Archive for Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Firm to survey area residents about 24-40

February 28, 2007

A Kansas City planning firm conducted a series of public meetings last fall and winter in Basehor and Tonganoxie to gather information from local residents for a U.S. Highway 24-40 corridor study.

But officials with the planning firm, Bucher, Willis and Ratliff, determined that a larger scope of residents should be surveyed.

"Typically a public meeting will not have a real large attendance and doesn't always represent fully all the constituents in the study area," said Charlie Schwinger of Bucher, Willis and Ratliff. "So the idea of the survey is statistical way to sample not just a few people but the whole study area, and to validate whether what we heard in the public meetings rings true with the whole planning area."

In the coming weeks, the ETC Institute, a national group that conducts surveys for government organizations, will randomly poll 1,200 households in southern Leavenworth County. The group will send out survey mailings. For those surveys that are not returned, ETC will follow up with phone surveys.

The corridor study is a collaboration of Kansas Department of Transportation, Mid-America Regional Council, Leavenworth County and the cities of Basehor and Tonganoxie. The study is designed to, when finished, guide Basehor, Tonganoxie and county officials on how to keep traffic moving along the highway, while promoting economic development.

The study focuses on the 13-mile stretch of U.S. 24-40 between Kansas Highway 7 and County Road 1, which is just south of Tonganoxie. The study also includes a mile of land along both sides of the road.

On Thursday, March 29, Bucher, Willis and Ratliff will conduct an open house at the Basehor-Linwood High School gymnasium to showcase its findings.

The event will be from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Schwinger said it's imperative that residents attend the open house.

"It's really important that people come to this meeting coming up in March," Schwinger said. "People can tell us 'yes' or 'no, you guys didn't get it right' or whatever's appropriate."

The study is expected to carry a price tag between $200,000 and $250,000. KDOT has pledged to finance nearly two-thirds of the project, while MARC will kick in another $20,000. Basehor, Tonganoxie and Leavenworth County will split the remaining tab.

Officials anticipate a completion date for the study later this spring.

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