Archive for Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Traffic patterns change for High, Sixth streets

Sixth Street south of High Street reopened to through traffic Friday. Although it is open now, work will continue through the spring until the project is completed.

Sixth Street south of High Street reopened to through traffic Friday. Although it is open now, work will continue through the spring until the project is completed.

December 24, 2008

It’s semi-smooth sailing on Sixth Street again, but watch out for those U-turns in downtown Baldwin City.

Crews took down the “road closed” signs on Sixth Street Friday and traffic is once again flowing down it south of High Street. The road had been closed since August for construction work.

But not long after those traffic signs came down, others were going up along High Street. City crews installed eight “No U-Turn” signs, two each at four intersections. That marks the first time since the $1.8 million Downtown Streetscape Project began in 2007 that the signs have been posted.

“With the streetscape project complete, we didn’t want to clutter it up with a lot of signs,” said City Administrator Jeff Dingman. “The signs are not very attractive, but they are necessary.

“In evaluating traffic since the project was complete, U-turns and left turns to park have been more frequent,” said Dingman. “We need these signs in place in order to step up enforcement of these violations.”

And that’s what’s going to happen, said Police Chief Mike McKenna.

“Our officers will be enforcing it, I can guarantee you,” said McKenna. “We were limited on what we could do and you have to use logic because it wasn’t posted. A person could say, ‘How was I to know your city doesn’t allow it?’

“We want to write good tickets and I wouldn’t expect my officers to do anything less,” he said. “I’m very happy to have them (the signs).”

There will be more signs to come, also.

“We will also be putting up some ‘no left turn to park’ signs, but we need to order some more,” said Dingman.

As for Sixth Street, it’s open to through traffic now, but there’s still more work to be done.

“They’ll need to close it again when they start back up in the spring to finish the project, but it won’t be closed nearly as long,” said Dingman. “I don’t know any details on that yet.”

McKenna also issued his annual warning to those who may drive impaired by alcohol during the holiday seasons.

“I want everyone to have a safe Christmas,” he said. “If you are going to drink and drive, it will not be tolerated. We want them to celebrate, but we want them here for 2009, too.

“We will have extra officers out on New Year’s Eve to enforce traffic laws and that will include ‘No U-turns,’” said McKenna.


123456 9 years, 5 months ago

It's nice to know that Jeff Dingman puts the appearence of downtown over the safety of the citizens. Why is the Chief of police finally going to enforce the no u turn signs, he never enforced them before, it must be about time for him to get a raise.


Stacy Napier 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree, the signs were there for years. I guess since the Chief didn't know it was illegal in Lawrence to do the same thing when he was stopped after he first moved here he didn't want to enforce it in his town.


123456 9 years, 4 months ago

The signs have been up a couple of weeks now and he still isn;t doing anything about it, he told the council what he wanted to hear then went and hid in his office. When you see a vehicle with it's wheels turned the wrong way and it;s crooked in the parking space it;s plain to see what happened but they can;t pick up on it.


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