Sound Off

Sound Off: I live on a private road (owned by a HOA). We have a problem with through traffic speeding and driving recklessly. Is there anything that we can do about this? The police will not come and enforce any kind of speed limit since it is not considered a city street, yet hundreds of cars per day that do not live there use it as if it were a city street. Things are getting really dangerous with cars traveling upwards of 45 mph on a residential drive with moderate foot traffic and no sidewalk. There have been a few accidents already and even more near misses. If the answer is to issue trespass warnings, who has the authority to do that?

David Woosley, the city’s traffic engineer, recommends that the homeowner discuss this issue with their homeowners association. The city will not install traffic-calming devices on private streets. The HOA could install speed humps in the area, which would be the most effective method for controlling speed at the areas. Trespassing warnings would need to be enforced and posted by the HOA.


Keith Richards 5 years, 7 months ago

If it is a completely private road, you should quit whining and pay the money to install mechanized gates at each entrance.

Liberty275 5 years, 7 months ago

Wow, first reply wins!

If I had a private road with two outlets onto public road, I'd hire 2 gate guards and make them lift the gate manually and salute me every time I came or went. I'd get them uniforms and everything.

LogicMan 5 years, 7 months ago

Close one of the entrances permanently. Just make sure Fire and Rescue knows and can get in easily.

cabmando 5 years, 7 months ago

sounds like the entrance to Alvamar off 15th St, already looks like an obstacle course

DennisReynolds 5 years, 7 months ago

Sometimes I feel like taking my 9 iron to the cars that drive through the alvamar parking lot at high speed.

jaywalker 5 years, 7 months ago

Unusually grumpy responses.

Take away the desire to use that road or drive fast; speed bumps or dips would work.

mdlund0 5 years, 7 months ago

That's probably not wise... or legal. Oh, wait... that's definitely not wise and absolutely not legal.

Tara Painter 5 years, 7 months ago

I live next to the highway, and sometimes you just have to deal with it, not everything is perfect, I have thefts all the time, but you don't see me complaining. You need to walk go to the track, the road is not that busy as it is in town, your complaing about 45 MPH! I would see whinning if there were going 60+ but it sounds like your like one of those old ladys where know one can step in your yard. You have to adjust to it like everyone else does when things change.

Jean Robart 5 years, 7 months ago

caton---you might want to use a dictionary before posting. Your spelling detracts from whatever it is that you are trying to say.

Tara Painter 5 years, 6 months ago

nowhere on here do I have to have perfect spelling of any kind. I think I do better at caring for my kids then any of you do, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth, some of us had to raise ourselves. If your going to make a comment stick to the topic being said on how other peoples grammer is!

Know1StepsInMyYard 5 years, 7 months ago

By everyone's logic, it would be fine if a child is hit and killed due to reckless driving, as long as it's on a privately owned road. Cool!

tolawdjk 5 years, 7 months ago

No, it would not be "fine". I would think, however, that the parents of said child would have a strog case against the HOA for failure to adequately control their private road.

parrothead8 5 years, 7 months ago

Whose logic indicated that? I didn't see any statements before yours that seemed to disregard anybody's personal safety.

Liberty275 5 years, 7 months ago

Yes, the law can come out and prosecute a crime on private property with a warrant. I'm not sure they will be able to get a warrant to catch "reckless drivers". That is already too much a judgement call.

As for those of you who would say "my property, no warrant needed", what are you going to do when they catch your kid driving on your property without a license and you are in the seat beside them telling them how to use the clutch? You can't pay the law to prosecute some crimes or criminals and not others.

alittlecurious 5 years, 7 months ago

Those are common problems on private roads... buyer beware!

kernal 5 years, 7 months ago

Maybe the HOA should post a sign along the lines of "Private Property, Residents Only". That would keep most people out without having to put up gates, but gates are what many HOAs do in other states. You can get gates that open with a remote from your car. A drawback is when people take their remotes out of their cars and forget them.

I don't know how you're going to prove trespassing, unless residents are going to take turns sitting by the entrance with video cams to get shots of the drivers faces and tags.

Know1StepsInMyYard 5 years, 7 months ago

If no (or know) one has figured it out by now, it's 15th and Crossgate. There are signs, and traffic calming devices. Since it's shared with the golf course, gates are not an option, unless everyone who ever wants to go the the driving range gets a remote.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 7 months ago

Having just finished up doing some work over on 15th & Crossgate (the Alvamar entrance off 15th) I'm imagining this is the exact road people are referencing. I will concur that it was indeed a race track for all those who flew down it. This is a death trap for pedestrians. Lock your kids inside, people racing off to their tee time will kill us all.

Know1StepsInMyYard 5 years, 7 months ago

90% of the traffic on that road is not from the golf course, it's everyone cutting through the parking lot.

gccs14r 5 years, 7 months ago

It won't do any good to put up gates if it's the neighborhood residents who are speeding. Maybe the HOA should hire private security to enforce the speed limit. (You do have speed limit signs up, don't you? Or do they detract from the sterile aesthetics of suburbia?)

ElGonzo 5 years, 7 months ago

Cheap HOA, poor design that allows easy drive through, no sidewalks, no bumps, and no signs. Raise your HOA fees and pay for the measures needed. It's private property your HOA can post the signs (hint: they won't work).

DillonBarnes 5 years, 7 months ago

Make that parking lot prohibitively difficult to pass through. Could mean just reorganizing the parking lot in some way, or adding a gate somewhere. Make people who are coming into the parking lot stop at a gate to justify their crossing, give residents and club members a window sticker to pass through quickly.

If you're going to live on private property and allow the HOA to run the show, don't go looking to the city when you have a problem like that.

PhilChiles 5 years, 7 months ago

How about this: anyone who speeds is forced to attend a HOA meeting.

Katara 5 years, 7 months ago

That falls under cruel and unusual punishment.

Clovis Sangrail 5 years, 7 months ago

Help me get this straight -- Crossgate running south from 15th (a.k.a. Bob Billings Pkwy) is a private road running from 15th to the Alvamar parking lot. Most of it along this length borders golf course, but there are half a dozen houses near 15th, the owner of one of which is most likely the question asker.

Or is this the portion of Crossgate that runs south from Alvamar to Clinton Parkway?

Is Crossgate a private road all the way from 15th to Clinton Pkwy? It does look like a nice way to get from 15th to Clinton Pkwy without having to go to Kasold or all the way out to Wakarusa.

Inquiring minds looking for a place to set up the after hours Lawrence Gran Prix want to know.

local_support 5 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like a great shortcut, I can't wait to use it.

revs engine

valgrlku 5 years, 7 months ago

On a side note: I am unfamiliar with said "private streets" within city limits, even if the neighborhood has an HOA. Is this distinctive to Lawrence? How would one find out if said street is "private," before moving to that area? I find this bizarre, to say the least...

alittlecurious 5 years, 7 months ago

Finding out is simple... 1) look at the subdivision plat for the location in question; 2) visit the city/county offices to look at the GIS; and 3) look to see if the street name sign is brown with white letters (that means its "private" in Lawrence).

ohjayhawk 5 years, 7 months ago

Private streets are typically streets that are built and maintained solely by the property owner(s), on their own property, with no funds from the city.

kernal 5 years, 7 months ago

valgriku, an example of private streets not owned by the city would be the streets in Meadowbrook, the large apartment complex on the west side of Bob Billings Pkwy at Crestline Drive. Crestline Drive is a city owned street which divides the grounds. The streets on the grounds of Meadowbrook are not owned by the city, but by the corporate owner of Meadowbrook. The owner is responsible for the maintenance of those streets and snow and ice removal when needed. I think they also have speed limit signs posted, but not 100% sure.

Most HOAs that are gated communities own the streets on their grounds and those streets are designed so there is no through traffic to public access roads other than egress and ingress. HOAs which have streets that do have through traffic aren't gated and generally don't own their streets.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 7 months ago

I believe the following to be true: if the street sign is brown instead of green, it's private. For instance, at 31st and Kasold "Havrone Way" is actually a private drive for the Pear Tree Cottages HOA.

jonas_opines 5 years, 7 months ago

Is there anything left in you but troll, now? Sad.

jonas_opines 5 years, 7 months ago

Perhaps, but you might consider the alternative that when someone makes a legitimate claim that the actions of other people make them feel unsafe for themselves, their children, and their neighbors, and are unsure of how to address this concern, the response of: "deal with it, whiner!" and "idiotic question!" makes you sound like a coarse fool.

But, admittedly, that would require thought and introspection, two things you appear to do less and less of as the years on this forum go by.

booyalab 5 years, 7 months ago

This is truly a dumb question. Why would you even pay to live in a community with a private road that didn't have a gate or some other way of controlling traffic?

kansanbygrace 5 years, 7 months ago

If the neighborhood and street are not in the city, they are still in the county. That's the Sheriff's department. They may have suggestions.

Joe Berns 5 years, 7 months ago

...yet anyone can drive on it. Sounds public to me...

kansanbygrace 5 years, 7 months ago

Well Kernal, I never knew the Sheriff's authority was limited to traffic, nor their jurisdiction to public streets.
You think they have no authority there because it's "private", and couldn't investigate trespassing or burglary?
That's why I said "they may have suggestions."

kernal 5 years, 7 months ago

The subject is traffic control on a private road not owned by the city, not burglaries and trespassing. The sheriff's department also has no jurisdiction regarding the traffic problem. Just because the public uses the street does not make it a publicly owned street. The only other solution is to let the city own the street, since it seems it's not benefiting the HOA as a private street.

I can't imagine what other suggestions the sheriff's department would have than what the commenters have already listed. Will be interesting to see if they come up with anything, if the writer contacts them.

irvan moore 5 years, 7 months ago

does the city plow this street when it snows

asixbury 5 years, 7 months ago

The short area that is private on Crossgate already has speed-controlling devices built (those half circles on either side of the drive). On that part of the road, you cannot really speed since you have to go around the obstacles mentioned above. The problem must be with the traffic going through the golf course parking lot. Seems like the best answer for the residents is for the HOA to build sidewalks and more speed humps.

I am guilty of using that shortcut sometimes. I live directly on the south side of the golf course and I work not far from the north side (less than a mile straight down Monterrey Way). It takes a lot less time, and is much more logical, for me to drive straight to my destination instead of back tracking to Clinton, then down to Kasold or Wakarusa, then over again to Monterrey. Bad placement of a "private" road.

1julie1 5 years, 7 months ago

I don't use this shortcut because I don't go to the golf course. I do sympathize with the HOA which must pay for the maintenance of the street which is clearly being used as a faster route to Alvamar via the north side.

Why don't they just close the street at the end of the houses and town homes (wherever the Alvamar part of the road picks up inside the golf course)?

If someone wants to get to Alvamar they can come in through the public part of Crossgate off of Clinton Parkway.

The only reason I can see that the homeowners want to keep it open past their ending point is if they want to have access to Alvamar that way.

If Alvamar wants to keep it open as an access route for their patrons then they should fund the maintenance of the street and contribute to more traffic calming devices (maybe they do already - does anyone know one way or another?).

gccs14r 5 years, 7 months ago

Ever heard of a Billings Snowflake? Take two 20d nails, file the heads off, bend them approximately 109°, weld them to each other perpendicularly, and paint the assembly white. In the case of the actual Billings Snowflake, IMS they were used during a refinery strike in Billings back around 1980. Striking workers made a bunch of these and tossed them into a snowy underpass to prevent scabs from driving product out of the refinery.

chargeit 5 years, 7 months ago

Good thing most on that road are postmenopausal. Nothing has really changed in 20 years but recently a school kid lost control of the vehicle (probably due to the islands) which probably sparked this "question". I have driven down the road before and been stared down by a resident that was standing far into the street almost daring. Lets face it, they are retired and dont have anything to do but complain.

jonas_opines 5 years, 7 months ago

William Wallace approves. /mines, yes, I know

Biker 5 years, 7 months ago

You really have limited options. Either the HOA gets involved and identifies this a problem for which you they allocate resources or you ignore the problem. If neither of these seem likely, the next best solution is to move. I lived in an HOA for years learned this the hard way. Ultimately, I ended up moving out in the country where I didn't have these sorts of problems and my neighbors are more respectful. Good Luck.

FlintHawk 5 years, 7 months ago

Whoa. I don't have a pup in this fight, but I'm occasionally prompted to stand up for the underdog.
• I'm under the impression that the golf course used to be private, part of the "planned community." At that time, speeding and reckless driving presumably would not have been an issue, since only residents and their guests would have used the golf course/club. Has it occurred to any of you bashers that the questioner bought the home at that time and therefore could not have anticipated that the private drive would be used by the public? • Secondly, if the residents along that stretch are retirees, does it occur to you that it may not be feasible for them to pick up and move to the country or elsewhere in Lawrence? It seems to me a paid-off mortgage is a powerful incentive to stay put, and relocating at 70+-years might seem to be a horrible solution. Just sayin' . . .

jonas_opines 5 years, 7 months ago

"Has it occurred to any of you bashers"

Of course not. Subject clarification unnecessary.

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