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Do you think Lawrence needs smart traffic lights?

Asked at Checkers, 2300 La. on January 30, 2006

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Photo of Lisa Fredrickson

“I’m sure there are certain places where they would be very useful, but not everywhere. Just at certain intersections that have traffic problems.”

Photo of Patrick Brown

“Yes. Driving back from Kansas City, I have to pick up one daughter on the west side of town and my other daughter up on the south side. It would save me a lot of time.”

Photo of Maria Otero

“If the city has enough money to get them, it would be great, but I don’t think it’s a necessity. I don’t think Lawrence has that bad of a traffic problem.”

Photo of Jason Holladay

“I think the ones we have now are just fine. I don’t think we need to spend any money for smart lights.”

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killjoy 12 years, 3 months ago

No one who's ever driven in Lawrence would ever use the term "intelligent design."

neopolss 12 years, 3 months ago

One look at the roundabout near Clinton Lake will tell you that the money is not being spent wisely. So many potholes could have been filled!

bmwjhawk 12 years, 3 months ago

Everyone, but on my commute: 6th and Lawrence. 6th and Monterey. 6th and Folks. The lights in this city are horrible. Anybody who doesn't think so is inattentive to traffic. I suppose that cell phone conversations can distract from the hideous nature of driving in this town. Perhaps I'll start talking on one, too.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

You know Lawrence would have more money to spend if they didn't spend $200k+ per round about or $50k on crap, I'm sorry, "art." Everyone who said that Lawrence needs a smarter city commission is correct.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 3 months ago

Call me crazy. I try to leave the house on time to get to where I'm going. I know there will be things to impede my progress like farmers on tractors, 99 year old drivers, and those pesky traffic lights, but that's OK. I can still manage to get myself and both kiddies (and sometimes even a hubby) out of the door in time. While sitting at the light, take solice in the fact that you have no control. For a mere minute (or less) you can sit and do absolutely nothing! If you're really adventurous, have a conversation with whomever is in the car with you. You might learn something.

Lawrence needs to take a chill pill.



badger 12 years, 3 months ago

Marion asked:

"How's that for a comment from a conservative?"

About normal, I'd say. Railing against taxes and the irresponsible way they're spent is as much a conservative's hallmark as railing against government's failure to care for its poor and fund its schools is a liberal one. Eh. Now, show me Ted Kennedy saying too many things are taxed, and that'll be something.

s_s: I agree to a point. The time spent at stoplights shouldn't annoy or aggravate you, because it's utterly beyond your control. However, if lights like this can keep traffic flowing more smoothly and save a few gallons of gas overall, then I think that's a good thing.

I do, though, think that Lawrencians ought to bear in mind that the more complex something gets, the more chance it has of breaking.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

I'm for this one, the more help Lawrence traffic gets, the better. Why don't they just build a huge bridge over lawrence connecting k-10 on both sides, like the old Boston artery. Then we wouldn't have to worry about the wetlands or whatever else is getting in the way of finishing the SLT. Or better yet, let's spend several billion dollars digging a tunnel under the town connecting these and then have that tunnel start to fall apart w/in a year of completion like the big dig did in boston. If anyone has anything to complain about, it's them.

If these lights are working in KC, and improving gas mileage and saving time, it's worth it.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 3 months ago

badger, I do agree with you about the gas usage. But I also agree with you about the breakage. Like those darn ice makers in the fridge. I love the fact that I can get filtered water and ice through the fridge door. I also know it will be the first thing that breaks.

BunE 12 years, 3 months ago

What we need are intelliget drivers. Follow the lights, stop at stop signs and yield at traffic circles.

beatrice 12 years, 3 months ago

Intelligent roundabouts! Now that is where money should be spent.

On a side note -- there is something fundamentaly wrong with a person's priorities when they routinely complain about having too much "art" in their life. I say we could all use more art, more music, more dance, more love, and more happiness in our lives.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

Roundabouts wouldn't be so bad, if people knew what to do when they came up to one...

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

Intelligence is too much to ask from people. It's their right to be dumb if they want to. And if they want to be a bad driver then they can because, well, it's their right to be.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

Bea that would be great, if the economical things were taken care of first. It doesn't matter how much Dada you have if you spend all day in traffic so you can't see it anyways. Or all day in the shop because your axel just broke by hitting the pothole that's been there for the last 6 months. Or in jail because you just robbed the bank to pay for your sidewalk repairs that weren't done right the last 2 times.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

Bankboy, I must have missed the part in the Bill of Rights that guaranteed me "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Stupid." I suppose happiness = bliss, and bliss = ignorance, so loosely translated, happy = stupid.

I commend so many of our fine elected officials for what I now see is a strict Constitutionalist stand, not just the results of falling off a few horses or out of highchairs thirty or forty times as children.

Lack of intelligent behaviour isn't a right, it's a blight.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 3 months ago

agreed, smart traffic lights might save a little gas, but really Lawrence needs to think deeper and fix the entire road system, instead of what would be another bandaid.

Sunflower_sue, a few days ago you said you couldn't get a pizza delivered...what are you trying to order on that there pizza?

if instead of smart lights, we set up a waving crossing guard at each intersection, might work better?

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

bearded_gnome-but think of the tax dollars to pay each crossing guard!

Downs going to Gonzaga? Does he know that life isn't going to be much easier for him there? I guess that he will be closer to home though...

sunflower_sue 12 years, 3 months ago

gnome, All I want is a large garlic and pepper encrusted potroast on top of a piece of dough. They keep whining that it won't fit in the box and that it would cost too much to retrofit a box for me. YEASH!

Jayhawk226 12 years, 3 months ago

Informed has it right...

...I think Lawrence needs "smart" city officials instead. Some smarter citizenry wouldn't hurt either.

beatrice 12 years, 3 months ago

bankboy: If I'm not mistaken, "The Dada Month" declaration didn't actually cost a thing, it was funny, and it gave Lawrence national exposure as a fun place, separate from college basketball. I had people who knew that I had lived there coming up and talking about it -- in a very positive way. In all, I would say very well done.

Studies have shown that there is a positive economic return on money spent on public art through tourism and locals out to see the work, which results in money spent at local businesses. Can't complain about that.

Here is an idea for you -- if you want your roads fixed, ask the local golfers to fully finance their own course, since it benefits so few. Or, instead of continuing with massive tax cuts for the wealthiest of the wealthy during a time of huge deficits AND while the country is at war ... well, you get the idea, but I suppose you think this as somehow anti-American since it is against Bush's rich buddies' plans to insure they remain rich. So keep attacking "art," since I'm sure the money spent in this life-improving arena could fill maybe a half dozen pot holes.

Or, here is another idea -- tax the churches. That will certainly pay for your potholes, and then some.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 3 months ago

Bea, Fully agree with you on art. We need more...way more. All kinds of art. Few people realize the benefit of mind and body associated with art. You have motivated me. I'm going to stroll out and check out the Lawrence Art Guild's show today at the Art's Center. Grand idea!

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

But beatrice, silly child, don't you understand? Art is stupid and golf is cool.

I agree with you. Art is important to the character of a city, and helps determine the perception of the city that people will take away with them. Every city has potholes and stupid drivers and traffic problems. The lack of them rarely stands out. I almost never hear anyone say something like, "We went to Lubbock for vacation. There really wasn't much there to see, or even do, but boy howdy was it nice to drive around because they have so little traffic and so few potholes!"

I like coming back to Lawrence to see the different pieces of art out on Mass. It's more memorable, more interesting than just plain, boring sidewalks. I even have pretty happy memories about some of the past art, which I've usually made up my own names and interpretations for.

BunE 12 years, 3 months ago

Beatrice, I love you.

Public Art is as old as civilization. It is well worth our tax dollars. Golf may be the most boring activity outside that there is.

Lawrence's roads are pretty good, I have yet to break an axel on them.

Gosh My taxes Are high, I can barely afford my Mc Mansion. If you cut my taxes, I pledge to employ 10 more people. If only the poor and the sick would stay out of my way and off the puplic Teat, I could finally get that scarab I have been dreaming about for Clinton Lake! That keeps the boatmakers in business.

linux_chick 12 years, 3 months ago

Thank God!

I hate driving around in Lawrence because of the stupid way stoplights are thrown up for piddly streets and not timed well.

I just moved to California and in a city larger than Lawrence, I'm surprised how quickly I can get from one side of town to the other without a highway. I have yet to wait longer than 30 seconds at a stoplight with several times more cars on the road than back home.

It's about time.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 12 years, 3 months ago

Right on Sunflower Sue. I have to drive in Kansas City sometimes, and they have plenty of traffic lights, but you're dealing with 6 lanes of traffic, not 4. Lawrence is no longer a small town. It is going to take longer to get from point a to point b. Turn on the radio and chill to some music. It's one of the few times in the day, I can just relax. The rest of the day is rush, rush, rush.

linux_chick 12 years, 3 months ago

How is it condusive to traffic flow to add traffic lights whenever more cars are on a single road? This seems backwards to me.

Example: Iowa is a throughway. We should be pushing that traffic through, but instead we create bottlenecks, stopping the flow of traffic for side-streets.

Stoplight-madness on a 3-mile-stretch on Iowa: 6th 9th Harvard 15th 19th 23rd 25th 27th 31st

And I'm probably missing a few. For the love of God, smart traffic lights are a start...

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

Marion -

You utterly missed

the purpose

of my reference

to Ted Kennedy.

He was simply

the most liberal

and supportive of taxation

and government increase

that I could think of.

We all know

about Chappaquiddick

and even those of us

who weren't yet in grade school

recognize that it

has had the sum total

of its effect on

American politics.

T h a n k s


unfrumpy 12 years, 3 months ago

linux chick u obviously do not understand how traffic works. lights speed up traffic, not slow it down.

Confrontation 12 years, 3 months ago

I can understand why the students don't think the traffic is bad. By the time they wake up at 10am (earliest), the traffic really isn't that bad. Then, when they drive to the clubs at 11pm, it's not that bad.

linux_chick 12 years, 3 months ago


I hate generalizations like these. You're taking some undue venting, I admit... but if I have to hear from one more person about how college is the time of my life, I'm going to puke.

Last semester, I was on campus by 7:30am everyday and in class or working until 7pm. Then meeting up w/ required class groups at 8. Then, I had the joy of doing homework until 2am at the earliest. Wake up and do it again.

I had 14-all-nighters last semester alone. And the weekends were no better.

Honestly, I can't wait to have a 9-to-5; at least then, I'll the break.

linux_chick 12 years, 3 months ago

... some students are working very hard.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

Way to go Bob, how dare you express freedom of speech on the ljw message board.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

Hey, I didn't know Brett Ballard got married.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

Nice sleuthing there, Aiko. You get five minutes free on the pole!

Maybe Sandy Praeger would be interested to see this going on during the workday, assuming he is working today. She liable to not like it.

Ceallach 12 years, 3 months ago

Do all y'all REALLY want to go down the slippery slope of workday computer usage :-/ Once it gets started, well, it may get ugly! Not for me of course, since I only use my break times :)

Ceallach 12 years, 3 months ago

I'm now taking a break on May 12, 2010.

beatrice 12 years, 3 months ago

Okay, if you guys are gonna start fights and make people blow a gasket, please do the rest of us the courtesy of making sure to drag them over to this main post! OMB gets someone so worked up that they phone in a complaint about bob to LJW, and then continues to post enough angry stuff (about bob? about life? about God?) to get permanently ryan-ized, and I missed it all because I was too busy at work to glance at all the posts on related sites. Not fair!

I second the "Great job" to Aiko!! Scary how the crazy ones often look so normal.

Oh, and sure, I guess, on the smart lights.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 3 months ago

Nice job Oh Bob-onemore...would like to get the deleted stuff pretty please.

this guy's a real piece ov worrkk!

Sunflower-sue, I dunno what's the pizza' joint's problem, they've certainly got pepper and garlic. maybe you should get a lawyer to represent you against the pizza joint, I think there's suddenly a lawyer with time on his hands, though he might submit your legal submissions IN ALL CAPS, YELLING ALL THE WAY!

on second thought, just stuff his mouth with garlic and peppers and roast him.

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