02 February 2007

Pendleton Pike Parkway

Today, Lawrence Mayor Sarah Cantwell delivered her State of the City address to the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. Among the topics were pushing for a private takeover of the city's water utility, which in theory would save $200 annually for a household. In theory, it's a good idea, letting private sector do something that is not a function of government. She also brought up renaming Pendleton Pike to the Lawrence Parkway. That made me laugh a bit, to be perfectly honest.

When one hears of a parkway, such as Fall Creek, I think of distinguished, upper-income housing, nice neighborhoods, and nice scenery. When I drive down Pendleton Pike (from 465 to Mitthoeffer), I see numerous strip clubs, a license branch, trailer parks, check cashing businesses, and various vacant properties. Not to mention potholes that could break an axle if one wasn't too careful.

Mayor Cantwell has in the past talked about the growth of Lawrence post-Ft. Ben. It's true that a lot of development has come in and taken over a lot of the former Army base (Ivy Tech, various banks, fast-food, CVS, and other small businesses). It's also true that there has been a explosion of development along Pendleton Pike from 56th Street east to Carroll Road. Most of that development came when she wasn't even the Mayor though.

Frankly, Mayor Cantwell is playing a game of three-card monty with the citizens of Lawrence, and I think is using a feel-good story to get her re-elected. That, or to get the Justice Department "thing" out of the limelight for a while.

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