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How long do you think it will take to begin construction on the South Lawrence Trafficway?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on May 7, 2008

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Photo of Holly Sweeney

“I bet that it’s at least five years away. I think the population here has a difficult task in balancing growth and what is beneficial for the environment, and I think a lot of people here are going to fight it until the very end.”

Photo of Rick Sheridan

“I’m guessing they’ll probably try to start before the November elections to avoid any interference by newly elected politicians. I think the people who are pushing for it will use the resources they have to start as soon as possible.”

Photo of Shay Knudsen

“If they have all the permits they need, I’m not sure why they haven’t started. I really wish they would just give up on it and find a better route. There are so many people who are opposed to it.”

Photo of Pearl Martin-Eagle

“I’m hoping they never will. If people are smart about it, they should be able to file enough lawsuits to prevent it indefinitely.”

Comments

blue73harley 5 years, 11 months ago

With "eventually" being the key word.PS. There is already a strip of asphalt through the swamp.

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WakaJayhawka 5 years, 11 months ago

okay so wait a second. let me get this right... so our society, which already seems way too dependent on cars and oil has planned to build a highway through the wetlands... i guess the problem of global warming wont be solved with the direction this community seems to be headed in. not only is this completely ignorant but it's also a slap in the face to the Natives in the community. wetlands are suppose to be sacred and we want to destroy this by building a stretch of asphalt and noise through it? plus the traffic in lawrence isn't even that bad. have some damn patience and you'll get where your going eventually.

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Bowhunter99 5 years, 11 months ago

COMMENT: "'m hoping they never will. If people are smart about it, they should be able to file enough lawsuits to prevent it indefinitely.""now... that's a s_m_a_r_t person talking... part of the Entitlement generation...

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le 5 years, 11 months ago

Thats right cool...K.U. endowment is hoarding all the money!

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

Quiji board says:N E V E R

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

will the SLT be obsolete with $7.00 per gallon gasoline ?stay tuned.Peak Oil is here !$200 per barrel ?

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le 5 years, 11 months ago

Tcoke...that is if you dont value momma nature....frogs are a good thing.....they tellus when man is Fing up the eco system....ducks , butterflys...need I go on?...maybe not but...guess what I will anyway....humans are not the only creature that inhabits the planet...without a balance of nature...we would not exsist! I can say no more at this time!.....but I will always have more input....til the last breath....Gasp! here I come elizabeth........oh ..oh.....

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 11 months ago

snap_pop_no_crackle (Anonymous) says: MD gets the Golden Fruitcake for best use of the word "coelacanth" in an OTS thread.***Gosh thanks snap!The best I was hoping for was a Klondike Bar. They won't fit in my little "Gold Nugget chewing gum drawstring bag" that I now shop with!

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 11 months ago

It takes 11 minutes to get from the 27th st/Wakarusa intersection of the SLT to the east edge of town.One takes the SLT to Iowa, then turn South about 1/2 block to the little dirt road just South of the Iowa overpass. Then take it all the way to Louisiana (where it ends), go N to 31st and then Haskell to 23rd.I've timed this everytime I've taken it at many different times during the day or night, and it's always about the same.It's 17 min from 27/Wk to Eudora.

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tcoke 5 years, 11 months ago

The people that oppose the road should drive down 23rd at 5pm. lawrence is growing and we need this road to help support our economy. Beside it is only grass with water in it. It is not like it is anything of great value.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

according to prophecy - if not completed by 2012 and we make the wrong decisions between now and 2012 it will then take 400,000 years to get things back on track.

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idarastar 5 years, 11 months ago

looza (Anonymous) says:build more sidewalks and bike paths. And eat more raisins. That is all.I second that looza!Although a bike path from the kansas river to the wetlands would be nice! a nice place to eat raisins. :D

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jackbinkelman 5 years, 11 months ago

"If people on the west side didn't have to drive through town to go east" [we wouldn't have to look at the poor people]!!! Ha! It's never going to happen! Why not carpool, drive less, ride a bike, take a bus, WALK! If you are so concerned with traffic in town. Just Pave it over is always the answer!! GAG!!!

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

averagethanks for the information...and... I think the number of through-going semis on the 23rd is far less than 1,000 a day...and for certain... if the SLT is built there will definitely be more semi traffic on K10... and I'm not sure how that's a good thing for Lawrence residence... particularly those that commute on K10...

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average 5 years, 11 months ago

Stuckinthemiddle - The numbers you seek already exist.http://www.ksdot.org/burtransplan/maps/CountMaps/Districts/inset07.pdfThe lower number on the state traffic count maps shows "heavy commercial' trucks per average day. If there are though-going semis on 23rd, they're less than 1000. Probably a lot less.That doesn't mean there wouldn't be a lot of semis on the SLT if finished. Particularly with Interstate 49 replacing US-71 between KC and Texarkana/New Orleans, a lot of traffic would be coming from Wal-Mart-land, via 435/K-10/SLT toward Denver to save a few miles and turnpike tolls. This will also be leading to increased road wear and a less pleasant (more semis) commute on K-10.

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The_Original_Bob 5 years, 11 months ago

"Please excuse my ignorance on the issue but,when was the sSLT first brought to the table?A year please anyone?" Geekin1895. After the sacking and then rebuilding of Lawrence, our forward thinking founders knew that traffic would be real bad on 23rd street and as a result, it'd be a real bitch to get a Big Mac in the 21st Century (as I said, these men were forward thinking).

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coolmarv 5 years, 11 months ago

geekin_topekan (Anonymous) says: Please excuse my ignorance on the issue but,when was the sSLT first brought to the table?A year please anyone?At least 20 years ago.

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Bone777 5 years, 11 months ago

As soon as the small pox epidemic...

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jonas 5 years, 11 months ago

blue: "So when traffic is headed to Ottawa and points South they are supposed to drive down 23rd."I think you're making a Huge assumption that there is any traffic headed to Ottawa. For one thing, "headed to" should probably be changed to "pulled inexorably towards." Those few that go are only obeying the physical law of diffusion, in my opinion.

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le 5 years, 11 months ago

Geekin...you either are new 2 the area or had yer head in the sand.....Its been a long road (incomplete) in the makin .....I was a young handsome man when the project started..and now I am an old Fer just hangin on so I can see it resolved! Does this give you a clue?

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le 5 years, 11 months ago

Looza ..yer post made me think bout the bike path in B-ville....I think you may be on to somethin here...Dont hold back..2 heads are better than one and the many heads on this site ..I am sure we can solve Larryvilles problems....It does take a village 2 raise the small minded city planners of the world...

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geekin_topekan 5 years, 11 months ago

Please excuse my ignorance on the issue but,when was the sSLT first brought to the table?A year please anyone?

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le 5 years, 11 months ago

Looza...I would love to here your solutions in more depth! You got the right Idea...but please tell us more!

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le 5 years, 11 months ago

See: Bartlesville okla. as lame as the town is....they have one of the best bike paths (asphalt) that will take the biking community all over town without being intrusive 2 traffic and endangering themselves....but thats what ya get when you have a community that has oil money (like,,K.S. Boots Adams and others) yup the same Boots that has his name on K.U. alumni across from the Union! Bikin is good and Bikin is green...but the majority of them think a little 2 much of themselves and think they are better than the common workin joe without a education that has 2 use the roads we pay for thru taxing to get 2 the ever changing work market.....To damn bad our city planners dont thinkbout that during the planning process..we would attract every Lance Armstrong wannabe with a fat bank account if they just stopped and thought about it a little longer! They used to(don`t know if they still do) put Po-Po on horses to patrol the path cuz...with a secluded path ya got a certain % of predators that target the young ladies out on the path...and Po-Po on a horse is also an attraction...works 4 New York! Planners ...wake up and smell the money....put me on the payroll and I will make the city of Larry a househld name!

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

and... driving through Lawrence to get to Ottawa? any trucker with half a brain headed to Ottawa from KC is taking I 35...

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

regardless of what the designated truck route through Lawrence is there are very few semis that drive all the way through town on 23rd street and the semi traffic on Iowa is all most entirely from I 70 and making deliveries along Iowa...and of course this is a generalization... but it is an accurate assessment...maybe some poor sap who has to drive K10 every day could count the semis on K10 so we'd have some specific numbers... when I drive K10 in the middle of the day I don't see but 1 or 2 semis going either way... I do see a lot of much smaller delivery trucks...there just isn't that much semi traffic on K 10 or 23rd street...certainly not enough to whine about...

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looza 5 years, 11 months ago

build more sidewalks and bike paths. And eat more raisins. That is all.

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blue73harley 5 years, 11 months ago

"the vast mojority of semis on 23rd and Iowa are making deliveries:"More generalizations. The fact is 23rd street IS the designated truck route through Lawrence. So when traffic is headed to Ottawa and points South they are supposed to drive down 23rd. I know a lot of semis go south on Haskell but they aren't supposed to. In fact, a new sign has recently been added on Haskell (at 23rd) stating, "Local Deliveries Only".http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/publicworks/pdf/truckroutemap.pdf

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le 5 years, 11 months ago

I have nothin personal against tree huggin and goin green (if ya got the time and money 2 support yer cause ..then more power to ya) however in the real world ..sometimes (stuck) the world throws you a curve ball and ya just gotta suck it up and stand yer ground ...why should people have 2 relocate in a world of ever changing job options? Like the old frontier I find it commendable when someone stays and fights for their homes and has 2 make adjustments 2 hang on 2 that which they love..be it a home or a community....or just good friends ...the only stupid people are the ones that throw in the towel when things get a little difficult ! take marriage as an example...people today treat the vows like they have the 3 strikes option...things get a little difficult so they give up....and move on 2 the next partner...life is not suppose 2 be a square dance...so if the world forces yer hand and makes you have to adjust in order to keep workin to pay the bills and have to commute ..then so be it....if people gave up every time a problem came up...well then think about who ya vote in any office that controls our day to day lives...get off yer armchair ways and go out and make a difference....but when you do and find success...dont fall into the greed to make your personal space better at the cost of other peoples lives...and this is something I as well need to work on myself as well....I cant preach it if I ain`t willin to do the same! we all wanna give good advice on here and have our voice heard....but talkin the talk and walkin the walk are 2 completely different thangs.! Peace out!

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

takeastandgood point...the vast mojority of semis on 23rd and Iowa are making deliveries...you really don't see all that many semis on K10... most of them are on I 70...

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Bruce Rist 5 years, 11 months ago

This isn't going to stop all semis and big trucks from driving 23rd street and Iowa Street. I don't know how many are "passing through" but I would assume that some are there for in town deliveries. I would also be careful what you wish for. If drivers aren't stopping in Lawrence, they ain't spending $$$.

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

blue73harleyand you whine a lot about a lot of things... in my opinion...

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blue73harley 5 years, 11 months ago

stuck - you are naive and prone to amazing generalizations...in my opinion.

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le 5 years, 11 months ago

And we all know what opinions are like....

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

blue73harley you've have yourself in a rather messed up situation... in my opinion...

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

KSA_21_3503 I responded to this same nonsense on the other thread...I'll shorten it here...the property tax that those folks pay doesn't even take care of the city's expense for the new western development and it's upkeep... if the commuters left the only thing that would crumble would be all those over-sized, over priced crap shacks that the commuters live in...

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dajudge 5 years, 11 months ago

It will be finished by December 21, 2012.That's my final ruling.

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le 5 years, 11 months ago

KSA...you will not get any where with Jonas....He is a lot like Bush....he will never admit he is wrong...He can`t stand 2 admit he is wrong on any issue....and does a lot of back steppin when he puts foot in mouth! And always comes up with a story of what he really meant cuz of being misinterpeted.....some people just have 2 get in the last word and feel intulectually superior !

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sunflower_sue 5 years, 11 months ago

Since the SLT was proposed, I have:said I would never get marriedgotten marriedspit out a couple of kidsdealt with teanage hormonesI think I will deal with my mid-life crisis, babysit grandkids, and move on to taking water-aerobics for senior citizens before the SLT is started.

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blue73harley 5 years, 11 months ago

stuckinthemiddleofyourbasement - Most of us evil commuters do it to put bread on the table. Some of us, like myself, did not intend to commute but jobs move. Some of us, like myself, have a spouse that commutes the opposite way and have Lawrence as a mid-point. And, what KSA said.

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LawrencePothole 5 years, 11 months ago

There's no decent jobs in this town because the hippies have done everything they can to discourage business and development, some of the same reasons the SLT hasn't been built yet. Build the damn thing already and quit whining about it hippies and Indians!

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"truth is: Lawrence will never be a green city as long as a large portion of it's population chooses to commute to another city 35 miles away: mostly with one or two people in each vehicle:on top of that, a large portion of those people choose the live on the far west side of town:not very smart: really: if you think about it:"Hmm... trying to bite the hand that feeds you, eh? Without those people who commute, where oh where will the tax dollars come from to support this town? There are NO decent jobs here. No decent jobs = no decent salaries. No decent salaries = no decent tax base. And there you have it. Be careful what you wish for. If you drive out the commuters, this city will crumble to the ground.

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

truth is... Lawrence will never be a green city as long as a large portion of it's population chooses to commute to another city 35 miles away... mostly with one or two people in each vehicle...on top of that, a large portion of those people choose the live on the far west side of town...not very smart... really... if you think about it...

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 11 months ago

If some enterprising group would simply hire a group of those poor Green Card disabled workers and pay them a Living Wage for a few hours work, you could get them to dig out large gaps in the dams around the so-called "Wetlands" and the water would run out in only a few hours.

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Thats_messed_up 5 years, 11 months ago

Lawrence will never be considered a "green" city as long they refuse to build the SLT thereby strangling traffic for thousands and thousands of northeast Kansas commuters every day. The greenhouse emissions from 20,000 to 40,000 vehicles idling, starting and stopping, idling , starting and stopping 20 times over-- twice a day just to get through Liberal Paradise Lawrence is many many times more than if those same vehicles cruised around Lawrence through open fields of mud and mosquitoes at 65mph without ever stopping once. Also the wear and tear of the large trucks on 23rd, haskell, 31st, iowa, etc. are the reason the roads all suck. Green city? What a joke!

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"I can't say that I agree that the problem with start and stop traffic due to lights on 23rd (not to mention Iowa, 6th st, etc) is due to the lack of the SLT, but maybe I misunderstood you. If you meant it was just poor planning, though, then I'm likely to agree with you. There's a lot of poor planning in Lawrence."They are separate, but related issues. The perceived need for the lights would have been less if the traffic had been less which would likely have happened had the SLT been built."But if we're talking about quick transit time, the only area of the city you could possibly say would get close to a 15 minute increase would be right off of Iowa, and the two connections at Kasold and whatever that one is by Scottsdale. There's still about a two to five minute drive, at the least, from any other connection at the west side of K10, which I am assuming (since now that I think about it, I don't really know) is where the SLT will connect to, and the current city."Not true. Anybody that lives west of Iowa would see a dramatic decrease in transit time. Most of the areas (south of 4th street) are within 5 minutes of K-10. This is due, in great part, to a more reasonable spacing of stop signs and stop lights West of Iowa. (This is changing though with more ridiculous installments: Crestline & Clinton; Inverness & Wakarusa; Harvard & Wakarusa; Hyvee & Clinton; Hyvee & Kasold; 8th & Kasold) Once you were on K-10 it wouldn't take more than 5 minutes to get out of town. That's 10 minutes to get out for pretty much everybody west of Iowa. As opposed to the 23-29 it takes now from the west side, that is a significant decrease.

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jonas 5 years, 11 months ago

"And, no, nothing I have said is an exaggeration. On average, It takes 19 minutes to get from Harper to Quivira. On average, it takes 23 minutes to get from Wakarusa to Harper."Yes, one of these is a city street, and one of them is a freeway. This is a very poor comparison. But if we're talking about quick transit time, the only area of the city you could possibly say would get close to a 15 minute increase would be right off of Iowa, and the two connections at Kasold and whatever that one is by Scottsdale. There's still about a two to five minute drive, at the least, from any other connection at the west side of K10, which I am assuming (since now that I think about it, I don't really know) is where the SLT will connect to, and the current city.By the way, when I said sprawl, I meant development sprawl, not traffic sprawl. The gap between the city and the SLT will, eventually, be filled by development. I, personally, view this as inevitable. I can't say that I agree that the problem with start and stop traffic due to lights on 23rd (not to mention Iowa, 6th st, etc) is due to the lack of the SLT, but maybe I misunderstood you. If you meant it was just poor planning, though, then I'm likely to agree with you. There's a lot of poor planning in Lawrence.

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le 5 years, 11 months ago

2 hell with the road...build a casino!

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blue73harley 5 years, 11 months ago

BushCo endorses this alignment.Obama supports it privately but is waiting to see if there will be litigation.Hillary wants a toll road to use the funds for national health care.The Nazi's would like to see it become an Autobahn.

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BigPrune 5 years, 11 months ago

They better start building it soon since the 4 lane highway from Ottawa will be dumping another 60,000 cars onto our roadways when that road is completed.Run a bulldozer along the route.

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Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 5 years, 11 months ago

The real question is how soon the Lawrence PD will begin using it as a revenue source.

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

Balkanshawk: I think I would have something to say about that.

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le 5 years, 11 months ago

By the time it is built..Gasoline will be so expensive...The need 4 the road and the pollution problem will no longer be a problem! 23rd street will dry up and so will many of your favorite shopping areas...Gas prices will make many cities ghost towns with travel 2 a minumum! Before it gets built , so much time will have past our great great grand kids will be traveling in one of them pods (like in the movie " the Fly") or no need 4 roads cuz we will all be scootin `round town like "Futurama".....looking down on the ruins of the roundabouts...ha ha....silly Larryvillians!

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BalkansHawk 5 years, 11 months ago

My oldest son is 14. I wouldn't be surprised if I have some grandchildren who work on this project as a summer job.

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The_Original_Bob 5 years, 11 months ago

Al Gore blames global warming on this decision.

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 11 months ago

the people who think they need this road should pay for it... make it a toll road...

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bd 5 years, 11 months ago

This town is a joke!Build the stupid road and get the semi's off of Iowa & 23rd. I bet the new 59 HWY will get done first!

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"WAKE UP, that's all students and people shopping!"How many students or shoppers drive semis for transportation?

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Topside 5 years, 11 months ago

I still chuckle at people who really think this will alleviate traffic on 23rd....WAKE UP, that's all students and people shopping!

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"and the sprawl outwards that this will pretty much inevitably result will end up outweighing the deletion of any extra smog on 23rd street."You are conveniently forgetting the traffic that has spread out from 23rd street onto both 19th and 31st to move west-east. The problem is much more than congestion on just 23rd street. The problem is congestion on 19, 23, 31, Iowa, 6th, Louisiana, Haskell, Kentucky, Tennessee, and a few other major arteries. If people on the west side didn't have to drive through town to go east, traffic on ALL of these roads would be reduced.

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"A calming circle or roundabout, if put in the right place (city seems to be batting about .5oo on this if you take Harvard out of the equation, will require less stopping than a 4-way stop sign."I am including stop signs and stop lights in my definition of "traffic calming devices." See: 31st and Iowa for an example of waaaaaaay too many stop lights. Frankly, round-a-bouts probably do increase traffic flow at least in some places. Although, there is one somewhere around campus (18th and Indiana area) that has both a round-a-bout and a 4-way stop. Someone please explain this.What I am saying is that this city has been and continues to be extremely poorly planned. More stop signs and stop lights create more congestion. Forcing traffic from the westside to go through the middle of the city to go east creates congestion. A fast-moving SLT will at least alleviate this west-east problem. The next step is to tackle the stop sign/stop light happy city management.And, no, nothing I have said is an exaggeration. On average, It takes 19 minutes to get from Harper to Quivira. On average, it takes 23 minutes to get from Wakarusa to Harper.It shouldn't take longer to get across Lawrence than it does to get from Lawrence to Kansas City.

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gccs14r 5 years, 11 months ago

The SLT could have been built 20 years ago if its supporters weren't so dedicated to the wetlands alignment. My guess is that they want to put the highway there so that even if the land is eventually returned to Haskell that it won't be of any use to them.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Given that the primary purposes of the SLT are to facilitate residential sprawl and create an improved truck route for long-distance, over-the-road truckers, completion of the SLT will quite certainly increase pollution from cars and trucks.

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Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

MD gets the Golden Fruitcake for best use of the word "coelacanth" in an OTS thread.

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jonas 5 years, 11 months ago

KSA: Well, you do probably have a point on the stop-and-go aspect. The rest of your post seems a little exaggerative, though. In regards to the calming circles, are you suggesting that we should be shooting for a town infrastructure that never requires cars to slow down or stop, because that sounds a little dangerous, don't you think? A calming circle or roundabout, if put in the right place (city seems to be batting about .5oo on this if you take Harvard out of the equation, will require less stopping than a 4-way stop sign. So it seems to me. In regards to the environmental impact, I think it's fair to say that the overall effect will still be negative. I think that the initial cost to the swamp, the extra traffic as behaviors compensate for this extra convenience, and the sprawl outwards that this will pretty much inevitably result will end up outweighing the deletion of any extra smog on 23rd street.

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JJE007 5 years, 11 months ago

"As long as grass grows, wind blows and the sky is blue..."of course..."Sometimes grass don't grow, wind don't blow, and the sky ain't blue" (quotes from -Little Big Man-)Who cares, at this point. Will anyone's nightmare end?

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KSA_21_3503 5 years, 11 months ago

"Do the same number of cars put out a higher level of pollution if they're grouped closer together?"Obviously, yes. They are not moving on 23rd street. It takes at least 20 minutes longer than it should to travel that distance if one were to go on 23rd street. The SLT will get those cars moving faster, thus reducing the pollution dramatically.Faster moving = less time polluting.Faster moving = less stop & go = dramatically lower fuel consumptionThe environmentalists should be completely in favor of the SLT if they really want to reduce greenhouse emissions. They should also be against all "traffic calming devices" as these all INCREASE pollution and fuel consumption.Let's see the response to being called out on this hypocrisy. I'm sure there will be some gems.

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jonas 5 years, 11 months ago

"Meanwhile, how much additional smog and air pollution have resulted from the extreme congestion on 23rd Street?"Do the same number of cars put out a higher level of pollution if they're grouped closer together?

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mtnfreak 5 years, 11 months ago

Build the SLT already! For the past 20 years, all the environmentalists have been complaining how bad it will be to build the SLT. Meanwhile, how much additional smog and air pollution have resulted from the extreme congestion on 23rd Street? We've probably caused more lung problems in humans because the environmentalists won't allow us to relocate the wetlands and a small frog population nobody ever knew or cared about until the SLT issue. Overall, we've likely caused more harm to the environment and air quality from not building the SLT.

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50YearResident 5 years, 11 months ago

Start Today....Lets get this completed. No more delays because of a few complainers.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 11 months ago

Possibly in 17 yrs, in time for the next championship 2028.We wouldn't want to rush things.Or maybe the day after they find fresh water coelacanth in the wetlands.

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