Archive for Wednesday, April 13, 2016

East Ninth Project receives recommendation from Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission

This contributed rendering imagines the final design of the East Ninth Street Project, which includes large rocks, a stormwater management system with native grasses, and integrated art installations that combine unique lighting and recorded sounds.

This contributed rendering imagines the final design of the East Ninth Street Project, which includes large rocks, a stormwater management system with native grasses, and integrated art installations that combine unique lighting and recorded sounds.

April 13, 2016

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The Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission voted Wednesday night to recommend the design development document for the proposed East Ninth Street arts corridor.

The recommendation comes with the request that the commission “continue to review the public artwork through the technical phase as we would any other public art,” said commissioner Patrick Kelly.

Components for the project include light displays, sound signals, native grasses used as storm water management systems and large rocks arranged to create “intimate gathering areas,” explained Josh Shelton, of the Kansas City-based design firm el dorado inc.

The plan, approved last month at the 12th and final meeting of the East Ninth Citizen Advisory Committee, would also create a three-lane roadway from Massachusetts Street before paring down to two lanes at Rhode Island Street. Between Rhode Island and Delaware streets, the road would contain two lanes, with sidewalks on each side and an 8-foot shared-use path for both pedestrians and cyclists. There would also be parallel parking on the south side of Ninth Street.

This contributed rendering imagines the final design of the East Ninth Street Project, which includes large rocks, a stormwater management system with native grasses, and integrated art installations that combine unique lighting and recorded sounds.

This contributed rendering imagines the final design of the East Ninth Street Project, which includes large rocks, a stormwater management system with native grasses, and integrated art installations that combine unique lighting and recorded sounds.

Shelton pointed out that the design team was only contracted to meet with the Citizen Advisory Committee six times. Instead, East Ninth became more and more about meeting the “diverse set of conditions” in the “emerging set of economies and dwellers” in East Lawrence.

Throughout the process, “we started to realize (that) balancing amenities really meant balancing perspectives, balancing values,” Shelton said, referring to residents’ and stakeholders’ concerns about parking, bike lanes and ADA accessibility. “It was a very delicate balance.”

Although commission chair Katherine Simmons prefaced the voting by explaining the group’s responsibility to judge the artistic and cultural aspects of the plan, input from the audience echoed that of many past East Ninth-related meetings. Parking, it seemed, was still a concern.

Phil Collison, a member of the Citizen Advisory Committee and the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association, didn’t mince words in his analysis.

“We’re heading toward a parking nightmare,” he warned, suggesting that bike lanes be moved to Eighth and 10th streets to free up parking space on Ninth Street. “This plan doesn’t speak to me as the greatest solution, and I feel like I’m being asked to settle for less.”

John Hachmeister, the only commissioner to vote against the recommendation (not including Kate Dineen, who recused herself on the grounds of her role as associate artist in the East Ninth project), advised caution.

“The thing we should be cautious about is, if not just the artwork but if the entire concept creates problems, it imperils future public art in Lawrence. It makes public art unpalatable for the community,” said Hachmeister, an associate professor in Kansas University's visual art department. “If businesses are forced out of business because of traffic flow, they’re not going to blame the city. They’re going to blame the art, so we have to very seriously consider that whatever takes place is something that works in all parts of the community.”

The design will go next to the city’s Historic Resources Commission on April 21, followed by the City Commission next month.

Comments

David Holroyd 1 year, 4 months ago

Look at what happened to Minnesota ave kck thanks to Dale Eldred. What had a chance of restored buildings on Minnesota ave is now what? The future of Lawrence. ? And how much will the parks and rec budget increase to maintain this folly?

Richard Heckler 1 year, 4 months ago

--- Phil Collison, a member of the Citizen Advisory Committee and the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association, didn’t mince words in his analysis.

“We’re heading toward a parking nightmare,” he warned, suggesting that bike lanes be moved to Eighth and 10th streets to free up parking space on Ninth Street. “This plan doesn’t speak to me as the greatest solution, and I feel like I’m being asked to settle for less.”

Excellent proposal. It is a practical solution.

--- Throughout the process, “we started to realize (that) balancing amenities really meant balancing perspectives, balancing values,” Shelton said, referring to residents’ and stakeholders’ concerns about parking, bike lanes and ADA accessibility. “It was a very delicate balance.”

Residents are stakeholders as are all taxpayers in this community which increases substantially the number of stakeholders that have concerns regarding this issue.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 4 months ago

The rendering looks intriguing - certainly a massive improvement over what currently exists. Parking, which is apparently to Lawrencians what Obamacare is to Tea Partiers, won't be that big of a problem. My hat is off to the consultants.

Tony Peterson 1 year, 4 months ago

You obviously don't live in the area. There's already a shortage of street parking east of downtown and a lot of the residents have to park on the street because there isn't any other option.

Paul Beyer 1 year, 4 months ago

So now basically 9th, both E & W are rendered virtually useless for traffic and normal peoples life.

Carol Bowen 1 year, 4 months ago

Ninth Street is not my favorite street, either. But, as the city's population increases and experiences infill projects, drivers need to think differently. Instead of thinking of Ninth Street as a thoroughfare, think of it as a pleasant street to use. The area will be greatly improved in appearance and use. That's an important transition.

Tony Peterson 1 year, 4 months ago

It'll remain a thoroughfare because 9th , 11th, and 15th Streets are the primary east-west streets.

Tony Peterson 1 year, 4 months ago

It'll definitely be slower. Let the fun begin the first time one of the regular Penny Concrete trucks comes through.

Paul Beyer 1 year, 4 months ago

9th, both E & W are thoroughfares. Why do a few get to restrict their usage as such? Why wasn't either 8th or 10th made into this stupid arts corridor?

Tony Peterson 1 year, 4 months ago

It's also a designated truck route for deliveries.

1 year, 4 months ago

7th St. St. would also be great with its history and character. It would be great to see it extended toward the river and a little riverfront art community established there.

Tony Peterson 1 year, 4 months ago

Shhhhhhhh. Don't let people know that this area exists. We're trying to lay low so that some developer doesn't spot us and decide the area needs to be "improved."

Bob Smith 1 year, 4 months ago

Some designer gets to play with rocks and dirt to create traffic problems.

Bob Smith 1 year, 4 months ago

Has anyone looked into the health and safety aspects of this project? Native grasses put out pollen that can make some people sneeze. Big rocks are hazardous if a person trips over them. The corks-on-forks people need to review this disaster in waiting.

Ken Lassman 1 year, 4 months ago

Hmmm....by your reasoning, we should eliminate ALL curbs since everyone knows you can trip on them, too. And while you're at it, cut down every cedar, pine, maple and elm tree as well as prohibit wheat, corn and brome from being grown in the area as they all produce windblown pollen.

David Holroyd 1 year, 4 months ago

Are there really people in Lawrence that look like those in the picture? They be pretty clean looking and no tats too.

Bob Summers 1 year, 4 months ago

Keep an eye on this CACk outfit. I'm suspicious of their ulterior motives.

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