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How would you change or improve downtown Lawrence?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on October 15, 2009

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Photo of Marji Coon

“I would get rid of the parking meters because we already pay to shop.”

Photo of Mike Garber

“As a visitor, I’m pretty impressed with the (downtown)… and the fact that my ticket here for (over)parking was only two dollars.”

Photo of Albaraa Eskndarani

“Get more restaurants, different kinds of food.”

Photo of Kiersten Clark

“I would put recycling bins next to the trash cans.”

Comments

grammaddy 5 years, 2 months ago

More Mom&Pop shops and less national chains, fewer bars. I know this is a college town but alcohol isn't contributing to their health or education. Do we really need so many?

Mike Wagner 5 years, 2 months ago

Run off all of the bums! Make All the building owners fix/repair them. Run of all the bums! Replace all the burned out street lights. Have 2 foot patrol officers walking mass every weekend especially at night. Run off all the bums! Diversify, how many bars/resturants and sport apperal shops does one downtown need? Run off all the bums!!

BigPrune 5 years, 2 months ago

Lawrence needs a regional draw that will bring people in from all over the midwest. An attraction not seen in this area. Shuttle buses could run from this regional attraction to parking garages on the outskirts of the downtown area plus run up and down Massachusetts. Of course this means some old houses would need to be removed to allow for this attraction. Part of the attraction could start on Mass and an overhead walkway could be built to tie in this attraction from Mass Street to New Hampshire or Vermont wherever the thing could be built. They also need to prune the trees back or replace them with something shorter so the public can see the store signage. In Columbia, MO, there aren't any tall trees blocking the signage and their downtown is thriving. They also have 5 parking garages.

The fact of the matter is, as long as the population increases in age, people don't want to park and walk.

labmonkey 5 years, 2 months ago

Cmon consumer....leave morracca girl alone. She is a good example to show your kids what drugs/the hippie lifestyle/an art education etc... can do to a person.

zettapixel 5 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps maraca girl should shake her other maracas? I'd imagine there's more money to be made.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 2 months ago

lawrence has one of the last truly great downtowns in kansas, and possibly the midwest. i love it. i do agree w/ my fellow salinan who commented at the beginning of this article though about recycling bins. i think that's a great idea for ANY downtown-- but especially for one as busy as lawrence's.

i think the parking meters are needed though.

dajudge 5 years, 2 months ago

They should build a giant ferris wheel in South Park so we could go up high and see the whole town. It would be a huge draw, and fun for everyone. Like the St. Louis Arch, people would come from far and wide and say, "Yeah, I went up on the Lawrence Ferris Wheel!".

labmonkey 5 years, 2 months ago

Buldoze it down and plant some corn. I am sure we are wasting many acres of the most fertile ground in Kansas with Lawrence.

labmonkey 5 years, 2 months ago

I mean seriously...if you really want to go green.

somedude20 5 years, 2 months ago

“As a visitor, I’m pretty impressed with the (downtown)… and the fact that my ticket here for (over)parking was only two dollars.” — Mike Garber, record dealer, Kansas City, Mo.

I thought they raised the tickets to $3 now

ralphralph 5 years, 2 months ago

Maintain and add unique retail. Maintain or add areas friendly to street performers.

Practicality 5 years, 2 months ago

Put in a Wal-Mart. That will bring back the people.

walter_sobchak 5 years, 2 months ago

In-and-Out Burger...just like North Hollywood on Radford. Wait, the In-and-Out Burger is on Camrose.

Jim Fisher 5 years, 2 months ago

Get rid of that ugly-tail Allen Press Building at 11th and Mass and build another hotel - on stilts so there would be a large 3 season covered yet open area for events.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 2 months ago

LOL @ py and multi. tee hee even. ;)

practicality, i got a giggle from your post as well. however, i was there just the other day (on a saturday) and it was quite the bustling little retail area. maybe it was because there was a home game that day but it was really busy.

gordonflash 5 years, 2 months ago

How about adding a mom & pop sized Wal-Mart so we can shop for less. The stores down-town are expensive compared to similar stores elsewhere.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 2 months ago

gordon, isn't that an oxymoron?-- "mom and pop sized wal-mart"? is there or has there ever been such a thing?

begin60 5 years, 2 months ago

Add more bookstores, drugstores and grocers--more everyday convenience and havens for the educated crowd---maybe an artsy card shop or stationer's.

TriSigmaKS 5 years, 2 months ago

More restaurants! Of COURSE we need more variety, we don't all like the same things.

gilly 5 years, 2 months ago

I've heard that one of the problems for businesses renting downtown is that renters can be required in their leases to pay the landlord's property taxes. Is this true?

If so, then get rid of that practice (it's the landlord's property tax, not the renter's, that's why the renter pays rent), and it will be easier to get diversified businesses downtown that stand a chance of success.

gccs14r 5 years, 2 months ago

I still think it would be a great ped mall, if it had a trolley that ran down the middle of Mass to get folks to and from the parking garage(s). +1 on cleaning up and making useful the north side of 11th between Mass and New Hampshire.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 2 months ago

Side note to LJW, you guys should really take a look at blogs before they appear on your site.

zettapixel 5 years, 2 months ago

No-pants Fridays? How about topless Tuesdays?

gogoplata 5 years, 2 months ago

How about respecting the property rights of business owners and getting rid of the smoking ban?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

Bring Lands End to downtown Lawrence,bribe Old Navy to move downtown and try to create an affordable antique market place in downtown Lawrence as well. The other locally owned shops should benefit from this new approach. A few anchors surrounded by "mom and pops". Take advantage of the retail foot traffic.

Have two sidewalk sales. Yes one in April and one in October which would maximize sales as so many are not away on vacations.

In the summer have a huge festival in the 700,800 and 900 blocks with artists,local farmers and local gardeners(Vinland Valley Nursery and such) plus music all on Mass Street. Block off Mass.

Definitely expand on the art community with large fairs twice a year on Mass. In addition to Art in the Park.

An annual Mass Street brewfest sounds like fun. Invite in other micro brewers,Boulevard,New Belgium plus their bikes. Let's have fun.

All of the above creates tons of foot traffic which should benefit downtown across the board.

Want to block off Mass Street? Forget the expensive bricks. Buy huge planters and place them at ends of each block. Then scatter beautiful planters through the middle of each block. This approach is not as expensive and wayyyyy more versatile. Landscaping pays back and creates an ambiance second to none.

Publicity Publicity Publicity Publicity Publicity

Flap Doodle 5 years, 2 months ago

Wear cheerful bright clothing when you board the flaming handbasket.

Meatwad 5 years, 2 months ago

Sadly, Lawrence's generosity has brought more and more "lifestyle homeless" to our town and they are ruining our downtown. We need to stop enabling people who need only the kind of help hospitals and rehab can provide. Just giving addicted people a place to sleep and 3 meals a day and turning them loose on our city during the day is not helping solve the problem, it's making it worse. These people are moving here from other cities to take advantage of Lawrence. It needs to stop.

GmaD321 5 years, 2 months ago

The homeless are not a point of interest. I remember when my kids were little (in 30s now) there were parades many Saturdays in the fall. I also remember when you could enjoy the unique little shops and buy something no matter how little $$ you had. You could take your kids to South Park and have a picnic lunch and not worry about being harrassed by homeless or thugs. Downtown has for a long time catered to KU students with all of the bars and to those w/lots of $$. I haven't even walked up and down Mass. in yrs because of the high-end chains and bars and bums. No place to take kids and if you don't appear to be able to afford a $100 pr of jeans you are not wanted in the stores either.

GardenMomma 5 years, 2 months ago

Yes, please do something about all the beggars. Every time I've gone downtown, I've been asked at least two times by two different beggars for change. When I say I don't have any, I generally get a rude comment back.

I don't really enjoy going downtown anymore because of them.

gccs14r 5 years, 2 months ago

I never get asked for anything downtown.

Practicality 5 years, 2 months ago

Next time you see a beggar, go ask him/her for some change before they can ask you. I think that will get them out of downtown, it seemed to work on the shoppers.

livetocook 5 years, 2 months ago

How would you change or improve downtown Lawrence? Boring. The 'rest of town ' makes up the majority of small business/retail/restaurants. Make some effort to go beyond downtown. I know. It might be hard for some of the self-proclaimed "Lawrence Guru's." Every once and awhile you guys just need to pick the poop out of your cereal.

Newell_Post 5 years, 2 months ago

The "bum's rush" liberally applied would greatly improve downtown.

akuna 5 years, 2 months ago

Here are a few ideas:

Increase the density of living in the downtown area. Build apartment complexes that have good access to downtown. DLI should sponsor more events. Create a public plaza. Build a central transportation depot near downtown - buses, taxis, airport shuttles, k-10 connector... Increase access. Sponsor football and basketball watch parties. Build a multiscreen movie theater downtown or near downtown. Create an environment for families on weekend nights - kids go to their "club," parents go out for dinner. Build a convention center. Attract more office jobs.

Tom Hilger 5 years, 2 months ago

"What's the word? / Thunderbird / How's it sold? / Good and cold / What's the jive? / Bird's alive / What's the price? / Thirty twice."

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