Downtown Lawrence’s main transit transfer point may not move to the 800 block of Vermont Street after all.
City commissioners on Tuesday agreed to reopen the debate of where to temporarily relocate the city’s main transfer station once its current location near Ninth and New Hampshire becomes unavailable due to construction of a multistory hotel downtown.
Commissioners at their weekly meeting directed staff members to look at the area near 10th and Kentucky streets, which previously hadn’t been studied because of congestion caused by the Lawrence Community Shelter being located near the intersection. But the homeless shelter now has moved out of downtown, and commissioners want the area evaluated as a spot where transit buses can congregate.
Commissioners late last year had approved the 800 block of Vermont Street as the site for a temporary transit transfer station. But several merchants in downtown objected after they learned the bus operations would require the removal of 13-long-term parking spaces along Vermont Street.
The 10th and Kentucky proposal — none of the buses would actually park on Kentucky Street — is expected to take about the same number of parking spaces. But merchants argued that demand for parking in that area of downtown is less than it is in 800 block of Vermont Street.
Commissioners expect to receive a report on the location in the next couple of weeks. The city also is looking for a permanent location to house a bus station and transfer point, which may be outside of downtown. But the city likely won't be ready to move to a permanent location until August 2014.