Festival visitors encouraged to use park-and-ride sites
As in a number of recent years, Lawrence visitors to this year’s Maple Leaf Festival need to keep in mind a construction detour in planning the trip to Baldwin City.
There are two routes to Baldwin City from Lawrence, the easiest being U.S. Highway 59 south to U.S. Highway 56 and then east four miles to Baldwin City. Those leaving from east Lawrence locales may find it easier to take Haskell Avenue south past the city limits, at which point the street becomes County Road 1055, and follow that road to Baldwin City. Those opting for that route must turn south at 23rd Street in Lawrence because currently 31st Street is closed east of Louisiana Street because of ongoing construction on the South Lawrence Trafficway.
As always for the festival, the city will close some Baldwin City streets and make others one-way. In addition, parking will be restricted on many downtown streets.
Parking will be prohibited Saturday and Sunday on Eighth Street between Ames and Indiana streets. Vehicles parked on the streets will be towed. Parking will be banned Saturday on High Street from Ninth Street to U.S. 56 because of the parade. Ninth Street will be converted to a northbound one-way street, and 10th Street a one-way street for southbound traffic.
With that in mind, out-of-town visitor are encouraged to park in outlying parking lots and ride free buses to and from the festival.
Parking will be available at two elementary schools on Baldwin City’s western edge: Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center at 500 Lawrence St., and Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center at 100 Bullpup Drive. The Primary Center is a short drive south of U.S. 56 on Lincoln Street. The Intermediate Center is visible from the highway at the intersection of Bullpup Drive. Signage will be posted directing motorists to the park-and-ride locations.
Local community and school groups work the parking lots as fundraisers, so there will be a nominal fee. The Maple Leaf Festival Committee leaves it to the groups to set the prices, but they generally charge $5 or $10 per day.
Once visitors arrive at the downtown core of the festival, trams will be available to shuffle them to more distant booth sites.
Festival-goers should also leave their canine friends at home. Companion pets are prohibited on streets the Maple Leaf Festival Committee controls during the weekend, and violators will be fined.