The Flame - January 2012

In this issue:

  • Forecast calling for snow?
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Texting & Driving
  • Farmland Fertilizer Plant: Clean Up & Project Update

Forecast calling for snow?

Use the city's new snow web page for snow operations

The City of Lawrence recently unveiled a newly redesigned snow operations web page and mapping system. During snow operations, residents can set their browsers to www.lawrenceks.org/snow to receive the latest information on snow plowing, salting, city closures and other related information. The website will provide a listing of current press releases, contact information, citizen responsibilities and snow-related resources.

The snow operations map will only be utilized when crews are in full snow operations mode; crews may pre-treat areas if slick road conditions are predicted but the map will be most helpful when accumulation or major winter weather is predicted or occurring.

During snow operations, Public Works staff will be responsible for monitoring areas that have been addressed and updating the snow map. The operations map will provide citizens with general information on where trucks are operating, where streets have been plowed, sanded or salted, and the ability to review traffic cameras at major intersections to see how traffic is flowing during snow operations.

"We've tested the system on multiple occasions and we're encouraged by how easy it is to use," said Megan Gilliland, communications manager. "I hope that our residents see the benefit in having a system like this and we're very proud that the system was built using in-house staff expertise."

So, when the snowflakes start to fall in Lawrence, make sure your first stop is to lawrenceks.org/snow to stay up-to-date and ready for winter weather.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the city's Sidewalk Snow Ordinance?

A: The community depends on residents to remove snow from public sidewalks. Even during the winter months, many Lawrence residents need to be able to safely use public sidewalks. The city's ordinance requires the owner or occupant of property immediately adjacent to a public sidewalk to be responsible for removal of any snow or ice accumulation on the sidewalk within 48 hours after the ice forms or the snowfall ends. For more information or to report a violation, visit lawrenceks.org/snow.

Texting & Driving

Being in control of your car at all times is more important than a text.

Did you know that drivers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident? Recent studies have shown that in 80% of car crashes the driver was distracted within three seconds of the crash. Texting while driving is 50% more dangerous than talking on a cell phone.

Not only is texting while driving dangerous, it is against the law in Kansas. The texting while driving ban even applies to vehicles stopped at a red light or stop sign. Drivers receiving citations are subjected to a minimum fine of $60.

So the next time you get behind the wheel, try remembering theses helpful tips:

Be smart. Don't text and drive even at a red light or stop sign. No text message is worth being distracted while you drive.

Be in control. Remember it's your phone. You decide if and when to send and read texts so take control. Consider turning your phone off, setting it to silent or even storing it in the glove box before hitting the road.

Be caring. Never send a text message to a friend who is driving to meet you, or to anyone you know is likely behind the wheel.

Be a Friend. Take a pledge not to text and drive, and encourage your friends to do the same. Set an example for your friends and family and others will follow.

For more information on texting while driving, contact the Lawrence Police Department at (785) 830-7400.

Farmland Fertilizer Plant: Clean Up & Project Update

Since 2010, the City of Lawrence has actively worked to clean up and remove debris from the former Farmland Industries fertilizer plant on east K-10 Highway. The city took ownership of the 467-acre site with the intention of creating additional space for industrial development and expanding the city's business park. The Farmland property is a natural extension of the East Hills Business Park and provides additional space to expand employment opportunities and recruit businesses to Lawrence that will help increase the community's tax base.

Thus far, the city has taken steps to recycle and demolish the old, metal structures on the site. Contractors have hauled away 1,600 tons of scrap metal from the site and demolition of structures is now complete. The City Commission desires to see how the site can be used to promote "green" technologies and recruit environmentally friendly and sustainable businesses. This fall, the city was awarded a RE-Powering America grant from the EPA that will help determine the best renewable energy options for the site.

The next phase in the project is to develop a master plan for the property that will develop an overall program for how the property will be used and will help to identify the challenges and opportunities for the property, coordinate infrastructure and development needs with remediation strategies, provide design alternatives that create a culture of innovation at the new industrial park, and evaluate the most effi cient ways to handle construction and development at the site.

For more information on the Farmland property and the progress being made, visit lawrenceks.org/farmland.

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