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What should the city do to beautify downtown?

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Photo of Joan Clark

“Flowers, flowers and more flowers. They need more lights and more local businesses.”

Photo of Cameron Morgan

“Flowers, blue and red flowers. But I think downtown is pretty cool already.”

Photo of Josh Lyons

“Repeal the smoking ban, so there won’t be all these cigarette butts around.”


redbird 11 years, 11 months ago

How about another bypass and turn downtown into a city market,one that one can roam the streets and local merchants/vendors can sell off of the street....a clean street.

trinity 11 years, 11 months ago

declare panhandling taboo on mass. street.

killjoy 11 years, 11 months ago

Open-air beer gardens in the Summer...everything would be more attractive after stopping there first.

trueninetiesgirl 11 years, 11 months ago

and they say they dont have money, for all day kindergarden, but can find money for down town. for plants to make it more likeable .

DaREEKKU 11 years, 11 months ago

Build more parking and then ban cars from Mass Street from the Courthouse all the way to 6th street. Only allows cars to cross Mass Street at major streets like 9th etc. Maybe pave the street with brick, offer outdoor dinning, outdoor music, and maybe an outdoor trolley would be nice in the summer. With as much money as they want to spend on plants, lets at least put it towards something substantive. I agree with Joan on one aspect....more LOCAL businesses.

trueninetiesgirl 11 years, 11 months ago

weres they storie about the two people ,that got pined between two cars ,at nintenth street trailer park? one was air lifted from the fairgrowns.the other couldnt feel her leggs.the 16yr old was sniffing computer stuff while driving.and passed out. were is that storie. that big news.

TheEleventhStephanie 11 years, 11 months ago

Is it just me, or does that Josh Lyons guy have something against flowers?

Fishman 11 years, 11 months ago

I agree with the post about making more parking, and then closing off Mass St, and putting bricks down to replace the pavement. Boulder, Colorado(CU), and Charlottesville, Virginia(UVA) among others have done this, and it rocks!!! Talk about inviting.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 11 months ago

md, your last post yesterday spoke volumes to me. You are very correct and I thank you.

gnome, nerf bats? You've dated yourself! (Besides, "back then" we just used bb guns against our siblings:)) Of course the one we had you pumped all the way up and the bb would just roll out of the barrel.

OK, today's topic: To beautify downtown they could try to make it look like downtown boulder with no parking/driving on Mass street (except at a few designated cross streets). Some pretty brick work and add benches, more trees, and more flowers. Practical? I dunno, that wasn't the ?. Seems as though city hall is overflowing with money, though.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 11 months ago

Fishman, you stole my Boulder idea. (except you actually used capitalized B.) You win! You type faster, you spell better.

enochville 11 years, 11 months ago

I think the city does a good job with Mass Street. I can't think of any improvements.

Off topic question: I am not quite clear on what it takes to be the Big 12 Conference Champions. Is it the team that has the best conference record during the regular season? Or, is it the team that wins the Phillips 66 Big 12 Conference Championship?

bankboy119 11 years, 11 months ago

Da, local businesses can't afford the ungodly rent of downtown. Lawrence really needs to make up its mind, does it want local businesses and offer them breaks on their rent or do they want to make more money and have more corporate stores.

lunacydetector 11 years, 11 months ago

i thought the downtown was already beaufiful. why spend $90,000 when the other neglected parts of town need pothole repairs?

make the downtown businesses pay for this "beautification." i wonder what a cost benefit analysis would say about all the spending done downtown by the taxpayers.

djazz 11 years, 11 months ago

Remodel the riverfront mall, and put the new library in there. Put it to good use and save money.

Something needs to be done about the traffic congestion on Mass, but not sure what.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 11 years, 11 months ago

Ban Topekans!

No?? Okay, how about they block off Mass St. running North and South from 7th to 10th street. Make it an outdoor mall complete with outdoor vendors, etc. - like the 3rd street promenade in Santa Monica, CA. The east-west streets would still be open for traffic.

Marion: I don't think downtown is, as you say, dying because the business owners aren't in control. Downtown is dying because a select few own the buildings down there and they charge ridiculous lease prices. One would think that those stores were located on Rodeo Drive or 5th Avenue given the prices. As a result, downtown is only affordable to large chain stores.

bthom37 11 years, 11 months ago

I'd vote for another parking garage (perhaps we could put it in place of the thrice-damned lofts? Please?) and block off Mass, Courthouse to 6th Street. Outdoor area (complete with beer gardens) to stroll around in would be so much more pleasant than the 10mph gawkfest we have now.

emdeees 11 years, 11 months ago

!!!!! djazz has the best idea so far, in my opinion. put the new library in the riverfront mall. maybe even take out the spring hill suites (but leave riverfront chocolates...have you all tried those chocolate covered cheesecake slices on a stick? yum). the library would be ENORMOUS and awesome, and there could be like an outdoor area for reading, kids classes, etc. plus, the old riverfront mall is in a great location...we need to do something with the place and let it thrive! AND if they kept it open later, the parents could drop their kids off at the library and then go over to abe&jakes! i'm definitely smelling success. flowers...not so much. flowers can't singlehandedly beautify a downtown. maybe lace curtains and satin bows could help.

topflight 11 years, 11 months ago


KsTwister 11 years, 11 months ago

The homeless can pick the flowers and sell them to downtown shoppers-- its a "win-win"!

Kookamooka 11 years, 11 months ago

I agree about the library. Use the empty space we have. What's up with the Reuter Organ Building? How come the World Company hasn't snapped that up yet? Is there some sort of foundation issue? How about designing a really cool looking pedestrian-bike bridge over the Kaw to link North Lawrence to the Riverfront mall complex directly. Then we'd have more seating for the fourth of july! oooooo, I know.....a SUSPENSION bridge! Yeah!

Staci Dark Simpson 11 years, 11 months ago

Downtown Lawrence looks good most of the time. But I think Christmas time stinks. When I was a kid about 20 years ago, the trees were all lit up and I loved riding down Mass to see all the beautiful lights. Lately it is pretty crappy looking. Just a few lights on some buildings and thats it. Downtown Tonganoxie looks better than downtown Lawrence.
Also Lawrence needs to do something about the panhandlers and homeless people. It is annoying to go shopping and get panhandled. I agree with some of you above that say the rent downtown needs to go down. Local businesses rock, we can go to Oak Park Mall if we want to go to chains. Peace!!

beatrice 11 years, 11 months ago

Once again, people whining that they have too much art in their life. I simply don't understand.

topflight: if you really think you have an ounce of creativity in your body and could weld works of art, as you claim, then I say go for it! Maybe then you could struggle for a few years, working your craft to a point of perfection and subtlety to gain some recognition, possibly finding a patron or two, perhaps on the off chance you may even find gallery representation, you can begin to show in local, then state, then national art fairs, maybe win an award or two, and then, perhaps your work will be considered worthy of your receiving the amazing sum of the $5000 you mention! Gosh, with riches like that, after your years of struggle, what a wonderful reward! You could probably retire, or live frugally for a few months, which ever the case may be. So congratulations on your decision to become an artist. I'm sure you will add a worthy contribution to society with your vision.

Of course, you won't even try, because then you might learn something about the challenges artists face. Instead, you will just complain about those who have tried. Geez.


blessed3x 11 years, 11 months ago

By all means the comission should use every resource within their power to overwhelm downtown visitor's senses with art and landscape. Maybe then they won't realize the glaring problems the rest of the city faces.

Hey, who cares about the increasing traffic problems fueled by all those that must commute elsewhere to find employment as long as there is artwork on every corner and flowers on every sill.

beatrice 11 years, 11 months ago

b3 - so it must be either/or? If there is public art, then all other problems must then be ignored, and "every resource" used for the art? If you fill all potholes, there can't be art, and vice-versa? And how would having no art in downtown eliminate the present situation of workers needing to commute? That makes no sense. Taking away the art certainly won't create any jobs. Plus, a downtown with no plants or art at all, just nothing but concrete structure after concrete structure would be remarkably dull and still it wouldn't fix any of the problems you mention. The attack against public art is misguided.

bongo 11 years, 11 months ago

ban redneck trucks and idiots over-revving their motorcycles!

blessed3x 11 years, 11 months ago

bea, not either/or just one before the other.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 11 months ago

On the $30 million dollar figure for the library...where did that number come from?

Yes the landscaping will make downtown more fun and of course beautiful depending on what they plant. Some evergreens would be nice plus lots of color.

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