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What are your thoughts about transportation in Lawrence – Douglas County?

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11 registered statements

The transportation plan should start with an introduction of what people need and how they currently use the transportation system - behavior-wise. There also should be a description of overall goal or purpose such as future planning for a more dense city (infill) or upgrading existing infrastructure and improvements or whatever. The purpose should link to the city's mission and goals. The last draft I read was merely a technical document that promised more of the same. The only plan I have read so far that has a clear purpose is the Parks and Recreation plan. There needs to be a discussion of major arterials in urban areas and connectivity in the county, both within urban areas and between urban areas. While the maps are impressive, simple line drawings might clarify network needs better. Discussion within urban areas should include land use, function, purpose, and potential. For example, if Kasold had had an existing street plan, there would have been less controversy. The plan would have been vetted, no surprises. The plan to continue the bike lanes/paths would obviously be part of the street's overall plan. Pedestrian crossings would not be incidental. The purpose of the street would have been identified. It would have had a "complete street" plan. -23rd Street was recently vacated by the state. It is no longer a highway. It is a street with many needs and no plan. -19th Street is being developed with no plan to address the integrity of abutting land uses. If there is an overall plan for the entire length of 19th Street, I have not read it. The plan seems to be an unspoken dread of more street development and its consequences. ========= From the draft of the new Comprehensive Plan: "Connectivity in neighborhoods, as well as surrounding neighborhoods, is critical. Grid designs create an interconnected street system offering pedestrians and vehicles many choices in navigating through their neighborhood. Neighborhoods with limited connections force traffic onto collectors causing jams and access problems. Curvilinear streets should be avoided." - p33 Is this statement in the new Transportation Plan? I question the wisdom here. Collector streets collect local/residential traffic, last I knew. Are there really traffic jams on collector streets? On the contrary, collector streets in Lawrence that are straight and have connectivity become arterials through use. Louisiana Street, Harvard Road, 27th Street, all have difficulty trying to function as collectors by design while supporting the competing function of an arterial street. A total grid system might be ideal, but in Lawrence, through streets in neighborhoods are a problem. Chicago is known for its grid system. In Chicago, even streets parallel to busy streets with lots of traffics lights, have very little traffic and no speeding. That's not what happens here. ======= Our approach to transportation planning varies from a watch-what-happened to a wonder-what-happened. We never plan ahead. Doing only what is required is minimally passing, "D" work. I'd like to see our city earn a "B". That requires more thinking outside of the box of requirements. If we stretch a little bit in the plan, we will have more future-seeking goals. We may not achieve some of them, but we would have a strong sense of direction. The transportation plan is reviewed every five years. That gives us a chance to adjust our direction. How about decreasing parking requirements while increasing bus service? How about designing streets to reduce speed? Design intersections that are safer for pedestrians? Requiring pedestrian-safe parking lot design/layouts? Create a new definition of "traffic flow" to include all forms of transportation. Literally create school zones (areas) within .25 or .5 mile radius? How well does T2040 sync with the draft comprehensive plan's chapter on transportation? Are any of the concepts contradictory? Do the transportation vision statements fit within the vision for the city? As a career transportation and logistics officer in the United States Air Force, I managed large organizations and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of property and equipment during my 20 year career. Needless to say, I have a bit of experience in the arena. I have tried to get involved, volunteering my time to numerous organizations and non-profits (I am also a licensed professional counselor in MO) in Lawrence, with little interest or no response from community organizations in the 3+ years we have lived here. Because we have had great difficulty being accepted into the Lawrence community, either professionally or personally, we are selling our home and moving to the West Coast in June of this year. However, as a member of this community with civic pride and responsibility, I would still like to contribute to Lawrence, Kansas in any way I can before we depart. If I can be of service in any way in this endeavor or others over the next 3+ months, feel free to contact me. Respectfully, Chris Sorrentino, LtCol, USAF (Ret) MS, LPC, NCC Tinting the windows does not hide the fact that many of the large T buses carry very few passengers most of the day. I understand the city gets federal grant money, which requires these larger buses, but is it really worth the added fuel cost and heavy pollutants produced by these diesel vehicles to transport so few? How is it any more efficient then the 1 guy in the 1 ton pickup? For those that live in town a route that runs down Iowa from 31st to 6th, a route that runs down 6th from Wakarusa to mass st, and one more route that runs a square around 23rd/mass/6th/Iowa would help improve mobility as well as helping support tourism to mass street. If it is at all feasible it would be beneficial to have a transit system that not only ran in Lawrence, but also connected Eudora and Baldwin City to Lawrence and each out lying area. This could create a web of transportation lines that would be freeing to those needing transportation to find work or going to college. It would at least offer choices that are not currently present. The waterways could be used where possible and also trains. This may also reduce some of the stigma of using public transportation. It seems as though people in Lawrence have a poor view and stigmatize those who use public transportation. Removing that stigma would help improve the reputation of public transportation and let the users feel more comfortable. Another idea might be to have rental bikes throughout the communities. It would seem as if these would do well. I've seen these in Topeka, and have noticed they are being utilized by the public. This could be a cost efficient way for public transportation as well as emphasize physical alternatives and promote healthy lifestyles. In general I think we have a good transportation system. I'm grateful for the hard work of those who plan it, build it and maintain it. Thank you for the strides made in making the community more walk-, bike- and wheel-friendly. Please keep working on connecting existing infrastructure in ways that create networks that make active transportation easy and accessible to all. The transportation system is pretty good; the buses are efficient and usually on time. However, aside from the morning rush, I notice throughout the day a definite difference in the number of buses running each route. For example, I ride the bus route 36 each weekday. Sometimes I will have to wait 40+ minutes for the bus to arrive so that I can get home, whereas I will see 4 or more of the 46 bus route in that same timeframe. Worse yet, as the day progresses almost no one will board these buses at the stop while I am waiting for my route. It is frustrating that other routes have so many buses allocated to them when few ride them later in the day, whereas I am almost always stuck waiting for ages. I would suggest reallocating bus routes as the day progresses so that these routes believed to be busy (46) are not unnecessarily running every 5 or so minutes, leaving other routes unattended for much longer. When planning for transportation, please consider all modes of travel. Making our city safe for walkers and bikers is more than just installing sharrows and narrow unprotected bike lanes. We need to design our city to make active transportation safe for all. This means bike lanes protected from traffic, either by separating them with barriers or moving them away from vehicular traffic entirely. It also means planning development in a way that promotes active transportation, by returning to grid street design, integrating businesses into residential neighborhoods , and reducing vehicular speeds city-wide with aggressive traffic-calming design. The safer you make Lawrence for bikers and walkers, the more active transportation will occur. The more active transportation occurs, the healthier our environment and residents. I love the bus it makes life easier I have been an advocate for the rehabilitation of the historic Santa Fe Station in Lawrence, KS for many years. I have worked with other advocates and Amtrak to improve the safety and comfort of rail passengers using this building while waiting for the train. Recognizing the value of this classic midcentury modern building that continues to function as a working depot and a gateway to our city, members of the community have come forward in support of bringing it back to its highest and best use. The TE grant to the City received four years ago was hard to come by. Projected costs of the project have changed in that time. It is important that we not let this grant slip away. Therefore I encourage the Transp. Advisory Board to approve the 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Program – Amendment #4 which includes the addition and revision of costs and schedules for multimodal roadway and rail depot projects. Thank you. The Santa Fe Station in East Lawrence is both the city's gateway to the national Amtrak passenger rail service and - potentially - a key component of the emerging Warehouse Arts District. Rehabilitation of this facility will improve the safety and enhance the comfort of travelers arriving in and departing from Lawrence. It can also lead to greater use of the facility for any number of worthwhile purposes, given its strategic location just east of the city center. An advocacy group known as Depot Redux has worked tirelessly for several years in support of the restoration of this mid-century modern landmark. The project enjoys substantial support in the community and within the municipal government. The highly competitive TE grant, awarded in 2014, is essential to the success of the project. It is crucial that this grant not be allowed to slip away. Along with other members of the Depot Redux group, I encourage the Transportation Advisory Board to approve the 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Program – Amendment #4 which includes the addition and revision of costs and schedules for multi-modal roadway and rail depot projects.

Kevin Boatright inside 66049

January 12, 2018, 1:35 PM

Carey Maynard-Moody inside 66044

January 12, 2018, 9:54 AM

Venus Stafford inside 66044

January 11, 2018, 8:36 AM

Gary Webber inside 66049

November 3, 2017, 12:22 PM

Name not shown inside 66044

October 30, 2017, 1:48 PM

Marilyn Hull inside 66044

October 30, 2017, 1:37 PM

Andrew St James inside 66046

July 6, 2017, 11:57 PM

Name not shown inside 66044

March 15, 2017, 6:38 PM

Name not shown inside 66049

March 14, 2017, 1:07 PM

Chris Sorrentino inside 66044

February 21, 2017, 5:35 PM

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Message from Tell Us Admin


Thank you for your comment and offer of assistance. We would like to invite you to participate in our Transportation 2040 Update open houses occurring on:

• Lawrence Aquatic Center, 4706 Overland Dr, Lawrence, March 27th, 4-7 pm
• Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St, Lawrence, March 30th, 3-6 pm
• Baldwin City Library, 800 7th St, Baldwin City, April 3rd, 4-7 pm
• Eudora Community Center, 1630 Elm St, Eudora, April 6th, 4-7 pm

Your experience provides needed insight to the planning process and would be appreciated.

Thank you again,

Ashley Myers

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