Archive for Thursday, May 17, 2007

Time to plan for Church Street improvements

May 17, 2007

Last week during the Eudora Planning Commission's consideration of a rezoning request for 2.6 acres north of 12th Street and west of Church Street, residents expressed concern about how the new commercial zoning would affect traffic to those two streets and their intersection.

The discussion only underscores the obvious: Church Street south of 13th -- which remains the same narrow two-lane roadway without curbs, guttering, shoulders or turn lanes as it was before businesses and subdivisions sprung up to its east -- is overdue for a major upgrade.

The city has rightly focused on downtown revitalization and is now looking to attract additional development near its second Kansas Highway 10 intersection. But it is clearly time to start planning to the street that not only serves what is now the city's commercial hub that is K-10 to 14th Street but funnels a large percentage of the city's population to and from K-10.

The new bank is only one of several recent developments that will affect traffic on Church Street. The new pool, which will be accessed from Elm Street a block to the east, will open in the next two months followed by the community center. In addition, the USD 491 Board of Education has decided to possibly close Nottingham Elementary School, which could open that property to further development. There also seems to be agreement that Laws Field should be set aside as a park, which would also have traffic consequences.

Clearly, if Nottingham is redeveloped, street improvements would be a must. That is a few years off, but it does give the city the time to start planning how to pay for what is sure to be an expensive project.

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