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What do you think can be done to relieve traffic congestion on 23rd Street?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 1, 2006

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Photo of Katy Livingston

“Work on creating a more centralized business district instead of thoughtless urban sprawl.”

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“I think they need better timing on the stoplights.”

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“I think they need to connect a parallel street to K-10.”

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Comments

Charlie Bannister 8 years, 3 months ago

Can anyone say "Eastern leg of South Lawrence Trafficway?"

trinity 8 years, 3 months ago

ban hondas; i think 80% of the cars in lawrence are hondas! that'd take away a BIG portion of the traffic! :)

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 3 months ago

Oh god this is just too easy. GET RID OF THE ROUNDABOUTS!

Linda Aikins 8 years, 3 months ago

Put John Chaney at every corner.

LOL Trinity!!!

jonas 8 years, 3 months ago

Even without the SLT (which we all know is not getting finished) traffic would be helped quite a bit by changing the stops on 31st and Haskell and 31st and Louisiana into traffic favoring lights, and perhaps widening the Haskell, Lou stretch to two lane.

The myth of the SLT saving everything is just that, a myth. Face it, rush hour in this town, with or without an SLT, with or without the students, is a joke. The only real problem day we have is Friday, where it might take a WHOLE 25 MINUTES to get from one side of the town to the next (unless you mindlessly take 23rd st and/or Iowa and if so, thanks for staying off the streets I like to take). The rest is just spoiled midwesterners whining.

trollkiller 8 years, 3 months ago

We could scare people away by putting up two large billboards with someones picture on it.

thanks,

tk

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

The gooberment could suspend the drivers' licenses of half the populace for a year. There could be a lottery to decide who gets suspended. Lon, er I mean John, Chaney could be the official who draws the names of those to be suspended. The next year, the other half could be suspended, suspensions then alternating in subsequent years. This would cut down on traffic congestion by 50 %, I think. Sounds a little like a plan.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 3 months ago

I was thinking maybe bouncers at access points to the road. If they don't lift the rope, you can't enter the road. That would be a very customizable solution.

sunflower_sue 8 years, 3 months ago

put up large concrete barriers at each end of the street. that should keep the cars out and eliminate all traffic congestion by 100 %.

bmwjhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

I propose a giant 4-lane bridge directly over 23rd street with no on or off ramps between Iowa and Don's steakhouse.

Bonus: It would also keep the lower portion of 23rd street dry.

irishblues 8 years, 3 months ago

Time the lights would help. I can make it, with luck from Haskell to Iowa all green. Then invaribly Iowa will change. Maybe a frontage road on both sides? Nope no room. Finish the SLT, upgrade 31st (what are they waiting on anyway? (money or time). Can they run 31st street out to 10? or is that the same as SLT?

irishblues 8 years, 3 months ago

Oh yeah, I forgot to add how much 23 now looks like metcalf at the northern end. What a cluster...

sgtwolverine 8 years, 3 months ago

Ha! Defender said simma down now. That made my day. Deck the halls now!

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

Sue's plan is well thought out and, perhaps, the only one that will ultimately be effective. The final solution. Maybe its come to that. Eliminate cars and you eliminate the problem. And trucks, too. And motorcycles, too. And the scooters. And maybe a few bidnesses, too, but every fine plan has a downside.

conservative 8 years, 3 months ago

  1. Increase traffic flow on other East/West running roads by improving 19th and 31st.

  2. Reduce the number of curb cuts on 23rd between Louisiana and Iowa.

  3. Add right hand turn lanes at Lousiana and Naismith so that traffic isn't slowed down by all the people turning right.

  4. Create a center turn lane between Haskell and Louisiana. (all center turn lanes should have concrete dividers so that you can only turn at appropriate places and not worry constantly about head on collisions)

  5. Create an Eastern Bypass from Noria road (mile marker 7 on K-10) connecting to 6th street at Mass. (start adding right hand turn lanes on 6th at that point too).

  6. (optional) require commercial trucks to use alternate routes between 7 and 9 A.M. and 4 and 6 P.M.

  7. (hopeful but not soon), Finish the SLT.

c_doc77 8 years, 3 months ago

First of all, Lawrence traffic is not bad. After having lived in Tulsa for four years, and in Lawrence for four years now, I cannot understand why people complain about the traffic.

To me, it's a non-issue. I think the whole argument was started to muster support for the South Lawrence Trafficway (SLT). The SLT has less to do about alleviating traffic and more to do with commercial business and real estate interests.

The SLT will NEVER happen. But if it did, it would eventually turn Lawrence into another suburb of Kansas city. It would morph into an Olathe or Overland Park. Have you gone to the west side lately? It totally mirrors Overland Park. Do you want the rest of the city to look like that? That's not the Lawrence I know and love.

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

Naah, that won't work, too serious. People will surely find a way to get around all that serious planning and make another huge mess of things, as is often the case with people.

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

c_doc77 speak with sharp eye and pure heart and keen noggin and tell truth.

c_doc77 8 years, 3 months ago

I was saying "huh" to your first comment. I think I get it now.

blessed3x 8 years, 3 months ago

Punish pot-smoking by suspending the offender's drivers license. Lawrence would be a bicycle community in a week!

RonBurgandy 8 years, 3 months ago

Just b/c traffic is worse somewhere else, does not mean it is just fine here.

Klondike bars are a good idea. I may be the only one that feels this way, but 6th street is just as bad, if not worse, as 23rd to me. At least during normal hours, rush hour may be a little different, but I am never on 6th during that time.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 3 months ago

Would it improve the tap water if traffic was lessened on 23rd? That should be the real motivation.

Ceallach 8 years, 3 months ago

I can see that we are all ready for a long weekend!! All y'all are either giggly or grumpy :)

In the related article's comment area, "kcwarpony" has a good post on another city's solution -- no left turns, concrete barrier instead of turn lane, U turns legal at intersections on left turn arrow. There are, no doubt, problems associated with such a plan, and I know I can count on other posters to point them out:):)

linus 8 years, 3 months ago

There is no construction cure for the "suicide lane". It could be improved...but not cured. It's the drivers folks! Until everyone realizes that their destination is not more important than someone elses destination this (and all driving related issues) will not be solved with construction.

Ceallach 8 years, 3 months ago

sgt, now that is a problem that should be addressed. Lawrence tap water . . . disgusting!! Thank goodnes for Lindy Springs.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 3 months ago

Ceal, that sort of setup is all over Michigan. We are quite accustomed to driving past our destination and making u-turns. It does work fine.

beatrice 8 years, 3 months ago

Government issued flying cars for the poor. Have tethered zeppelins that shuttle back and forth along 23rd -- call it "The Z." Ban drivers who have the letter R in their last name, and no black or white vehicles -- all must be a real color. That should do it.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 3 months ago

By the way, I can't tell you how distressed I am to see people wearing giant 1980's-sized sunglasses. It frightens me. Let's not revisit a 20-year-old national error in judgment.

sunflower_sue 8 years, 3 months ago

RI, Your plan is flawed. The check points would just slow down traffic and waiting in line for conjestion relief would just make people cranky and increase road-rage. It would cost the city millions to implement the plan because we would have to keep tabs on those receiving the sudafed. Duh!

sunflower_sue 8 years, 3 months ago

prospector, now that's a plan I like! Finally, someone talking sense!!

Kontum1972 8 years, 3 months ago

speed bumps....or 20mm GE mini-guns in towers or IED's seems to work in I-quack...

SLT on toast....plz

Kontum1972 8 years, 3 months ago

hire more COP'S.....we need more ......that's the ticket...yeah!

Kontum1972 8 years, 3 months ago

hire KBR or Haliburton...they are looking for a gig since they are bailing from the war-games....all u republicans....say AYE!

beatrice 8 years, 3 months ago

sgt: I prefer the big-glasses bug-eye look (not that I wear them!) to those goofy wrap-around Oakley things of the '90s. Silly shapes with pointy ends, and they cost hundreds of dollars? Please. I'm happy to see those things go the way of Members Only jackets.

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

I, for one, will phone da lawyer and suedafeds if dey twy to keep me fwom dwiving on da stweet I wanna dwive on when I wanna dwive on it. Dis whole subject is dwiving me cwazy. Lucky for me, da twip is a short one, even dough dere's wots of twaffic.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 3 months ago

Bea, I think the early 90s make me cringe at least as much as the 80s. Can you say hammer pants? Can't touch this, indeed.

good_kitty 8 years, 3 months ago

ban on privately-owned automobiles within city limits. Allow only foot, bicycle, mass transit and community cars for carpooling. Set up park and rides just outside the city limits for driving out of town. This is where one could keep their car when not in use. Ahhh, imagine life without the killing machines clogging the streets of town. What a beautiful thing!!!!

Crossfire 8 years, 3 months ago

Make 23rd a little Autobahn. An unlimited speed roadway would derease congestion. By each vehicle spending less time on the road traffic congestion would decrease. zoom-zoom

Linda Aikins 8 years, 3 months ago

sue da fed. CLASSIC! 1,000,000 points for arr-aye!

Linda Aikins 8 years, 3 months ago

Check out this website.

If he gets stuck, just move him with your cursor, or just click him with your curser and you can swing him around. He can also fly!!! And it's fun to beat his head against a bubble.

http://www.planetdan.net/pics/misc/georgie.htm

sunflower_sue 8 years, 3 months ago

Gootsie, that was a blast! And you're right...it was really fun to beat his head on a bubble (but I preferred to think of them as really smooth gray rocks.)

RI, My apologies. Apparantly your plan is well thought out and not lacking in merit.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 3 months ago

prospector, black and white bikes might make it look like there are a bunch of bicycle cops riding around the city.

livingkate 8 years, 3 months ago

Kontum-

Thank you. I brush twice daily as doctors reccomend.

Katy

sgtwolverine 8 years, 3 months ago

Good point, prospector. Wouldn't it work even better if they provided cop-like outfits with the bikes?

In a town near here, the police sometimes leave a car with a blow-up dummy to make people slow down. Those who know about it like to go take pictures of themselves draped across a cop car -- typically lying on the hood. Comedy value = high.

Tony Kisner 8 years, 3 months ago

I like the Sunflower Sue suggestion to put up barriers. My biggest concern for 23rd street is the poor desperate folks who plow all of their life savings into a new eatery on this street. So in additions to closing off the poor street to all traffic I would outlaw any new investment in a sushi/BBQ/Pub/Sub Shop. Although sin sellers seem to do well in this local.

Or, we could eliminate all traffic lights, strip the street of any lane markings, set-up grandstands and sell tickets. NASCAR look out! Not just a little rubb'n but full head on collisions. It's an idea that has just been sitting there, for years, and years.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

Nothing... maybe shut down KU.

When KU is on break it's a piece of cake. Rush hours are never fun no matter what city.

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 3 months ago

We should ban KU students from owning cars. Since the majority never pay attention during lectures anyway, they don't really need to go to class. (The motivated students won't mind walking to class.) Then, since there is a serious obesity problem in this country, they could walk wherever they need to go and it would be good for them. No more traffic problems, no more obese college students. This will inevitably decrease healthcare costs in the future and solve the traffic problems of today. Yeah, problem(s) solved!

Linda Aikins 8 years, 3 months ago

Sorry about the convulsions and tics. Do you think it's a subliminal thing?

I wish we could put other people's faces on that. My list would be long!

justthefacts 8 years, 3 months ago

6-7 years ago, a recent transplant to Lawrence asked me "WHO is on your traffic committee and why haven't they been lynched?". He was referring, mainly, to 23rd street from Iowa on east.

The damage was done years/decades ago. Lack of good future planning. Good urban planners know that main corridor streets need to have a LOT of frontage left uncluttered - no buildings/shops close to the street - and very FEW road cuts into the main road. That way, there are only a few places where people get to turn in, and there is room left to install new turn lanes, light etc. More like what they have over by the newer "Mall" stores south on Iowa. What we have on 23rd is the exact opposite situation.

To fix it now - by whatever means decided - would most likely require the government to condemn (take and pay high prices for) the privately owned parts of the road to each side, to correct the problem. That would mean MORE taxes for you and I.

My suggestion. Don't drive down 23rd if you can help it. Ever.

Meanwhile, rather then lynch the traffic commission, how about putting people on it who have crystal balls....or some advanced training in figuring out that main drive-through streets do not make for smooth saling when the area is chock full of businesses. We probably cannot fix 23rd, not cheaply anyway. But we might be able to avoid creating such a cluster in other places in town.

Maybe the last leg of the long-stalled out by-pass might get more support now?

hawklet21 8 years, 3 months ago

c'mon, trinity, a pregnant roller skate doesn't take up that much of the road! everyone drive hondas! huzzah!

Berserk 8 years, 3 months ago

In all seriousness, the street entrances to the various restraunts, I.E. KFC McDonalds, Pizza hut are the biggest problems between Iowa and Haskell.

The solution is to help these businesses with entrances that mesh together, or come in off of perpendicular roads, i.e. Alabama. Perhaps a back road behind the businesses.

Even easier than that... Fool proof plan. On the middle lane, there could be yellow, and red paint. Red for those areas that are designated left hand turn lanes for adjacent roads. If the area is red, i.e. if you are heading westbound on 23rd and want to pull into KFC without turning down Alabama,(whos entrance is poorly placed too close to Alabama) you couldn't do it, the red paint would signify that this part of the middle lane is sectioned for a turning lane.

We should commend QT for placing there lot entrace so far away from Haskell, while it is not always easy to get in and out of it is far enough from Haskell to not create a problem every time.

I have seen some people hit other people @ heavy traffic times, because a westbound driver will think he can bypass waiting for traffic flow to get him/her close enough to Haskell to move into the southbound / left turn lane, so they use the center lane as a driving lane, and there will be somone turning out of QT to go eastbound. Whos fault... the driver who decided it was a driving lane just for them.

Nonetheless red paint / red lines instead of yellow to denote NO CENTER TURN LANE HERE!

Flawless,

claps at himself

°Thanks°

Zerk

sunflower_sue 8 years, 3 months ago

RI, next time post a don the Depends alert. Squeeze out a couple of kids and the 'ol bladder doesn't hold up as well to the laugh attacks.

Well, I did it! I just managed to get to a business on 23rd and actually only drove less than a city block ON 23rd! Back roads all the way, baby! It can be done. Of course, I did almost run over a young teen on a skateboard that thought it would be fun to skim through traffic. Rolling down the window and yelling "idiot" did make me feel temporarily better. I have to give the kid credit for spunk. He just yelled back: "I love you, too." He's still an idiot. A spunky idiot.

james bush 8 years, 3 months ago

We often go to Sheridans at 23rd and Iowa for frozen custard when we visit Lawrence..............and use the backroads/business parking areas to get back on 23rd.

KsTwister 8 years, 3 months ago

One big "Dead End" in the center(Louisiana?) should relieve traffic from both directions. Someone may want to move it East about to the East Hills Business district.

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