9th Street right-of-way on city agenda

By Burk Krohe

City commissioners will consider vacating a portion of the 9th Street right-of-way and setting a speed limit on Moro Street’s bike boulevard at Tuesday’s meeting. It will begin at 7 p.m.

Recently, the City Commission approved a land-sale agreement with Howie’s Recycling and Trash Service in order for the firm to expand its business. It was proposed that part of 9th Street be vacated to facilitate the expansion.

Howie’s is at 625 S. 10th Street, adjacent to the 9th Street right-of-way.

An ordinance has been prepared that would vacate the requested portion of the right-of-way. Ninth Street does not have access across the Union Pacific railroad tracks. The city does not have plans for future expansion and or connection across the railroad tracks at this location.

Ninth Street has no access to the north at Fort Riley Boulevard, and most likely will never have direct access to K-18 for safety and capacity reasons. For those reasons, city officials support the vacation of the 9th Street right-of-way.

Howie’s agreed to trade the property at 512 N. 10th Street to the City in exchange for the proposed vacated portion of 9th Street and three lots, which were previously used by the Community Gardens. The City will pay Howie’s $10,000 to demolish the house at 512 N. 10th Street, but there is no direct financial impact associated with the vacation of the portion of 9th Street. 

Recently, the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee conducted a study of the roadways in the city to evaluate its “bikeability.” The concluded that creating a “bike boulevard” on Moro Street would significantly improve the city’s bike network.

A bike boulevard is a shared roadway that can be used by cars and bikes. The city will add wayfinding signs, pavement markings, right-of-way and street signs with a bike icon to Moro Street. The final change would be reducing the speed limit to 20 mph.

The city conducted a speed study on Moro. City engineers determined 20 mph is the appropriate speed based on the study, density of bicycle and pedestrian traffic, proximity of K-State Campus and Aggieville and the existing 30 mph speed limit of the intersecting streets.

The city has drafted an ordinance to enact the speed limit reduction along Moro Street between Eleventh Street and Fourth Street.

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