Archive for Thursday, November 6, 2003

Public invited to explore two-year study of K-10 future

November 6, 2003

Eudorans will have the chance to test drive the future of Kansas Highway 10 when the community is invited to a meeting of area leaders Thursday night to discuss a K-10 Highway corridor study. The meeting, scheduled by the Kansas Department of Transportation, begins at 7 p.m. at Eudora City Hall, 4 E. Seventh St.
City Administrator Mike Yanez said the general public was invited, as had been members of the Eudora City Council and Planning Commission, as well as Lawrence and Douglas County commissioners. City Council members from De Soto were invited but unable to attend, he said.
At Thursday's meeting, KDOT officials and those working on the project will be on hand to discuss the study, and local civic leaders and the community will have a chance to put in their 2-cents worth.
The two-year study will predict the amount of traffic on the highway and make recommendations for improvements and upgrades, such as interchanges, expanding lanes and travelers' amenities.
One such amenity could be a bike and pedestrian trail along the corridor, a proposal the Mid-America Regional Council began studying when it learned a comprehensive study of K-10 was upcoming, said MARC transportation planner Aaron Bartlett. Having a trail feasibility study had been a long-time goal of the K-10 Corridor Association, he said.
Part of that included meeting with leaders in Eudora and De Soto and determining where an east-west trail would meet with existing north-south trails and where it would align parallel to the highway.
Coming from Lawrence, the study shows a possible trail crossing from the south side of K-10 to north side of the highway at Winchester Road. From there, the trail follows K-10 to Church Street, where it turns north and makes a loop 15th Street. Back at K-10, the trail follows the highway on the north side to Johnson County.
The conclusion of the study, Bartlett said, was that such a trail was feasible.
"There's a lot of reasons why it would be a good thing to do," Bartlett said.
That could include infusing regional history and native vegetation and wildlife into the corridor trail, which would be ideal for both education and tourism, he said -- a smart trail for the Smart Corridor.
"Because it's an east-west connection and everything else is north-south, this is really very key to making that connection to Douglas County," Bartlett said.
And that could include tying into the Kansas City metropolitan area's MetroGreen plan and possible trail links elsewhere in Kansas.
Part of the hope, Bartlett said, was that students could use the trail to get to school and that commuters could use it to meet their carpool or a future express bus.
The comprehensive K-10 study discussed Thursday will look at increased traffic and lane expansion, which MARC already took into consideration with the trail study. Bartlett said lane expansion would likely be far enough in the future that the asphalt on any recently-built trail would expire before lanes would be added.
"The key here is as long as they take the trail into consideration when purchasing easements, we should be fine," Bartlett said.
MARC looked at trails in Colorado and other areas as examples of the type of trail it would like to create on K-10.
"It truly would be wonderful for KDOT and government to work together to create something," he said. "The corridor has rich history."

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