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How would you spend an extra $200,000 in city funding?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on March 31, 2005

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Photo of Matt Meyers

“Fix the streets. I just blew out the struts on my car because there are too many potholes.”

Photo of Rebecca Murphy

“They could repave some of the older streets instead of always fixing the new ones. Other than that, they should spend the money on after-school programs.”

Photo of Jason McGoff

“They should spend it on Lawrence public schools in one way or another.”

Photo of Cindi Birney

“I would fix the potholes and give the rest to the schools to increase the teachers’ salaries.”

Comments

charliebear1977 9 years ago

The roundabouts are a pain when people don't know how to yield. To keep from getting hit the other day I sat on Barker for more than 5 minutes because the people coming down 19th wouldn't yield to let me go. So if people would just learn how to drive and what the rules of the road are, then the roundabouts wouldn't be so bad.

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Adam 9 years ago

fixing the streets would be great, but 200K would probably only take care of fifty or sixty yards of roads, after all, it takes a road crew 6 times as much money to get a job done becuase they require that 5 guys stand around and watch every man that is actually working

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italianprincess 9 years ago

I try to avoid the potholes as much as poosible around Lawrence, so I would have to say also they need to be fixed so drivers won't have to dodge them or continue to repair their cars.

I'm glad the added some tar to the manhole cover on Mass and 17th, that one was a drag the first few times hitting it. I now know to avoid it and hope all of you do too.

Congrats to you Jonas and your new wife, we hope to see you back at Tae Kwon-Do soon.

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Fangorn 9 years ago

The problem with the traffic circles is that they're not really circles. Most are a normal intersections with an eye-sore monstrosity plunked in the middle. That's what makes them hard to navigate: the narrow corners (see? I "circle" shouldn't have corners). New Jersey has got traffic circles everywhere. They are larger and designed to eliminate traffic signals or stop signs where two roads meet. You merge into the circle with traffic already in the circle having right-of-way. You do end up slowing down to go through them, but they are a lot easier to use than the Lawrence versions.

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craigers 9 years ago

Maybe we should spend the money on the garbage pick-up department and then they can allow us to still use plastic bags and if not then give all homeowners an allowance to purchase trash containers to use. Sorry, I just got to mow my yard and this is the first time I have had to use plastic containers and I really didn't like it. I know it is better for the environment and all but plastic yard bags always worked so well. Oh well. For all you roundabout lovers, I think if they really wanted to mess with traffic and make people mad, then the city should put a roundabout somewhere around 23rd and Iowa. Wow, now that would suck.

Congratulations Jonas on taking the plunge!

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mrcairo 9 years ago

I know, spend the money on bicycles, owned by everyone. There are communities in Europe that buy them and anyone can use them. After they are finished, the bikes are simply left for anyone else to use.

Imagine the amount of gas savings. Poorer folks like me could get around while Rich Repulicans who can afford their gas-guzzling-terrorist-supporting SUV's can ride in comfort, and continue to pollute and drive the cost of fuel even higher, while at the same time supporting terrorists, furthering their agenda.

Benefits: Exercise for the lower classes so we can eventually outlive the fatter rich republicans. Cleaner air, less gas consumption, lots of fun navigating the round-abouts, the list goes on.

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acg 9 years ago

Well I'm not a tree huggin, Michael Moore lovin' blah blah blah (all the other garbage that HKP prattled on ceaselessly about, as usual), but if I were, I'd pick an island in the south pacific if it meant getting away from bible thumping, ultra right wing conservative freaks that want to cram their God down my throat. But that's just me...

200K isn't enough to do anything substantial with on a citywide basis. They should donate the money to the organizations that are fighting the gay marriage amendment. What a piece of crap that is, not to mention the freako nutcases that support it!

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consumer1 9 years ago

May just be me, but I think the round a bouts are a psychological deterent. Is the concept really to slow people down? Or could it be that if enough people dislike them they would quit cutting through neihborhoods where they exist? and force traffic to artery streets. Except of course the one on 19th and What ever. That one is there just out of meaness and to punish those folks who think that 19 th street is about the only street that crosses the entire city. So, I kind of stick to the "force people to use main thuroughfares to get around town. See, then the city can use this 200 G to hire another consultant to tell them why traffic is so congested in Lawrence.

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The_Original_Bob 9 years ago

Yeah, I would really blow up the roundabouts. Wow. Real serious folks here. Also, everyone knows how to use them, there is just a large majority that dislike them. Like everything else, people will get used to them and there won't be much more fussin'. Although, speed bumps would have been more than adequate.

I would spend the $200,000 on bringing in consultants to determine why people on this message board are overly serious about hypothetical questions and then bring in someone to teach the difference between satire/off-handed jokes and a serious response.

Congrats Jonas.

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Jayhawk226 9 years ago

But they don't all drive cars...so my commute time is lessened none and the roads will still be garbage.

It would be fun to watch though...

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Hong_Kong_Phooey 9 years ago

Well, as much as I like the idea of either a.)repairing the potholes or b.)tearing up the cobblestone base of most streets east of Indiana and laying down a real base, it's not practical. $200k would only get about one street done per year, so we might have enough streets repaved by 2020...but by then they will have had to start RE-paving the streets they started this year.

I know! Let's buy a plane ticket for every tree huggin', Michael Moore lovin', dope smokin', hippy in Lawrence and airdrop them onto an empty island in the south pacific. That would improve the community tremendously!

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sylvie 9 years ago

Fix the street in front of my house in North Lawrence - fix them all! Why shouldn't this be a no-brainer?!

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skeeterus 9 years ago

FIX SOME STREETS AND SOME MORE SREETS !!!!!!!!!!!!! Growing up in South Dakota in a town half the size of Lawrence I an amazed at the condition of the roads in this city, I have lived in Lawrence for ten years and I can say that for some main traveled streets that have been redone that are great. Other areas in campus, north Lawrence, east Lawrence, around down town the streets are worse that most of the gravel roads in South Dakota. what's up with that. The way the pot holes are repaired many of the them, is a waste of tax payes monies. Please do a better job with taxpayers funds.

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CeeCee 9 years ago

gyrodukc: in your flyers please include the rules for pedestrians on how to read, understand, and follow the "walk" and "don't walk" signals. They are there for a reason.

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Carmenilla 9 years ago

Matt Meyers and I are in the same boat....I just had the struts replaced on my craptacular car from all the potholes. And sorry, but you can slow down all you want and drive real real careful but there is ALWAYS gonna be that sneaky pothole that you nail full on.

So yes, I'd fix the streets too.

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Fangorn 9 years ago

Maybe we could get one of the larger potholes declared an archaeological site and seek grants to have a visitors' center built nearby? We could build a park around it, employ some homeless people to give tours, and the kids could visit it after school until their parents get off work. Of course if it turned out to be a popular tourist attraction, we might have to build a traffic circle to slow them down in their excitement to see it.

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bleeding_flower 9 years ago

I agree with everyone else that said FIX THE STREETS.

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Au_contraire 9 years ago

If 200K 'fell into my lap' the FIRST thing I would do is pay off debt.

The remainder would then get split between infrastructure improvements and continuing (and upcoming) costs to support kids too.

Kinda like that.

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deuce 9 years ago

Pay the homeless people to sweep up the cigarette butts on Mass Street...that way they don't have to smoke them...they can buy their very own pack!

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Centrist 9 years ago

Use it on the streets .... the streets .... the STREETS!!

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macon47 9 years ago

Perhaps we use the funds to develop a program to teach drivers how to navigate the streets of Lawrence at high speeds , and under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
There seems to a major complaint with the roundabouts, You have to slow down to go through them? DUH? If a driver is too stupid or incapacitated to use a roundabout , they should confine their driving to the rural gravel roads of Douglas County. I personally get a bit of pleasure on Saturday or Sunday morning when I come up to one of the traffic calming devices, and see it was blasted away, by some drunk or inattentive driver. I can only hope they totaled their car, and got a big fat DUI. Sure, I find the roundabouts a bit of a nuisance, but if they are the only way you can slow down the nutcases, so be it. For a town that is supposed to be so hip and well educated it amazed me the city had to print up directions to go through a roundabout. What a waste of taxpayers money. Secondly, if you are blowing out the struts on your car from the potholes, slow down to the speed limit and look where you are going.

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Richard Heckler 9 years ago

After blowing up the round abouts tax dollars would be spent clearing up an extreme mess ....more tax dollars than were spent constructing them. Personally I do not have that big a problem with them. At this point I'm on the side of speed bumps as they are less expensive and probaly more reliable as speed control.

Meanwhile back to the $200k...

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Fangorn 9 years ago

Jonas: Congratulations! Many years of happiness and bliss and all that.

On today's question: This money comes from the taxpayers. If we some how end up with "extra" money, taxes should be adjusted downward proportionately. And it's not often that I agree with David Schauner, but paying off debt early (in this case on the Eagle Bend Gold Course) is almost always a good idea.

Two side notes from the article: The Boys and Girls Club does good work. It's a godsend for many families. But director Janet Murphy's remarks reflect the decayed state of priorities in our society. It's not important that children be with some generic "adult"; it's important that they be with their parents. And infinitely more vital than parents counting on "the programs being there", children need to be able to count on their parents being there. The very need for an organization like the Boys and Girls Club indicates some very mixed up priorities. Secondly, it's simply bizarre to address "affordable housing issues" by raising the cost of buying a house. "The power to tax involves the power to destroy." --Chief Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, 1819

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gyrodukc 9 years ago

I would make $200,000.00 worth of copies of the rules of right-of-way and pass them out at intersections.

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Jayhawk226 9 years ago

And if we blow them up on the 4th of July, we have a free fireworks display for the community too!!

Always on the ball Original_Bob.

Down with the roundabouts!!!!

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The_Original_Bob 9 years ago

I would buy some high grade TNT and blow up the roundabouts.

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simple_simon 9 years ago

Well, let's see.......at 25,000 dollars per public appearance........

I'd use that 200,000 dollars to pay for eight more speaking engagements by Ann Coulter!

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jonas 9 years ago

Fangorn: If you catch this, yes, I got hitched two weeks ago. Thanks for asking.

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Richard Heckler 9 years ago

State regulations forbid this source of money going directly to the school district. It cannot be for school salaries. Yes I also would support the after school programs and the hike/ bike trails. If the pesticide free park program needs money I would consider that as well.

Should there be funds left over allow the park department to do whatever is neccessary to keep downtown cleaned up. When Lawrence nightlife exploded a few years ago( maybe 1998) the level of debris increased dramatically.

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mrcairo 9 years ago

Before/After School Programs at EVERY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

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lunacydetector 9 years ago

What about psychological evaluations and mandatory drug testing for the commission?

THAT would be money well spent.

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