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Sixth Street traffic light project proposed in budget
A small portion of Sixth Street may become less of a stop-and-go proposition for motorists, if commissioners approve City Manager David Corliss' recommended capital improvement budget. The capital improvement budget is kind of like the city's version of a Christmas list. The city provides residents all sorts of little gifts throughout the year - a patched pothole here, a new sidewalk there - but the really big toys have to be put on a list. The CIP generally is that list. For 2009, the cool gadget that may get city residents excited is a traffic light synchronization project. Corliss' recommended CIP budget has $250,875 in it for a project to run fiber optic cable along Sixth Street between Massachusetts and Iowa streets. The state already has agreed to provide $250,000 in funding. The project would allow all the traffic lights on the stretch of road to be linked together and synchronized using a computer, said Chuck Soules, the city's director of public works. Soules has been championing the project for years as the best way to get traffic moving on Sixth Street. "We can't really add any capacity to Sixth Street unless we build it out to six lanes, and I don't think we want to do that in Lawrence," Soules said. The basic concept behind the project is that if Sixth Street motorists get the green light at an intersection, they should stand a good chance of getting the green light at the next one as well. Plus, city traffic engineers would have the ability to remotely change traffic signal timing for special events or when accidents affect traffic flow. But here's one key point to remember about the project: Getting an item on a Christmas list and getting it under your tree aren't one and the same. The traffic light project [also was in Corliss' recommended 2008 budget.] But then tight financial times hit home, and lumps of coal became a more common gift at City Hall. : http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/jul...