Youngsters walk through traffic to tae kwon do

Parents dropping their children off at the corner so they can walk more than a block amidst a traffic jam to karate camp is not an everyday sight.

Thursday’s nearly all-day traffic jam along Clinton Parkway leading to the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival created hardship for businesses and residents who live or work next to it.

“From Wakarusa Drive and Clinton Parkway, we had 7- 8- 9-year-old kids trekking it through the traffic,” said Erica Pepper, an instructor for the American Tae Kwon Do Assn., 5150 Clinton Parkway.

After opening about a month ago, the tae kwon do school was supposed to start day one of its summer camp Thursday morning, but the line of cars stopped outside the only entrance into the school forced them to start about an hour later even after 26 of the students walked from more than a block away.

Pepper said the traffic jam affected the school financially because the instructors had to cancel several appointments in the afternoon, among other disruptions.

Next to the business, residents at Pinnacle Woods, 5000 Clinton Parkway, had trouble even reaching their homes.

At 2:45 p.m., J.B. Cisneros, a Kansas University senior from Kansas City, Kan., sat at McDonald’s, 4911 W. Sixth St., and waited either for traffic to die down or for his shift to start at Zarco 66, 1500 E. 23rd St., whichever came first.

“Knowing the entrances and the exits and the different ways to enter, (authorities) should have definitely did some better planning and directing traffic so it wouldn’t inconvenience people,” Cisneros said.

The traffic problems along Clinton Parkway also drew criticism from drivers.

Tom Bogardus, Lawrence, sat stranded in traffic for almost two hours in his motor home. Bogardus was trying to take the motor home to Clinton State Park, but he said he couldn’t see the traffic until he was in it because of hills on the road.

“People going out to the festival seemed to be extremely nice, but that inconvenience, especially on a public roadway and nobody was handling the situation, was extremely bad,” he said.