Wednesday, June 27, 2001
The bus transfer station at Ninth and Massachusetts streets won't move so far after all.
Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday approved moving the stop at the intersection's southwest corner, at Weaver's Department Store, across Massachusetts Street to the southeast corner near Firstar Bank. Buses stopping at the northwest corner of the intersection will continue to do so.
"It seems to me that's a logical place for it to go," Commissioner Jim Henry said.
Karin Rexroad, the city's transit administrator, said the change would take effect with publication of new route maps, probably within a month.
Commissioners agreed earlier this month to a request by Weaver's, 901 Mass., to move the bus stop. Store officials said the stop, which eliminated six parking spaces outside the store, was hurting business by reducing accessibility for vehicle-driving customers.
The city's Public Transit Advisory Committee had voted to recommend moving the southwest corner stop to the Community Building at 115 W. 11th, but that option had been discarded by Tuesday.
"We tried very hard to come up with 11th and Vermont as a viable alternative," Rexroad said. "Without disrupting the system, and without bypassing the downtown, it would be difficult to run an efficient service that truly serves the public."
Lawrence resident Marian Hukle, who described herself as a regular bus rider, urged commissioners to keep the stop close to the heart of downtown. She said her downtown shopping had increased because of her bus stops there.
"If you have people waiting for a bus at Ninth and Mass., you're going to get that extra business," she said.
Jeremy Douglas, director of Downtown Lawrence Inc., said there were concerns about moving the stop closer to the city's new parking garage under construction in the 900 block of New Hampshire. He suggested those kinks could be worked out.
"We'd be stupid not to want shoppers dropped off on our doorsteps," he said.
"We'll do our best to work a little bit further with the transit department."
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