat do I get to skip paying? How do people even know since those seats can be rear facing or mini vans with tinted windows?

elliottaw 4 years, 11 months ago

Don't worry you have 17 years before that happens

HutchSaltHawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Maybe we should look at creating decent paying jobs in Lawrence so that Lawrence residents don't have to drive to Kansas City or Johnson County for work.

patkindle 4 years, 11 months ago

the toll lanes on k10 is a hot idea, it is value added, and should start asap afterall most of the folks that use it are working anyway e

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

Sounds about right. Given the traffic on 10 it seems pretty pointless. There isn't much traffic between Harper and I435. Why pay extra for nothing?

JayhawkFan1985 4 years, 11 months ago

The tolls would pay to build 2 NEW lanes and would free market price using the new lanes to guarantee a predictable travel time...

Curtis Lange 4 years, 11 months ago

Isn't much traffic? When do you drive that stretch? 3-4am?

gccs14r 4 years, 11 months ago

Put a commuter rail line down the median of K-10. Make sure there is bus service on both ends.

JayhawkFan1985 4 years, 11 months ago

Great idea. All the bridges crossing k10 are in the way though...

foxli 4 years, 11 months ago

I love the idea of commuter rail between here and KC. I would use it, and I'm sure my friends would use it. But it will NEVER happen (at least until the oil actually runs out) in the Kansas City area. Because it's so-shal-izzim, don't 'cha know?

nocrybabies 4 years, 11 months ago

Why are long term plans being made based on mammoth and arrogant transportation powered by non-renewable fossil fuels? Once the gas runs out or becomes too expensive to be viable, won't also the need for superhighways change?

JayhawkFan1985 4 years, 11 months ago

Cars are here to stay for the foreseeable future. But with gasoline at $4/gallon we should all be carpooling, taking the bus, walking, biking or "trip chaining" to ease our pocketbooks.

JayhawkFan1985 4 years, 11 months ago

Governor Brownbackward and Secretary King-garoo continue to tout the outer loop despite its estimated price tag of $2 billion and state finances that are in tatters due to last years tax slash for big business and the wealthy. The report concludes that even were the outer loop to be tolled it couldn't generate enough revenue to build it because it would have to e built so far out that nobody will use it. Unbelievable.

Jeremiah Jefferson 4 years, 11 months ago

The guy who screamed and moaned about how we should build this bypass: No one said nothing about tolls! I'm not paying tolls, you can stick that road where the sun don't shine.

Seems to me the Baker wetlands will get the last laugh.

JayhawkFan1985 4 years, 11 months ago

They're not talking about tolls on the SLT. They're talking about widening K10 from east of the east hills business park to i435 and charging a toll on the two new lanes. The existing 4 lanes would remain free. The reason for the toll is to charge a premium in exchange for a quicker trip. If you don't want to pay the toll you won't have to but your trip might take longer. The toll would probably be higher durning the morning and evening rush to work and maybe free at 2 am.

James Minor 4 years, 11 months ago

A real long term plan should be a light rail mass transit system. The counties still get their revenue, the demand for driving cars reduces, road repairs decrease on K10, and hopefully an increase in business growth for the areas. As commuters get older and the workforce is expected to work to an older age it will benefit everyone to have the option to drive or use mass transit.

Lawrence Morgan 4 years, 11 months ago

I completely agree with antonioandolini about a light rail transit system, such as that used in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

That, combined with new approaches to renting cars for short distances each way, each day, could make for an entirely different approach to commuting.

For example, here in the Bay Area, a person can rent other people's cars for short distances each way, at an agreed upon price between parties plus insurance, at a very reasonable cost.

For example: a person drives to the local park station on K-10, and parks his car. He rides the light rail to Desoto or Kansas City. When he gets there, he already has worked out the time he needs the other person's car for, and pays for it accordingly.

When he gets back to the Kansas City station after work, he leaves the car for the other person to pick up, takes light rail, and picks up his car again at the station of his choice in Lawrence.

He might even have rented out his own car to another Lawrence person for the time he is in Kansas City.

He could also take a bus to his local train station, ride the light rail to Kansas City or Topeka (and in my opinion it should go to Baldwin City and Ottawa as well), take the rented car to work, return the rental car to its station, and take light rail home - and then take the bus to where he lives.

In rainy or snowy seasons, it is even more important, since it greatly lessens cars on the road.

Seniors and others can also rent their cars for the time they are not using them.

You can also rent a car with a bicycle clamp, to make for a weekend of day of bicycling and camping.

And - there are already simple but highly useful phone apps for smart phones and regular phones so that all this can be worked out between drivers. The driver knows ahead of time who he or she is renting the car to, since with a credit card and DMV checks he knows who the person is, and he can also check with the DMV for their driving status.

These are some of the ways that light rail PLUS driving, taking the bus and/or bicycling can completely change the present situation. At present everyone drives their own car everywhere, and often with only one person in the car, resulting in huge amounts of gas, the extra expenses of everyone having a car all the time (if they can afford it), the expenses of repair when having a car, and poisoned air.

Poor people are completely left out of the current picture.

I will go into this in more detail in my blog (New Possibilities) at a little later date - although the Journal-World no longer encourages citizens, such as myself, to post a blog - they are almost impossible to find. At one time the Journal-World encouraged citizen journalism, but no longer. I suppose they think the only good ideas come from their own editors and writers.

gccs14r 4 years, 11 months ago

A far simpler solution for commuters for whom bus service doesn't work is to set up ZipCar at both ends. Maintenance is taken care of by the vendor, and if something gets a ding in it, no hurt feelings.

James Minor 4 years, 11 months ago

Why the state and local governments are not recommending a light rail system in Lawrence along K10 is perplexing? The area is in a good position due to population is low in this area and there would be a small amount of disruption to the housing developments. With the right proposal Federal funding may be available since the present federal administration is looking into ways to improve the railway system. It is important for those in the position to make the proposals for developing mass transportation for this area to take advantage while there is a focus on K10.

arch007bak 4 years, 11 months ago

After nearly 15 years of commuting to OP I can say a few things about all this...

I'm not sure that even by 2030 an added lane in each direction, toll or no toll, would be needed for the entire length. I've seen the traffic increase over those years but not by that much for the entire length.

The widening from K7 to I435 - about damn time and why wait? That has been needed for years. Those of you that drive through there every day know that's where the backups always start and it can be a disaster on a normal day, never mind if there's an accident or snow.

Dynamic message signs are useless. If you drive it every day, you know what travel times are and when to expect backups. You know Monday mornings can typically be lighter traffic because people are slow to get moving after the weekend. You know Friday mornings can be lighter because people take 3-day weekends. You know Friday afternoons can go either way depending on the weather and time of year. I've seen time after time when traffic slows to read the signs and then clears up once drivers pass them. Half the time the message is nothing more than one generic safety message about seat belts.

JayhawkFan1985 4 years, 11 months ago

Traveler, try reading the article. K10 will remain free. They are considering building two new lanes that they might charge a toll on. The existing lanes would remain free and congested.

parrothead8 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh, you're paying a toll. It may not be a financial one, but you're paying a toll.

otto 4 years, 11 months ago

You can get to KC on hwy 32 and 24.

james bush 4 years, 11 months ago

Back in the 60's when I came to work in Kansas, I was told there had been an intercity rail service along K32, I think, or maybe US24 west from Kansas City.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 4 years, 11 months ago

I missed it completely. When did roads, streets, and highways become corridors?

Curtis Lange 4 years, 11 months ago

What else would they be? Corridors are used to funnel things a certain way...just as roads, streets and highways do.

skull 4 years, 11 months ago

Really? Try a dictionary. It's full of words you can use. Thanks for your genius contribution to the discussion.

Curtis Lange 4 years, 11 months ago

I swear people can't/don't read. This story was posted on the KMBC facebook page this morning and the comments are similar to here. "OMG! They're taking away the one free option to drive to Lawrence!" "Waah! Think of the poor college students!"

If people would actually READ what is being proposed, they would see that the only toll being talked about for K-10 is their new HOT/HOV lane. And even that would only be for cars with a single occupant.

Dale Stringer 4 years, 11 months ago

Where do most of the Lawrence people work in the KC Metro? I-70 takes people to to downdown KC and K-10 gets people to the Overland park offices. Looks to me that there needs to be road to get people between the two locations.

Looking at the road map, I say they should make K-10 6-lanes from Lawrence to just east of Desoto. From there they can keep the road as it is if they build another 4-lane highway northeast to connect to Shawnee Mission Parkway where it ends at K-7. This should give the people that need to get between the two meccas a quicker less hassled way to get there.

Then again, I don't go to Mission so I don't know how the Parkway would congest with new traffic.

Now for the outer loop. It is needed, but not everywhere. I can't see it going any farther west/north than the present I-435. But the south and east side of the metro desperately need it. I-435E from I-35 to the I-70 exit can be nightmares. It will get better if construction ever gets finished, but I wreck snares up traffic for miles. I-470 was built as a southeast loop, but there are only enough lanes until you get to the US-50 exit. After that you have 4 narrow lanes until it ends just north of I-70 at Independence Center.

I would problably put it around 175th-179th St from I-35 to the MO border an then turn it northeast to connect to MO-150 "Outer Belt Road". Then somewhere between Lees Summit and Lone Jack, turn it north to connect with I-70 between Oak Grove and Grain Valley. There is already enough spoke roads (US-69, Mission Rd., Holmes, I-49, etc.) to get people to the center of the city. If you need a west loop from I-35 to I-70 at Bonner Springs, just move K-7 to the west side of Olathe and hook it in.

Curtis Lange 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree with most of that. The only thing I would add is that they need to get on the six lane part ASAP from K-7 to I-435. I drive this daily with living just south of the K-10/K-7 interchange and that stretch is a nightmare in the morning and evening commutes.

I think I figured out part of the problem this morning. The traffic always seems to thin out at Renner Rd for apparently no reason. However, it seems like it is due to a large chunk of eastbound traffic getting on K-10 at both the Woodland and Ridgeview exits. The Ridgeview on-ramp/merge issue is exacerbated by being just over a hill and most of the on-ramp is tucked behind a rock formation.

Richard Payton 4 years, 11 months ago

The old K-10 road might see more traffic in 20 years.

van_dango 4 years, 11 months ago

Kansas should also consider an upgrade to the toll booth system to mimic something like Texas. In Texas they use license plate cameras to catch your plate and if you don't have a special tag in your windshield they send you a bill in the mail according to how many times you went through in a certain period. If you do have the tag then rate is lower and is docked from your balance. Over all this system elimates the need for booth attendants and cash on hand to pay for said toll.

Curtis Lange 4 years, 11 months ago

+1. Their toll tags are VERY similar to our K-Tags; Florida uses a similar setup as well. I've always found it asinine that because we chose to use the K-Tag that we have to make a special lane change, slow down then carry on with our travels.

Our K-Tag should allow us to carry on along the highway unimpeded like those two states mentioned above.

Beth Bird 4 years, 11 months ago

How does that work for out-of-state drivers?

dwendel 4 years, 11 months ago

I assume there will be a free express lane for millionairres.

Mark Currie 4 years, 11 months ago

We are talking 2030-2040... I don't plan on needing any transportation system then. A LOT can happen between now and then. Who knows what new technology will be developed. I am with the person who said they will be teleporting.

2002 4 years, 11 months ago

Elitism at its best. Raise gas taxes too, poor people can walk or pile onto overcrowded busses like they do in the Philippines. As a former raving liberal that has sit and listened to these people for years, I can let you know that the academic elite in this country are a bigger threat than the Russian, Chinese and Islamic extremists combined. And the academic elite are both liberal and conservative. They are alike believing that they know what is best for you and that they will provide you with what you need.

James Minor 4 years, 11 months ago

How does a toll system help reduce the dependency on foreign oil, reduce the number of accidents on K10, attract business growth to the area? A light rail system helps move the area in a direction that is good for the future. 2030 is more than enough time to re-evaluate the SLT and determine how a light rail and the SLT can meet the future needs of the area, and get the other communities, Eudora, Topeka, OP, on board for budgeting the idea.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 4 years, 11 months ago

Charge what you want to commuters. They need to pay the price of commuting. Leave the rest of us alone.

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