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Do you think Lawrence drivers speed too often?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 24, 2005

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Photo of Mary Kellerman

“I think it’s fine here. It’s way worse in big cities. I don’t think there is much of a problem here.”

Photo of Travis Hare

“I think the biggest problem is the crazy freshmen who speed down the street in their SUVs without looking where they are going.”

Photo of Samira Naji

“No, significantly, I don’t think. I have definitely seen worse in other places.”

Photo of Shakerah Baum

“I’m originally from Orange County, so, to me, no. I’m usually the one speeding around. The real problem is the minivan moms and the absent-minded college girls not looking where they are going.”


jonas 12 years, 12 months ago

Well, first post. Benefit of not going to sleep, I guess.


lunacydetector 12 years, 12 months ago

k.u. doesn't pay taxes, yet they get freebies from the city. look at that brand spanking (under construction) monster fire station the City is paying for ( I should say THE TAX PAYERS ARE PAYING FOR!)

i think it would be nice that KU pays its fair share in this community. any other business would have to pay. KU might be state government but they ARE a business always looking (supposedly) at the bottom line.

redbird 12 years, 12 months ago

I must be on the wrong roads,here in Lawrence,I see erratic driving and speeding daily.Not just the new drivers and students,but apparent Douglas county drivers,who may just be older students,driving on the bit of danderously.I have driven in many a big city from coast to coast and border to border and this city has to be up in the higher registers of bad drivers,some even being rude in their behavior,thinking the road is only theirs!!!

lunacydetector 12 years, 12 months ago

i think it is good the police have cracked down. it was needed, especially since the majority of speeders are ku students. i recall someone suggesting a mandatory drivers education class at ku. a police crack down is the next best thing.

another desperate need is to somehow collect money from the ku students to pay for our road repair. that would solve our sh*tty roads dilemma.

perhaps some kind of local fee or tax when they pay tuition? it could be a transient tax like some cities impose on hotel guests, since the students are only here temporarily.

when i come to think about it, most of our growth problems are the net result of KU students not leaving when they drop out or graduate. they need to pay their fair share for the upkeep of, and the need for new infrastructure. they are the root of our city problems. i wonder what the no growth professors think, since they need to be considered part of the problem as well, since they benefit from the students in order to keep their jobs. it's hypocritical to be a professor and anti-growth.

harryk 12 years, 12 months ago

Do these people live in Lawrence? Or perhaps they don't consider speeds of 55 to 80 MPH on narrow streets like Learnard Avenue speeding. They should walk a dog on this street at 5:00 PM some time.

average 12 years, 12 months ago

I'm not sure why extreme_makeover expects we would have heard about a fatality had there been a roundabout instead of a four-way-stop. If there had been a collision, it wouldn't have been worse than someone t-boning you in the four-way-stop. But, the roundabout would have damaged the car going 80 mph, hopefully enough to disable it.

lunacydetector, are you suggesting that students don't pay taxes? The great majority of KU students live in apartments and rented houses. Included as a major part of the cost of rent is property tax.

John1945 12 years, 12 months ago

Traffic cops don't stop speeders when they're in dangerous situations, they wait until they can isolate them and no on else is around, just like a predator.

A traffic cop is just another armed thug out their ripping citizens off, this time for the tax man. How do you think they plan to raise all that money they want?

Richard Heckler 12 years, 12 months ago

The general concensus would reveal yep we have a problem. As a former Traffic Safety Commissioner of not so long ago we heard plenty about speeding throughout the neighborhoods. Thus roundabouts began to appear with the blessings of the neighborhoods, more stop signs were put in place and other traffic calming devices were being introduced. Speed bumps throughout neighborhoods would be my drug of choice because with stop signs we were presented with evidence revealing how drivers race from stop sign to stop sign...age seemed to be of no significance.

There was mountains of data for support of roundabouts at primary intersections. Actually city staff is where these ideas originated...not from city commissioners. These things began when the growth machine was in the majority for many years. KDOT and other DOT's use this methods...nothing unique to Lawrence.

Yep speeding is a problem and don't forget the deadly K-10 speedway where SUV drivers think they are behind the wheel of a Porsche. SUV's even though they are gas hogs are not designed for fast driving.

lunacydetector 12 years, 12 months ago

I think KU students drive more than typical citizens, because they are young. if lawrence was able to tax students $50 each per semester, it would generate $2.5 million a year based on 25,000 students enrolled to be spent on roads. though they live here on a temporary basis, they are temporary unless they continue to stay after they drop out or graduate. hotels pay property taxes and most communities charge a transient tax to hotel guests.

ms_canada 12 years, 12 months ago

Hey there guys - I think what you all need is a big plate of pancakes or french toast before you go out the door to do battle with all those "crazy freshmen" in their SUV's. Now let me see, hmmmm, would that be an oxymoron 'freshmen/SUV ? I've had my pancakes and strawberries this morning.

average 12 years, 12 months ago

"I think KU students drive more than typical citizens, because they are young."

What the heck????

I didn't have a car for my undergrad years. I know dozens of KU students and recent grads who don't have cars. I still put more miles on my bicycle and feet than on the car in Lawrence.

I would agree that dorm-resident students who own cars take road-service and don't pay property tax (though they pay exactly the same sales tax and gasoline tax as everyone else). Possibly a "in-lieu-of-property-tax" fee on student housing parking permits would be fair, but improbable.

ilkeeze 12 years, 12 months ago

I would have to reply yes to this question. I do not currently own a motor vehicle and utilize the two bus systems, as well as, my bicycle. Having lived in Lawrence for six years, the issue of speeding has just progressed as quickly as the growth of the city. And I am convinced that probably not too long in the future I will become a victim of a motor vehicle accident. People don't look where they are going or much care about the safety of others. To the people that try to drive around or cut in front of the buses: Go ahead and try it. Because I guarantee you I will walk away from the won't.

dtrybom 12 years, 12 months ago

I think it's great that they are out there doing this and making the streets better. The only thing i have a problem with is my wife and i on a couple of occasions have seen the officers on east 15th st. using the cemetary on the south side of the road to shoot radar. Personally that bothers me.

Jamesaust 12 years, 12 months ago

Two concerns: A) Unless pursued consistently, none of this will change the average driver's behavior. Getting a ticket will just be judged one of those random things in life that happen like getting caught in a traffic jam. B) The vast >quantity< of bad driving and therefore the greatest amount of potential harm (some severe; most not) occurs during daylight hours when the most people are on the streets -- rush hour, lunchtime, etc. But, these are the times it is most difficult for police to corner bad drivers, or get to all of the bad drivers on the road at one time, and in fact is probably the time it is most dangerous to pull someone over on the busy streets. As a result, police looking to improve their stats will focus on that lone driver rolling through a stop sign at 3 am (a/k/a, the bad driver least likely to harm any of the rest of us). Bottom Line: its difficult for the police to get the result we want so inevitably a path of lesser difficulty will be followed and we'll get something not worthless but not quite good enough either. Getting the right job done is very hard (otherwise, it would already be being done).

Liberty 12 years, 12 months ago

Has anyone noticed the emblem on the doors of the Lawrence Police cars? It looks like a Phoenix war bird with the saying: "From Ashes to Immortality". Is this a type of illuminati symbol because they use the Phoenix war bird too? Or does this symbol stand for something else? What is it supposed to stand for and what does "From Ashes to Immortality" mean?

merrywidow033 12 years, 12 months ago

lunacydetector. i am a ku student. i live in lawrence, and have lived in lawrence for quite a while. i pay taxes, i pay tuition, and in addition to that, i don't drive very often. i drive maybe twice a day, 5 times a week to go to and from work. how dare you insinuate that ku students are the only problem. (and for that matter, are a problem to the growth of this town) without ku this town would not exist. AND those out of town students, spend an awful lot of their money shopping in lawrence stores, which helps keep the economy chug-chug-chuging along so that bush can report there is economic growth. don't give me that crap about this being the fault of ku students.

italianprincess 12 years, 12 months ago

I'm sure everyone has done there shsare of speeding at some time in their life. I see the police speeding all the time with no lights on or sirens going, oh but they have the right to do that I forgot.

Now for a truely real question here:

Do you want anymore child molesters living here in Lawrence besides the 60+ we have already?

Looking for to some of you answering this one.

Liberty 12 years, 12 months ago

The story of the Phoenix bird is a mythical bird that lives for hundreds of years and then on purpose, destroys itself. Then it rises out of the ashes to live a new life again to immortality under a newly created regime or system.

(Order out of chaos).

When the Phoenix destroys itself, it creates "disorder" so there will be a demand to restore "order" to resolve the self created problem of disorder (the self inflicted destruction of the first Phoenix bird). To create this new Phoenix, it takes over total control because of the disorder that was created by the self destruction of the first Phoenix, and creates the new Phoenix that then becomes 'immortal' out of the ashes of the first.

average 12 years, 12 months ago

Liberty... the general reason for Lawrence and phoenix imagery (the city seal on the police cars, the Free State High Firebirds) is that much of the new town of Lawrence was burned down several times during the runup to the Civil War. These were the Jayhawk (generally New Englanders against slavery) versus mostly Missouri-based Ruffian (pro-Southern emigrants from Alabama) skirmishes.

squishypoet 12 years, 12 months ago

I don't think it's just the KU students who are irresponsible. I also don't think it's appropriate to suggest that all KU students are from out of town. I wonder what the statistics are on Lawrence High/FS graduates who go to KU? Over 50%, I'd imagine.

The biggest problem I see? CELL PHONES. I almost ran into a stupid guy who, while turning onto the bridge to go into north Lawrence from 6th street, changed lanes in the middle of the turn and cut me off. He then proceeded to drive, not too fast, but almost 10 miles UNDER the speed limit. I finally passed him and found out that this genius was-- guess what? Yacking on his cell phone, completely oblivious.

Only a couple of days later, I was waiting to turn north onto Crestline from 15th street. I saw a KU student come down the hill from the dorms and plow straight through the intersection-- too busy talking on his cell phone to realize he had a red light. By some miracle he managed to go through a gap between the cars that were already driving through the intersection, but they can't have missed his shiny new VW Bug by more than a couple of feet. How there wasn't an accident, I really don't know.

And can I just give everyone a reminder? TURN SIGNALS. They give a lot of helpful information to your fellow drivers. They function when turning right OR left. They indicate that you DESIRE to change lanes. It's no use turning it on when you're halfway through a turn or already straddling lanes-- by then, if I haven't figured out that you're turning/switching lanes, your signal isn't going to give me much of a heads up. It explains to impatient drivers during rush hour traffic WHY you are slowing down so much when coming up to a green light. It gives people the opportunity to pass you instead of getting stuck behind you for 10 minutes while you make an inconvenient left turn at rush hour.

I'm college aged, which means I've only had my license for a few years. Maybe that means I remember some of the rules of the road better. If you ask me, it's not just the young who are reckless. The people who have had their licenses for 10 years or more and think they know everything there is to know about driving-- and can therefore ignore it-- cause just as many problems.

gccs14r 12 years, 12 months ago

I think we'd be better off if LPD enforced all the rules, not just speed limits, but that's harder to do when lying in wait in a dark alley. Start nailing people for impeding the flow of traffic, for blocking crosswalks and side streets (if you can't clear the intersection, don't enter it), for failure to signal, and for all the other stupid, thoughtless things they do and speeding will become less of an issue.

gccs14r 12 years, 12 months ago

I think I covered that with "...and for all the other stupid, thoughtless things they do..."

Fangorn 12 years, 12 months ago

I'm with Das Ubermime on this one. There are speeders everywhere, but more often I'm impeded on Iowa by people driving considerably under the speed limit. It would be less of an issue if they'd stay in the righthand lane so others could get around them.

misseve 12 years, 12 months ago

Having worked for a tow company most of the cars we picked up from accidents were also from high school students. Yes younger drivers speed because they are just that.. young drivers but where are these cops when people blatenly run red lights or make illeagle u turns or cut across 4 lanes of traffic??? What is NOT needed is more " traffic calmining devices" or more speeding tickets. Our "finest" in law enforcement needs to look for the erratic drivers as well

Ceallach 12 years, 12 months ago

Yes, I think people in Lawrence speed too much.

No, I do not think it is police brutality to be given a speeding ticket when you or I are speeding.

If Ms. Baum were not speeding regularly the minivan mom's might not be in her way so much.

Student fees are escalating every year -- many were unable to return this year and next year's increase will probably exclude even more students from middle and lower income families.

No, I do not think the Lawrence Police Department is sending us a coded message that would let us know it plans to establish a law and order take over of our city (state?country?).

No, I do not want to add child molesters to the list of anti-social, unproductive, parasitic groups that have flocked in since Lawrence became a self-declared haven.

Yes, I think it would help if we all use hands-free accessories for our cellphones. You can get them for under $20 at Radio Shack -- if you can afford a cellphone, you can afford to drive safer with an ear piece.

It's was a lovely, sunny, Sunday, and there have been many civil questions and comments posted today. All y'all did good!!

Kyle Rohde 12 years, 12 months ago

There are bad drivers from age 16 to age 86. I personally don't think Lawrence is any worse off in this area then any other city of 100,000 people. Other then not being able to park very well, people in this city, on the whole, drive pretty sensibly. Its just not that big a problem, especially since the police have been working harder to curtail the problem.

It burns me, however, to read all the people on here trying to blame the problem on KU students. More then anything else, this is a jealousy thing because the KU students these people refer to generally have very nice vehicles, paid for by their parents, and people don't like that. The blamers don't realize how many KU students don't have cars, don't have nice cars, or have nice cars that they've worked extremely hard to pay for (like myself).

To suggest that we should pay more taxes into this city is ridiculous. We contribute our fair share to this city, without a doubt. When KU students are in town, this city grows from roughly 80,000 people to over 100,000. That's a large jump in revenue for the city from all the money being spent by students. We pay property taxes, sales taxes, and put a ton of our money into the local economy. And in many cases, KU brings someone into the state who would have never ended up here otherwise and that person decides he wants to begin his life in Kansas. That's me and a lot of other students, and that means population growth and in tax revenue for your state as a whole. Get off your high horse and quit taking the easiest route possible by blaming "those irresponsible, rich, stuck up, good-for-nothing college students."

Liberty 12 years, 12 months ago

I think that I only see people from Lawrence speed on K-10 going to their jobs in Kansas City since their aren't many in Lawrence... But then, Kansas used to not have any speed limits in the state. But now they do. I wonder what it would be like going back to just going a safe speed for the conditions of the road, like it used to be in Kansas and forgo the law enforcement in favor of peace officers again?

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 12 months ago

Ms_Canada: Snarky?! I'm glad that you and Ceallach have taken it upon yourselves to grade the civility of people posting, as though we needed your approval. Yes, judging by Liberty's posts, I would say that he/she has taken over as the resident nutjob/conspiracy theorist.

As for speeding, I would say that Lawrence is a town where we have country bumpkin's and "city slicker's" colliding (sometimes literally) on the roads. The bumpkin's act like they're out on a leisurely sunday drive - every day. The "city slickers" tear around town with this constant need for urgency even if it's not warranted. Not only that, people are selfish when they're driving. They get a false sense of security when they're behind the wheel and they become incredbily rude b/c they don't think anything will happen.

Liberty 12 years, 12 months ago

Hey Phooey, do you know what the emblem on the city seal means "From ashes to Immortality? Also notice that the normal "To protect and serve" is not on the emblem. Also, I don't think the LPD is involved in a takeover of any sort, just bringing to light the way the illuminati think for those that don't know anything about them to strike people's thinking. But the label on the doors of the police cars is a bit strange to say the least.

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