Lawrence City Commission will discuss budgeting $250K for study to improve city’s stoplight timing

photo by: Nick Krug

A pedestrian crosses Sixth Street at the intersection of Sixth and Massachusetts streets as traffic comes to a stop at the intersections of Sixth and Vermont and Sixth and Kentucky, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010.

Those frustrated that their commute across Lawrence includes significant time spent behind a stoplight could soon see some relief.

At its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will discuss amending the 2019 budget to include $250,000 for a city-wide traffic signal coordination and timing study that aims to improve travel in the city.

In a memo to the commission, city staff state that the city’s current systems are inadequate and outdated, and that staff believes they do not meet community expectations. Specifically, staff notes that the time it takes to drive across the city and the frequent stops required have been cited as a source of frustration by many residents in citizen surveys, letters to the editor and correspondence with city officials.

If approved, the study would identify changes that could be made immediately to improve coordination and timing among stoplights and develop a long-term program for infrastructure and equipment improvements. The highest priority streets would be Sixth Street, 23rd Street/Clinton Parkway and Iowa Street.

Funding for the study would be reallocated from the existing budget. Staff is recommending that $100,000 be reallocated from the city’s fiber operation and maintenance budget and $150,000 from the street maintenance program. The reduction in fiber funding includes funding for a position that has been vacant since October and the street maintenance funding represents a reduction of about five residential street blocks, according to the memo.

The City Commission will convene at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St.


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