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Do you think there should be fewer business entrances on 23rd Street?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on October 25, 2005

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Photo of Courtney Cummins

“I think it would be a good idea if it helps the flow of traffic. I usually try and avoid 23rd Street as it is.”

Photo of Tyler Peck

“I don’t see it as that much of a problem. The traffic isn’t usually bad enough to keep me from getting to where I want to go unless it’s a game day.”

Photo of Jack Ryan

“You can’t close them up after the fact, because it will hurt the businesses. The streets need to be designed to handle the traffic beforehand.”

Photo of Adri Pendergrass

“I think it’s all right the way it is. Less entrances would just cause more congestion in the parking lots.”

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ku_law 12 years, 1 month ago

I agree with Tyler. Primarily because he looks weird. Unless it is game day, traffic isn't so unbearable as to prevent me from getting to where I need to go. JCLARKSON SUCKS. Perhaps the city could consider restricting left turns longer than two hours a day to help flow of traffic.

gccs14r 12 years, 1 month ago

If the people who want to pave the wetlands won't relent and go south of the river, let's abandon the idea and just elevate 23rd street from Haskell to Iowa. The businesses can be served by frontage roads. Access to 23rd can be restricted to interchanges at Iowa, Louisiana, and Haskell.

Jclarkson 12 years, 1 month ago

I agree with Jack on this. You can't close up the business entrances now. While traffic on 23rd street is bad, its not unbearable. Limiting left hand turns on certain streets definitely helps. FIRST POST. Perhaps the city could consider restricting left turns longer than two hours a day to help the flow of traffic. I know driving on 23rd St between Iowa and Massachusetts around 2-3 pm on a Friday is horrendous.

jonas 12 years, 1 month ago

Boogeyman: Actually, I think it's a better idea to turn the whole area into the Mother of All Roundabouts, ie a series of concentric roundabouts, in a bullzeye pattern, around which the stores and car dealerships all circle. I'm thinking probably 5 roundabouts within roundabouts and oulah. We'll have to tear out a whole bunch of houses, but my god, it'll be beautiful.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 1 month ago

It may force some out of business and will likely not produce the desired results. 23rd is a is a shopping haven. So long as Lawrence has thousands of homes on the table traffic on 23rd will not improve for any length of time.

I say build a COSTCO and a grocery store in the SE Area light industrial zone off K10 east of Harper. Design the roads accordingly .

average 12 years, 1 month ago

Re: roundabouts... Think we can outdo this mother-of-all-roundabouts?

As for 23rd... good luck keeping up. As traffic flow improves more people like myself and Ms Cummins who avoid 23rd will increase travel on it. More customer-drawing businesses will fill the empty spaces and low-draw stores on 23rd. Every bypass and improvement increases the overall numbers of drivers.

neopolss 12 years, 1 month ago

I propose a giant sky bridge made of magical parrot feathers that will traverse all of 23rd street and intersect to 6th street (by way of roundabout). We will paint it rainbow colors.

bankboy119 12 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence really doesn't want to grow does it? Or it just wants all the business on the West side.

By the way I'm glad to see that Lawrence is 75% unemployed today.

Fishman 12 years, 1 month ago

It isn't great, but it isn't terrible either. Unless you've driven in a third world country, you have no idea how good the traffic is here. It's really not that big of a deal to drive down 23rd St. If the entrances are removed the current business owners will be hurt for sure. If it were my business, I'd fight to have the city relocate me to the west side of town! We may end up having to do that if the city is to force them to lose their respective entrances. Ever heard of carpooling??? Please disregard this comment if you already carpool. Good day.

enochville 12 years, 1 month ago

I have waited nearly the entire month of October for a question that is somewhat cerebral and we have yet to get one. I understand that they need to ask the local questions about traffic and what we do to make a difference, etc. They don't all need to be intellectually stimulating, but we have had none all month. Perhaps our discussions become too heated for the monitors' taste when they give us something we can really talk about. I know that everyone's taste in questions is different, but let's have some variety. There have been a multitude of domestic and foreign issues that have transpired this month that could serve as good fodder for discussion.

To answer today's question: I do not think there should be fewer business entrances on 23rd street. The only place that I have to adjust my driving strategy is when I am trying to leave Hastings to go east on 23rd. Depending on traffic, I often have to drive through Yellow Sub and Subway's parking lots and sometimes I have to go all the way to the light at Ousdahl before I can find a place to make a left turn. I am sure that that route must annoy the businesses in route and can be a danger if drivers don't watch parking lot traffic. But, I don't think closing entrances will help.

craigers 12 years, 1 month ago

OMB if you do that, then we will only have congestion once in a while when they burn the native grass because we all like to drive by a good fire now and then. It's like a bad accident, you can't help but look. I don't think closing off entrances will be a good idea. You will just have more people going from Hastings all the way down to Kwik shop without ever touching 23rd and that sort of activity happening all the way down 23rd if you share entrances. However, maybe we should drive on the opposite sides of the road and ban right hand turns during 4-6. Why don't we have a European Day and drive on the opposite sides of the road since we like to imitate them with the roundabouts. What do you all say?

rhd99 12 years, 1 month ago

The thing is, by Hobby Lobby & other businesses, you CANNOT now or ever close the entrances. Now, by Haskell University, that is fair game. There are no accessible ways to get off 23rd street w/o crossing traffic from the opposite direction. The way it is now by Haskell SUCKS. Traffic gets held up, & there needs to be a change, MAJOR change in that area. The existing business like Hobby Lobby, or Hastings, change is too late. Way to go, Jack!

badger 12 years, 1 month ago


I love how the SLT gets thrown in as a solution every time traffic on 23rd Street comes up, but no one ever seems to say, "Hey, before I moved an hour away from my job, I forgot to look at a map and see that the incredibly congested and built-up area I'm moving to with ten thousand other people who want to flee Johnson County and colonize Lawrence is only served by two fairly minor thoroughfares."

Instead, they moved in without thinking ahead, and now they demand that the existing citizens of Lawrence carry the burden of their developers' and builders' utter lack of foresight. If feasibility and ease of commute was so integral to the growth and development of Lawrence, shouldn't someone have been a little more sure that the SLT or a similar solution was a reality before building enormous housing developments south of town?

So now people who've been paying taxes in Lawrence for thirty years get to drive around two-foot potholes in North Lawrence while johnny-come-lately suburbanites whine and scream and complain that the city should build them a great big shiny new expensive turnpike and relieve traffic because they're too busy and important to carpool their absolutely voluntary hourlong commutes.

I think it's pretty typical of the Johnson County mentality to demand that others adjust and shoulder additional tax burden because a bunch of yuppies couldn't be bothered to read a map and think ahead. If that's what 'growth' for Lawrence means, it's probably pretty good that 'Lawrence doesn't want to grow'.

dionne 12 years, 1 month ago

Maybe Lawrence could use a frontage road like they have on Shawnee Mission Pkwy, for example. That way only those wanting to access the businesses would be on the frontage road, and the others would be actually on 23rd Street. It is probably unreasonable, since the businesses would lose a chunk of front parking to the roadway.
I'll drive down 23rd Street any day compared to the construction crap-accident waiting to happen-road called W 6th.

dionne 12 years, 1 month ago

Off this topic, and onto the topic about merging the two transit systems, here's my opinion:

First of all, KU On Wheels is run by a privately owned company. DON'T LET THE LJWORLD GET IT TWISTED. The service is paid entirely by student fees, not funded by the state. The T is operated by MV Transportation, via a California based company, OWNED by the CITY, AND FUNDED BY THE GOVERNMENT. Are we really wanting to run another locally owned business into the ground for the sake of the city making more money? Come on people, the company running the KU route buses have been in this city for decades - not just a couple of years like the T. If the city takes over KU on Wheels, the students at KU will no longer have a say in it's routes, times, or policies!!! Those who use the service, should continue to decide it's policies etc, not our dictatorial city. Furthermore, there WOULD be only one transit system in this city had Lawrence Bus Company's bid been taken into consideration to begin with. Instead, Lawrence Bus Co was shafted by the city when the city chose, and re-chose MV to come in and operate the T after being accused of a conflict of interest. They wouldn't have needed to plan routes, change routes, add routes etc. Lawrence Bus Co, already knew this city, had the experience, and should have been looked at a little more seriously. Students, stand up and keep control, don't let the city push you into another negotiation, JUST SAY NO!!!

nlf78 12 years, 1 month ago

I don't think 23rd St is too bad. Then again, I don't live near it and I chose not to drive on it very often. I think a frontage road would be a great idea, but I don't really think it's too feasible because of all the existing businesses. They would be losing out on parking and space themselves. Places like the Kwik Shop and that flower store, really can't move themselves any further back.

I'm guessing that tomorrow's question will involve the traffic mess on 6th St. Or maybe even another roundabout dispute? I really wish they would come up with a more original question to ask.

thunderbuns 12 years, 1 month ago

Yet another great mind-stimulating question by the ljw. Hmmm, lemme think....yeah, let's close half the entrances to the businesses on 23rd. That'll get the traffic flowing! Better yet, close all the entrances! Then there'd be no reason to go down 23rd!

Tomorrows ljw question: Do you think removing the letter "M" from the alphabet would make it easier to learn English?

(this just may get me bumped by the site staff again. If so, please let me apologize in advance.....)

avhjmlk 12 years, 1 month ago

From a traffic engineering/city planning point of view, the research says that business entrances/exits off of major streets should be limited to 4/mile (I's something pretty low) with either through access by connected parking lots, or frontage roads that have actual access to the businesses, or off of lighted intersections. 23rd street has something on the order of 60+ entrances/exits along its busiest 1-mile stretch...However, most traffic engineers also say that 23rd might be too far gone to make major improvements (i.e. frontage roads) because of the physical closeness of buildings to the street.

spikey_mcmarbles 12 years, 1 month ago

"johnny-come-lately suburbanites whine and scream and complain that the city should build them a great big shiny new expensive turnpike and relieve traffic because they're too busy and important to carpool their absolutely voluntary hourlong commutes."

Sometimes it takes someone with a new perspective to show you that what you've been doing for 20 years doesn't work.

I've lived here for 42 years, live outside the city limits, and will tell you that travelling from west to east in the morning, and east to west in the evening, stinks. I also commute with two other people, so I'm doing my part. Lawrence is the land of low wages; my hat is off to those who can both live AND work in Lawrence.

craigers 12 years, 1 month ago

When I got out of college I was offered a job here in town and it was nearly $8,000 less pay than what I was being offered in the KC area. And in addition to that I would have had to pay for all healthcare above and beyond myself. That would have turned the 8K into about 10k. There is noway to live here with that type of money. That is one of my few complaints about Lawrence is the cost of housing and living here along with no real good paying jobs.

staff04 12 years, 1 month ago

Oh, how I long for the traffic in Lawrence. No joke. Fortunately, where I live now I have access to a decent public transportation system, but for a while, my job required that I drive. I live less than 7 miles from my office, and it never took me less than 40 minutes one-way. The worst thing that ever happened to me in Lawrence was that it took me about 15 minutes to get from Wakarusa to Harper on 23rd--not too bad, respectively...

trinity 12 years, 1 month ago

apparently it is ok to be a barristo/barrista, e_m-seems a large percentage of those interviewed for this column are of that ilk.

make mine a good ol' high octane delight from the quikkie mart any day. :p

trinity 12 years, 1 month ago

me again-one or two "r's" in barrista/barristo? color me curious; and hyper sensitive about spelling.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

trinity, I think just one.

Today's topic: AAARRRRGGGHHHHH! Just avoid 23rd. There is a "back way" to everywhere you want to go. You get to learn some interesting things along the way, too. Seriously, I drive down 23rd (MAYBE) 4 times a year.

Sakuraba 12 years, 1 month ago

Sorry I'm jumping in late with this one, but in response to Boogeyman's first post: The roundabouts are actually designed with low curbs so that emergency vehicles don't have to slow down or swerve that much to go through them. If you have a truck or don't care about your alignment you should give it a try - it's fun.

neopolss 12 years, 1 month ago

I never have bought the idea that most of the traffic congestion is from out of towners passing through. Most truck routes, if they are only passing through, usually are on I-35 or I-70. 10 highway is primarily for those commuting to and from Lawrence, in which the SLT would only help a very slim few, since most housing areas are located far away from where the SLT would pass through.

And again, I'd prefer the Baker Wetlands go back to Haskell at some point, and not be given away again by the corrupt BIA.

Centrist 12 years, 1 month ago

Why do you think it's only JoCo "yuppies" asking for better access around town? I live AND work right here in Lawrence, and nowhere near 23rd St. But anytime I want to go down there, I'm fighting traffic, which, by the way, INCREASES pollution. The opponents of the SLT are worried about the wetlands, yet it's ok that everyone uses 31st St. to get away from 23rd. Have you seen the toxic mess along there lately?

It seems to me that an overpass or something, if not the SLT, is bloody well needed! See the improvements on Kellogg in Wichita ..

Sakuraba 12 years, 1 month ago

Yes SLT! Down with the wetlands, screw fragile eco-sytems, urban sprawl forever!!! Maybe we can build a Starbucks/GAP/American Eagle stripmall where the boardwalk and nature trails were.

Centrist 12 years, 1 month ago

The wetlands are already being slowly poisoned ... by the massively growing levels of traffic along 31st St. It is, after all, the "back door" route to Walmart.

Sakuraba, don't be so blind ... the destruction of the wetlands is already occurring. My point is that we should find a way to connect Highway 10 so that the CONGESTION is alleviated. That's just as damaging!

If we can do that, the congestion will lessen and the wetlands just might be saved. How long before that "new improved" Walmart down there forces 31st St. to be expanded???

Ceallach 12 years, 1 month ago

What a lovely day!! I left for lunch and the weather was so beautiful that I couldn't get upset with anything -- even the traffic on 23rd St. Maybe it is because I am originally from a more metropolitan area, I don't know. There is a lot of traffic on 23rd but only a few times a day is it bad enough to actually slow traffic and seldom ever does it stop traffic. Like many other posters, I just avoid it during those times whenever possible. I have noticed that the side streets seem to be getting more and more traffic, we are probably passing each other in our attempts to avoid 23rd. So as you all traverse the back streets -- be nice, it may be me your passing -- and I'm very sensitive:):)

Ceallach 12 years, 1 month ago

No, I don't think few business entrances will help.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 1 month ago

obligatory on topic comment: no, do not cut entrances. get traffic off 23rd, i.e. slt completion. we voted for that.

now, that's done.
first, not M, should remove "Q" from the alphabet as it can be replaced making more work for "k" and "w."

my wetlands definition: mosquito breeding grounds. just what we need with west Nile and other mosquito-borne illnesses.

just can't the ljw come up with better questions?

"why did the sun rise in the east?" or "did you wake up this morning?"

or ""would you like to decorate a roundabout?"

sheeeesh. anybody on here use skype?

Ceallach 12 years, 1 month ago

o_m_b: There's still hope if you don't start molting.

b_g: Q is an excellent choice for removal I would also suggest X, which in most cases can be represented by eks. I'm worried about using the r word, I would never intentionally provoke our David :)

I am curious about the early, early removals. What is the earliest time a removal has actually taken place? Does anyone know? One of our night owls may know.

gccs14r 12 years, 1 month ago

I learned to drive in Tulsa and spent my twenties in Wichita. In comparison, Lawrence doesn't have a traffic problem except in the immediate vicinity of the university on a game day, and then it's just slow, not dangerous.

Even_money's description of a trip along 23rd sounds alien to me. I've yet to see anything in this town that I haven't seen 10,000 times before in 36 years (got an early start at five years old) of driving. Pay attention, anticipate your adversary's next move, and don't be there when they get there.

There is no "clear over there" anywhere in this town, so taking a right and going around the block to get a traffic light is eminently preferable to trying to bulldog one's way left from a driveway. Be patient, think, and remember that courtesy comes back to you in time.

Ceallach 12 years, 1 month ago

e_m: It's obvious that you were deeply scarred by the experience. We feel your pain. Driving anywhere with a load of children can have a lasting effect on a person, let alone on 23rd St.

I live very near 23rd street and pretty much know all the alternative routes. btw, I also avoid Iowa when possible. The only way those two streets could be any worse is if they were loaded with SUV drivers talking on their cell phones. Thank goodness that's not a problem!!!

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

It may be late enough in the evening that this comment won't spark too much hash slinging one way or another,'s my thoughts:

Wetlands: They DO serve a purpose. Yes, I hate mosquitos even more than the next person, but I'm not willing to sacrifice a wetland to destroy them...especially for the sake of faster traffic! Wetlands ARE natural toxin filters. When will urban sprawl completely take over nature? I would like the future to not look like a sci-fi movie where all you see is steel and concrete. You all know how depressing those scenes are. I say, if you need to get into KC that much faster...move there!

OK, ready for ya'll to spank have at it!

Ceallach 12 years, 1 month ago

What happened to hong_kong? I haven't seen him post lately. Did I just miss them or has he been erased? :-\

Ceallach 12 years, 1 month ago

sun_sue: The points you make are quite valid. That is one reason there is not an slt in place now. Much of our community believes the powers that be could find an acceptable alternative if they really wanted to do so. IMHO, the wrong people own the land that would profit from moving the slt. The growth of Lawrence has always been determined by who would profit from the project. Same old -- same old.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

Ceallach, Let's go back to the barter system.

Ban $$$

In my neck of the woods, it's all about putting in a new I-70 interchange. It would slice some of our property in half, but even more would ruin one of the most beautiful brome fields (not ours) I have ever seen. (I saw my first mtn. lion chasing a deer through that field about 15 years ago.) I would sit down and cry like a baby if that were destroyed...and I think it will be.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 1 month ago

Sunny-sue, not going to spank you, I respect your views. unlike some posters, mostly elsewhere this board, you did not resort to name calling, invective, personal slights etc., thanks.

now, you gonna be dressed, or reciting shakespeare, for that spanking? could be fun after all.

saw under the story comments that our beloved Kalila Dalton has a job at taco wacko.

bets on how long that job lasts? rrrrrrr

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

Bearded_g, "A rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet." Or is that Georgia O'Keffe? Oh heck, combine the two and see what happens.;o)

Good night all. I got no hubby to keep me warm at the moment but I do have a good book and a glass of vino that's calling my name. Dorme bene.

bent 12 years, 1 month ago

Who asks these questions? Are they randomly generated or based on council meetings? p.s. I just moved here.

Ceallach 12 years, 1 month ago

bent: Supposedy they are related to a news story of the day. Lately it seems like they have gone out of their way to pick "don't know -- don't care" questions.

Welcome to Lawrence and to the ljw community board.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 1 month ago

ceallach, history channel international, last hour, had a full hour about the celts...including discussion of their feasting and heavy drinking history.
one wine server for feasts found was able to contain 1100 liters of wine for a feast.

they said even the greeks marveled at the celt's ability to drink heavily; one told the story that at these feasts, a fellow who thought himself the greatest warrior would take the choicest meat; if another challenged him, there would be a fight to the death...this according to the greeks. always nice when one people-group keeps the history for another people group which they fear and find alien.

will this post be removed for being off topic?

hope you keep warm Sunflower_sue.

good night all. when I posted the sonnet from shakespeare, to the dark lady, I actually have two in my life who'd fit that: one wife; one like a daughter whom I love. the daughter needs to talk; we talk on skype because she's in pakistan.
lately skype has been very irritatingly slow and crashing. so' previous requests here am looking for another skype user local to compare notes.
you can write at:

good night all, am off to have some international commo.

Ceallach 12 years, 1 month ago

gnome: It would seem most Celts thought they could drink in excess and thought they were the greatest warrior :) The fact that the Celts went so long without allowing a written language (as usual religious roots :) that other groups "had their way" with history. There are some very good books on the subject. Historians are developing an entirely different view of the Celts than that held previously. They (we:) were quite special! My Da told me so :)

No help here regarding skype, I didn't even know what it was until you mentioned it before and I looked it up. Sorry your having communication problems Pakistan is a long way off and I'm sure you are concerned.

Ceallach 12 years, 1 month ago

LOL!! I've heard the health department has a cream that will help that :):)


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