by Melissa Brunner
You might say it's a mixed bag of news for North Topeka this week. Either of two announcements from KDOT Tuesday could be good news or bad news, depending on your perspective.
First came word that the Cloverleaf intersection at Hwy. 24 and N. Topeka Blvd. will remain. KDOT will replace the existing bridge (it dates back to 1941) but keep the cloverleaf design as is. They originally wanted to replace it with an at-grade signalized intersection, but the City Council voted in March not to fund its share of that option.
Discloure here - I drive the cloverleaf every day and don't have a bit of problem. I can count on one hand the number of accidents I've seen there in the past dozen years. It's been even better since they put an extended merging lane from southbound Topeka Blvd. to westbound Hwy. 24. That said, what do you think - is this a good decision? Or is it short-sighted?
Which brings us to the second KDOT announcement Tuesday - it is suspending work on its US-24 Corridor Management Plan. After nearly four years, they say, there's no clear consensus on a vision for the highway from K-4 to Menoken Rd. in Shawnee County. You might recall some controversy erupted over this when an out-of-town study group talked about doing away with frontage roads and creating back entrances for the businesses - business owners were not happy. That sent the process back to the drawing board, and KDOT and the Metro Topeka Planning Organization went forward. KDOT did say in its Tuesday announcement that it would be willing to resume talks with planning partners when there is greater understanding of the vision.
What do you think of this? Is it a blow to future development in the norther portions of Topeka? Or do you think the area is moving along just fine and doesn't need any "planners" getting involved?
Tell me how you feel!