Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods Minutes
Lawrence Public Library, Meeting Room C
June 20th, 2018 7:00 p.m.
Participants: Bart Littlejohn, Pinckney Neighborhood Association representative; Becky Pepper, City of Lawrence Planning and Development Services; Bill Winkler, Barker Neighborhood Association; Cindy Suenram, East Lawrence Neighborhood Association representative; Courtney Shipley, Dad Perry Park/Kasold; Edna Mosher, Schwegler Neighborhood Association co-representative; Eric Kirkendall, Old West Lawrence Association representative; Gary Webber, Sunset Hill Neighborhood Association co-representative; Jane Gibson, Barker Neighborhood Association representative; Jim Carpenter, Planning Commission Member; Kathy Tuttle, Old West Lawrence Association; Kirk McClure, Old West Lawrence Association; Lisa Larsen, Lawrence City Commission / West Hills neighborhood resident; Melinda Henderson, Brook Creek Neighborhood Association representative; Stuart Boley, Mayor City of Lawrence, resident Schwegler; Suzanne Mills, Hills West Homes Neighborhood Association representative; Travis Harrod, Springwood Heights representative; Tresa Hill, Old West Lawrence Association
- Shipley offered to send KU litter poster to neighborhoods
- Edna Mosher will fill in as Secretary for August (Thanks Edna!)
Approve: May LAN minutes approved as read.
Treasurer’s Report: Cindy Suenram reported the total amount in the bank account to be $2,720.11. There are 11 neighborhood members, 3 individual members.
Update from City Planning Department: Becky Pepper, city planner – See neighborhood updates at https://lawrenceks.org/pds/lan17/.
Discussion: Tresa Hill was present to discuss the Non-Motorized Projects Prioritization Policy and OWL’s request for a safe crossing on Tennessee. Kathy Tuttle representing OWL reviewed the history of attempts to get a crossing of Tennessee at 8th or 7th. Recently a poll showed that over 150 OWL residents were concerned about safety while walking. She submitted a request for a crossing at 7th. Traffic study showed speeds of over 40 mph. This creates a problem, since current policy denies crosswalk where speeds exceed 40 mph. Staff recommended denying the request. The Traffic Commission was sympathetic to the request, and directed staff to include it on the list of projects.
Tresa Hill described the Non-Motorized Projects prioritization policy. She distributed copies of the recently approved policy and discussed needed improvements. Section 4.2 allows a maximum of 20 points. 4.2.C is worth 10 points and is applicable to roads with 15,000 or more cars per day. This section alone puts projects within our neighborhoods at a disadvantage.
Because Tennessee has less than 15,000 AADT, it received no safety points, and only received a total of 7 points. A maximum of 5 points available in priority destinations discriminates against core neighborhoods that are near many destinations. In addition, many important destinations within 4.2.B are missing. Currently there are 125 projects with more than 7 points. Fifty projects have 50 points. OWL suggests that LAN meet with Erin Paden, Stuart Boley, and other stakeholders to review and revise policy.
Kirkendall supported the proposal, and stated that he and his wife were almost hit by a vehicle while crossing Tennessee. He believes there are problems that need to be solved.
Tuttle also mentioned that there is no officer assigned to enforcement, and that speeding is a problem city-wide. She believes that this needs to be addressed. Littlejohn asked what would happen if such a meeting was arranged. Hill suggested that the participants could review the policy and suggest improvements.
Mayor Boley quoted Amanda Sahin in her discussion of traffic calming in a June 19th memorandum. Sahin would like to utilize more tools to address traffic calming, beyond engineering solutions. Boley believes we need more enforcement. Vice Mayor Larsen also believes we need to take a more comprehensive look at promoting pedestrian and bike safety.
Webber mentioned that LiveWell HBE has a primary goal to review and revise city codes to encourage walkability and bikeability. He also stated that engineering decisions were based of decades of research and masses of data. Kirkendall mentioned that we have engineering; we need enforcement and education as well. Tuttle asked if LAN could invite Erin Paden, a city engineer, and a representative of the Lawrence Police Department to a future LAN meeting to discuss the prioritization policy. Carpenter agreed that the policy needs review.
Webber moved to invite Paden and Sahin and an LPD representative to attend a future LAN meeting to discuss the Non-motorized Projects prioritization policy. Suenram seconded, motion passed.
- Housing Study: Shipley stated the city commission received a preliminary housing study.
- Neighborhood reports
- Sunset Hill: Webber suggested that the Transit Hub controversy was an example of “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY), and that neighborhoods need to consider the needs of the entire city, and not just the concerns of each neighborhood. Mosher suggests that a better option is the location at Crestline at Bob Billings. Webber supported the Crestline location, but could not speak for the neighborhood association. Carpenter stated that labeling comments as NIMBY stifles dissent, and that dissent is important. He stated that if you believe your neighborhood is being disproportionately impacted, you have a duty to dissent.
- East Lawrence: Suenram described progress on Ninth Street project. It is still a work in progress. Larsen stated the street infrastructure work was authorized on June 19.
- Schwegler: Mosher stated that she hopes LAN will support Schwegler’s efforts to oppose the Stewart Avenue Transit Hub location.
- Brook Creek: Henderson stated that Brook Creek suffered for over a decade dealing with 12th and Haskell recycling center. Neighbors donated money to fund an attorney to force the city to enforce code and remove the center. The business has moved to a new location. There was an explosion and fire there recently. The Fire Department is investigating, and the city and KDHE are involved.
- Barker: Barker is electing officers soon, and will hold a picnic at Cotton’s Hardware, 5-7 on Sunday, June 24. Winkler stated that graffiti is being added to blank sides of buildings in the neighborhood. Also, sidewalks are being added to 15th, which will be great, but is disruptive.
- Pinckney: Littlejohn stated that Pinckney also has some graffiti in Sandra Shaw Park. Fourth of July fireworks will be happening in Burcham Park. LMH has installed a new parking lot. The neighborhood hopes the western campus may reduce traffic and parking issues.
- Henderson stated that designation as major traffic way is a state designation designed to allow the city to bond improvement projects. We do not have a designation in our city system called “traffic way”. Such a designation should not impact the city street designation.
- Henderson discussed loop funding. Some advocates were surprised that there was so much preliminary work to prepare for the downtown section of the loop. The city is talking with BNSF. She wondered if we could use current sales tax infrastructure funds from 2019 to make preparations. Boley would like it moved forward, but was discouraged that the cost was $3.5M. Larsen and Boley suggest interested parties attend July 10 and August 19 city commission meetings to provide their input.
Adjourn: A motion to adjourn passed unanimously.