February 7, 2016

Biz owners, residents voice intersection expansion concerns

Danedri Thompson
Reluctantly, Shirley Bruce VanArsdale will move forward with plans to expand Bruce’s Funeral Home and add more parking.
“I’m going to expand and hope you don’t eat us in another 15 years,” she told city and state officials while voicing her concerns about a U.S. 56 Highway and Center Street expansion. The funeral home sits on the southwest corner of the intersection and current plans will eat into her property eliminating a garage entrance to her property.
VanArsdale was among several business owners and citizens voicing their concerns about the project on March 8.
Kansas Department of Transportation officials told the crowd of about 20 people that the plans will add capacity to the intersection. According to their analysis, the existing intersection handles about 9,000 cars each day – 200 of which are trucks. By 2040, they anticipate the intersection will see approximately 30,000 vehicles per day including 1,200 trucks.
Karen Rumble, a vice president at Patriot’s Bank on the northeast corner of the intersection, said a lot of the traffic that passes through downtown now and that will in the future isn’t traffic that stops at local businesses.
Sen. Rob Olsen, who represents Gardner, Edgerton and part of Olathe in the state legislature, agreed.
“You guys are going to have a lot of pass through traffic,” Olsen said. “You’re going to increase your traffic flow and it’s going to kill your downtown.”
Rumble said adding an additional lane will make it more difficult for drivers to access the banks, including Patriot’s Bank and Metcalf Bank on the southeast corner.
“Businesses will suffer,” she said.
Rex Cummins who used to own Ace Hardware in town said construction on Moonlight Road a few years ago limited access to his store.
“The construction ran me out of business,” he said.
Rumble said other cities create separate thoroughfares for truck traffic to protect retail.
“They divert traffic for trucks. It can be done. I hate to see the downtown turn into Noland Road,” she said referencing a busy street in Independence, Mo.
Resident Bob Page agreed.
“The better you make that intersection, the more trucks you’re going to have,” he said.
However, David Greene, city public works director, said the point of the project is to make the intersection safer for drivers and pedestrians.
There have been 30 accidents at the intersection in the last three years. None were fatal. Of those, only seven were left-turn related. Eleven were rear-endings. They also couldn’t anticipate specific lower accident numbers once the intersection expansion is complete.
“Based on a lot of research, we’re going to reduce the severity of the accidents,” Greene said.
Several residents and business owners said lowering the speed limit through town might also lessen the severity of accidents at the intersection as well as offer additional benefits.
Rumble said with a lower speed limit, some drivers who go through town without stopping, may decide to stay on the highway and bypass downtown.
Kipp Willnauer, a homeowner just west of the funeral home, said the plans need to take homeowners into consideration as well as business owners. Although he’s made improvements, he said high speed traffic wreaks havoc on his home.
“We all shake and rattle. We’re all falling apart,” he said.
The project will move the road closer to Willnauer’s Main Street home, and the snow plows will be that much closer as well.
“The snow last April, they pushed snow 10 to 15 feet up to my windows on my home. You’re coming 15-feet closer to my 25-foot front,” he said.
Steve Devore, president of the Gardner Area Chamber of Commerce, said the existing parallel parking in front of Main Street businesses probably isn’t ideal.
“I think we need to identify what we want our downtown to be,” Devore said. “Then as a community we have to address it.”
Buying out businesses along Main Street for future expansions isn’t an option, according to Greene, however.
“That’s not going to happen,” Greene said. “If we have to buy people out, we’re not going to do the project.”

30 Accidents between 2008-2011
Rear End – 11
Failure to yield left turn – 7
Overtaking sideswipe – 6
Bike/vehicle – 3
Running Red Light – 2
Failure to yield right turn  – 1
Source: city of Gardner


  1. You build or buy businesses and homes just a few feet from 56 Hwy and are surprised that some day things will widen? You complain about traffic? Not much foresight but it happens all the time.

    As for traffic closing Ace……It was poor selection and high prices. I tried to support them this weekend. Still had to go to Olathe for the few bolts that I needed. Nothing fancy just hardware.

  2. Judith Rogers says:

    Shirley Van Arsdale was on the Intermodal Review Committee and was appointed by Lehman. The only thing I can remember that Committee recommending is that an interchange will have to be built – duh…………….well, much more will be involved and none of it is going to be pretty and all will be paying dearly and in many, many ways as I have said a thousand times. Can’t feel sorry for these business owners – they and their Chamber of Commerce have been pushing this crap down the citizens’ throuts for years now while many of them don’t pay their full taxes. Well, what goes around, comes around as they are finding out.

    P.S. Shirley: I think you are making a BIG mistake by expanding on that corner.

  3. State of Affairs says:

    “When told the reason for daylight savings time the Old Indian said, “only the government would believe you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.”

  4. Judith Rogers says:

    And if you think worthless politicians like Rob Olson or Calvin Hayden are going to be doing anything to help you, you are sadly mistaken in my opinion and based on what they have promised me and never came through with. They give you lip service, make promises and then forget they ever talked to you. Government at its finest. The people allowed politicians and the thieves to bring this horror story to our doorstep and they better be realizing those jerks don’t work for them – they just give the bill to the people and tough toenails if you can’t afford it – we will merely increase your tax bill and/or cut your services just like that Gardner City Council did last week on those costs for the new schools. They don’t even know what the total costs will be or what revenue stream will be needed – just increase the taxes and utility charges to cover the costs as they are incurred – end of story. I hope every citizen fully realizes where they fit into the equation.

  5. Judith Rogers says:

    Hey, Mr. Greene, the city of Gardner CAN’T AFFORD to buy any of these business entities out in case you haven’t figured that out but wait I can think of at least one business entity they did the ole eminent domain thing to them and the city continues to SPEND when we can’t afford it……..the suffering is just getting started………….your Gardner business growth is going to be east of I-35 on 175th St. and they will be giving the citizens a huge bill on that too to pay for the development costs………..the wheeling and dealing will continue with the people picking up the expensive tab, especially when they keep supporting, enabling and voting into office these jaybirds plus the thieves who only come here to line their pockets.

  6. Judith Rogers says:

    I love how Beasley and his Bunch use their Facebook site, Citizens for the Future of Gardner, to run their polls on issues such as this one, etc………..I know what and who this site works for and again, it is for the business entities just like the GardnerEdge is the mouthpiece for the Gardner Chamber of Commerce……….I know whose interests all of these jaybirds are working for and know how they work for their appointments into our city government, get citizen support, push their propaganda, etc. Again, it takes 2 to tell a lie – 1 to tell the lie and 1 to believe the lie…..they know how to push their agenda – been watching it for years and it gets more refined by the day but just as rotten as ever…………and there are citizens out their still drinking the kool-aid…………

  7. Judith we’d welcome you to our little facebook group. We could even be facebook friends!!!

  8. Aaron Weatherford says:

    She has a point Ryan. We have been letting all of those upstart downtown businesses market themselves on our facebook group as well as all of those work from home businesses. We really don’t want people to get the impression that we are for small businesses here in Gardner.

  9. Judith Rogers says:

    Beasley: Please hold your breath waiting on me being one of your “friends” either on Facebook or anywhere…….one big pain to the people would be taken care of in a matter of minutes.

    Like how you and others continue to steal from your employer with all of the time you spend on Facebook and checking the Gardner News to see what the comments are plus other internet surfing.

    Keep talking Beasley and Bunch – I don’t have to do a thing to show others what you are – you do a fine job of that and have since Day 1.

  10. Judith whether you hate me or not, I consider you a friend. If you were here right now I would hug you!

  11. Judith Rogers says:

    Beasley, you are never going to be cleansed enough to get into Temple and the alarms will be going off for hours……………..it takes 2 to tell a lie – 1 to tell the lie and 1 to believe the lie…….I am one person who does not believe your lies or your anonymous donors and on and on…….go waste the rest of the afternoon of your employer’s time………..it will catch up with you one of these days…………in fact it already has since any and all know what you are doing during “working” hours……….

  12. No honor among thieves says:

    All of those business owners and residents supported the Drovetta regime because they thought they were going to get rich off of the intermodal. Then they supported him again during the recall. Just months later he gave you a 30% mil levy increase and gave away your fire station and you still supported him.

    How do you like him now?

    How many tractor-trailers do you think will park in front of Java Cone for a quick lunch?

    And you think there were a lot of accidents at that intersection before…just wait. Shirley will be the only business owner that will make a killing.

  13. Judith Rogers says:

    The big boy thieves are smiling when they read the following news. They know their blackmail and bribes games are working well for them with the support and enablement of the worthless, corrupt politicians and the Chambers of Commerce across the land. The losers are the people and they are losing tax revenue faster than lightning on all of these sweet deals and moving from middle class to poverty and seeing reductions of services like crazy just like you see in your local libraries. Cronyism government is a killer for the people. The only entity creating jobs are the people of the U.S. by buying services/products from companies and being intelligent, hardworking employees – these thieves are only around to line their pockets. The reason it is so hard to create jobs now is because the American people don’t have a dime to spare considering what they have been through since 2008 and before then and how this cronyism government works so against them. You keep putting the people in the ditch and it is going to get worse. The people are the 99% and those jerks in the 1% along with the slimy politicians and they are having a really good time on your work and with your money.


    Competitive eco-devo environment clear at national cities conference, Meitzner says
    Wichita Business Journal
    Date: Monday, March 12, 2012, 11:32am CDT

    Wichita City Council member Pete Meitzner says it was clear at a National League of Cities conference that cities often find themselves competing with each other over jobs and businesses.

    You could feel it in the room, says Wichita City Council member Pete Meitzner.

    He is among several council members spending a few days in Washington, D.C., for the National League of Cities’ Congressional City Conference.

    Meitzner says he spent a half-day during the weekend in a training session with other city leaders on the subject of marketing in economic development. The level of competition among cities and their economic development initiatives was palpable, he says.

    “It’s a challenge marketing the city when all the other cities, they’ve all got a broad range or select package of incentives,” he says. “Everybody’s being very aggressive about protecting their current businesses.”

    And, they’re aggressive about trying to recruit businesses from other cities, Meitzner said. He referenced comments made by former Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

    Follow this company Chairman Lynn Nichols, who has said he frequently gets calls at his business, Yingling Aviation, from other cities. Nichols said at the time, “They’re trying to pick our pockets every day.”

    Meitzner said that at the conference in Washington, it was all the more clear that when cities have economic development victories, it’s often at the expense of other cities.

    But that’s a fact that Wichita leaders are well aware of already, Meitzner said. He said he thinks groups like the city, chamber and Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition are “in the game.”

    For instance, chamber CEO Gary Plummer recently said that he wants to get more aggressive on seeking jobs for Wichita through a new regional council made up of public and private leaders.

    “The time has come for Wichita to declare a jobs war,” Plummer said at a February meeting of the Rotary Club of Wichita. “It’s us against them.”

    Apparently, Plummer and Wichita aren’t alone in their efforts to go to battle.

  14. I was going to ask you Judith how you liked the new Casey’s by your house. I love it! Do you ever walk over and get a soda or some beef jerky?

  15. Debbie Hickman says:

    I am proud to be part of “Beasley and Bunch” as Judith refers to it. I am quite surprised she is afraid to be a part of the Citizens for the Future of Gardner. Gotta go … this jaybird needs to drink some more Kool-aid!

  16. Judith Rogers says:

    You get drunk on the Kool-Aid and cannot reason – that is for sure but doubt if you even know what the Sam Hill is going on with your government entities………are you keeping your taxes paid or are you facing foreclosure???

    I went to Casey’s yesterday for a paper around 11:00 A.M. and they didn’t have any so I had to get back in my car and drive down to the Shell Station where I usually go and where I will continue to go now since Casey’s evidently is not prepared to serve citizens such as myself. And everytime I look at the SE corner of 183rd & Center, Gardner and know that the thieves are still getting by with “farm” appraisals on that property and paying maybe $10 a year in taxes for a parcel of land, I’m inclined to drive right past that corner just like I should have yesterday. I really don’t care to enable or support the thieves or the worthless politicians especially when I know so well what they do and don’t do.

  17. A Citizen of Gardner says:

    Judith, I really don’t understand the hate here! We are all trying to make Gardner the best it can be. If you think we are awful because we are on the Facebook group, then join and see what we talk about. Ryan Beasley is an honorable man and only wants the best for our community. Wether you like him or not, you really should keep your hatred comments to yourself. Wether you agree or not the nasty comments are uncalled for. I would love to hear some positive comments and ideas you have. You are probably a very nice person and have some ideas that quite possibly are great.
    I’m with Debbie. I’m proud to be living in Gardner, proud to see the city growing, proud to be a part of the Citizens for the Future of Gardner.
    By the way, Ryan, loving the Casey’s! :)

  18. Judith Rogers says:

    This article tells you about more subsidies being paid for by the American people and how the thieves fight among themselves. Between Boeing, the oil company subsidies/tax breaks, the farm subsidies and on and on you have billions and billions of dollars going for subsidies of the big boys here in the U.S. The good ole Russell Family who got their benefit district here in Gardner and still hasn’t started paying their assessment until this fall gets their farm subsidy too, their “farm” (huge loss of tax revenue) appraisal on that land that they were going to put houses on but now they are going to drill for oil and gas and now the City is refinancing those bonds to save that joker another $1 Million. It will truly surprise me if that Russell Family pays the assessments for the next 20 years – if they do, I bet we will have to be paying a ton of attorney fees to force them to meet their responsibilities. Talk about being financially raped – your government and the thieves do it to you every day in my opinion.


    WTO upholds ruling in Boeing subsidies case
    Wichita Business Journal
    Date: Monday, March 12, 2012, 2:51pm CDT
    Follow this company received billions of dollars in subsidies.

    Follow this company ammunition against its chief rival. However, the amount the WTO has now upheld that both companies have received gave Boeing its own means of returning fire.

    Not surprisingly, both sides claimed victory on Monday.

    The WTO ruling states that Boeing received about $5 billion in subsidies.

    But that is far less than the $18 billion it previously determined Airbus had received from European countries.

    “The decision confirms that in terms of amount, effect and nature, U.S. government support to Boeing is minimal in comparison to the massive European subsidies provided Airbus,” Boeing said in a press release.

    Airbus countered, calling the ruling that Boeing did in fact receive illegal subsidies a “sweeping loss” for the company.

    “The Appellate Body has now spoken in both the Airbus and Boeing cases,” Rainer Ohler, Airbus’ head of public affairs and communications, said in a separate press release. “Comparing the core claims made by both sides, the net outcome is clear: Boeing’s cash grants are fundamentally illegal, while the system of loans to Airbus by European governments is legal and may continue.”

    Of local interest in the WTO ruling, the Appellate Body upheld the previous finding that industrial revenue bonds issued by the city of Wichita to Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems Inc. do not violate subsidy laws.

  19. Freddyhusker says:

    I read through all the posts and I have almost forgotten what the original article was about. Oh, the upgrading of the intersection.

    Well, intermodal or no intermodal, the intersection has been due for an upgrade for several years. Yes, Judith, the intermodal may have moved the time table up a little; but the intermodal has nothing to do with the fact it was going to have to be done sometime. The most intellegent post was the person who said the residents and business owners who purchased businesses on Main should have realized it was going to happen some day.

    I do agree that a truck route around downtown Gardner would be a good idea. Maybe you can ask the City of Edgerton, who will be making all the money off the intermodal, to pitch in some help to fund it.

  20. Things that make me go hmmm says:

    “Ryan Beasley is an honorable man and only wants the best for our community.” That’s a good one. Thanks for the laugh.

  21. Judyth will be demanding to know who “Things that make me ho hmm” is and some other no name cowards. Although I think Judy is the previously mentioned “hmmmmm”

    It would be nice if we all stuck to the article topics once.

  22. Judith Rogers says:

    I like the one about Beasley being an honorable person and the poster spells “whether” as “wether”……….that school bond won’t be reaching some and never has…………daily I go to the Citizens for the Future of Gardner and follow what is going on at that site brought to me by the “honorable” Ryan Beasley and his Bunch………….but I sure get tired of hearing about what the bread or the drink of the day is going to be or the meal of the day or whatever – looks like the future of Gardner entails food mostly and certainly not food for the mind……….you also would think these solid citizens would not be no-namers on this site…….wonder why they don’t want to take ownership of their comments here but will on their Facebook Page………….

  23. Amused Citizen says:

    Judith, I try to not post off subject but just wanted to comment about the Casey store. So you get up at the butt crack of 11 and expect them to have a paper? Really. Maybe they did not get the word yet to hold back a paper for the almighty SWOTI. They are a new store and maybe have not gotten the inventory demand down yet, but I would not expect you to give anything a chance. Change bad stagnation good. As far as the corner goes I agree with one of the other posters something has to be done with or without the truck traffic. It is dangerous and impedes traffic flow.
    And I will say one more thing about our Dictator as you would call him. I have seen him support the youth programs in this city. When was the last time you supported any of the youth.

  24. Waah! Casey's doesn't have my paper! says:

    Funny that Judith has the money to pay for a dead-tree version of the Star (or was she buying Gardner News?), but has to drive, first to Casey’s, then to the Shell station to get it? Did she ever hear of home delivery? And wouldn’t she spend enough time haunting online newspapers that she wouldn’t need to kill trees to get her news? Or maybe she just likes filling the air around Larry Fotovich’s house with the exhaust fumes of her car, driving short, unnecessary trips around town…

  25. State of Affairs says:

    @Freddyhusker: What money is coming into Edgerton? Edgerton Residents are going to be asked to pay for the water/sewer setup for the intermodal. AND, the Edgerton City Council has promised to provide other projects the railroad needs. They have no concern for my neighbor a great-grandmother or me.

  26. The Intermodal isn’t built yet. They haven’t started generating the business that will make the money that makes the facility worth the investment that the railroad and warehous people are building into it now. Judging it a financial failure now, before it’s even open is putting the cart before the horse. At least wait and see what kinds of revenue the facility generates after it gets going before you try to make that argument.

    As for being a bad neighbor? Do you even know that? Sure, you can look at all the bad things that people have been saying about it for the past several years. But have they actually singled out you or your neighbor or your great-grandmother when you talk about their level of concern?

  27. Judith Rogers says:

    The no-namers certainly are a comedy show but not very funny. When I read their posts I know exactly, exactly why the big boys and the rotten politicians pander to them and then laugh about them behind their backs………….

  28. No namers like State of Affairs or just the ones that disagree with you and call you out on your craziness?

    I was going to get gas at the new Casey’s today but now that I know they ran out of papers on 1 specific day at 11 it is clear that they don’t want or deserve my business. Sheesh!

  29. State of Affairs says:

    Who makes the money if the Edgerton Residents have to pay out for all the railroad needs?

  30. State of Affairs says:

    P.S. My neighbor IS a great-grandmother NOT my great-grandmother. MY great-grandmother starved to death in the old country when the Communists marched in and took over the country.

  31. State of Affairs says:

    The rail road will never fail. BUT, the Edgerton Residents can sure in the heck go bankrupt paying for everything.

  32. Judith, I can always stop by on my way to work and drop off a newspaper to make sure you get one. Let me know, you have my email address.

  33. I can try again to explain the economics behind taxation, the addition of secondary businesses that build in to support a larger business entrprise…and the tax revenues colleted there…but that doesn’t seem to be the kind of thing you’re interested in talking about.

  34. Judith Rogers=Kelly Sullivan? Just wondering. Always wanting to be catered to. Pretty sure she was the lady who sent her food back at the restaurant on the movie “Waiting.” BTW Judith…salads available at ACA today! Thought you might want to know.

  35. George A Rifford IV says:

    Josh…too funny! Not many people saw that movie, but that scene is definately one that will be embedded in memory for a long time!

  36. Judith Rogers says:

    Beautiful day out today………be sure to put the metal to the pedal and get your fast food, drinks or whatever, God forbid you cook a meal or drink a glass of water………lots of it available on the Gardner Strip – just check your favorite Facebook time-waster site……..and more to come like Edgerton has their Boxcar Bar and Rusty Rail liquor store………….

  37. Wowzer... says:

    You’re not making sense today, SWOTI. And “today” is kind of a relative term that in this case could mean “all the time”.

  38. Those businesses were there before 56 was widened years ago before half of you were born. You can’t blame the business owners. Maybe city hall can just shut down all the businesses and put government offices did like they did to Olathe.

  39. Where can I get a “Beasley Bunch” T-shirt?

  40. I’d have them printed up, but I think Judith would want some royalities off any sales. :)

  41. Judith Rogers says:

    Sorry now, Josh, I gave you some business last week…………but it is clear as to who you are marketing to or should I say pandering to…………….

  42. What kind of restaurant owner says:

    insults current or potential customers? Great business model.

  43. You’re only part right. The funeral home was certainly there. Metcalf Bank has been there for quite awhile. The now-deserted liquor store was there. The other corner? They built a bank so close to the road that you almost have to walk through to get around the corner on foot without having to step into traffic. Of the other three, the liquor store isn’t open anymore, so it’s not affected from a business standpoint, at least. My biggest concern is for the funeral home and, to a lesser degree, the bank.

    The funeral home is a landmark for Gardner and, in my opinion, needs to be protected as such. But that’s just me.

    The hard part is that, building on a US highway that also serves as the main drag through a town is pretty much a lesson in eventuality…unless the town is never expected to grow beyond its original size. Not sure how to change that, given the overall growth Gardner has had.

  44. State of Affairs says:

    Meanwhile, over in Edgerton, the planners did said Highway 56 would expand to 6 lanes: 3 each way to Topeka and Kansas City. To enter Dee’s Mini Mart from the back; however, gasoline pumps in front of mart and just a few feet from Highway 56. To enter the Box Car Bar & Grill not from Highway 56, but from the residential area. The Rusty Rail Liquor Store, well, guess they would need to re-arrange and customers enter thru the back door.

  45. State of Affairs says:

    @”the economics behind taxation”. When do the residents of Edgerton get a piece of the taxation instead of paying more taxes?

  46. State of Affairs says:

    What happened to Nate L? Is he on the campaign trail, jogging, or in the hospital with chicken pox. Chicken pox is hard on adults.

  47. @What kind of says:

    Are you serious? You DO realize that the so-called “customer” you’re talking about, Judith Rogers, is the woman who has repeatedly promised to let ALL Gardner businesses die because she thinks they’re all cronies with the people she hates in Gardner government?

    It’s the same Judith Rogers who just last week told us she wasn’t going to give Casey’s her business anymore because they were out of newspapers by 11AM? The same Judith Rogers whose running feud with one of the largest single employers in town has led her to tell lies about him and try every dirty trick in the book to smear his name?

    THIS is the “customer” that you’re using as a standard to condemn a restaurant owner? One who has made an ongoing personal campaign to see all of them driven out of business?

    Sorry, but you probably ought to use a better example. Unless you’re trying to jump on her “Destroy Gardner” bandwagon.

  48. Why is it alright for everyone to speak ill of Ms. Rogers? If you don’t like what she says, ignore her. I don’t know her; don’t even know if she’s a real person, but no matter what her attitude, I was taught to rise above another’s negativity. By making a sport out of harassing her, your folks attitude is the same as hers. I try to patronize Gardner businesses as much as possible, but I do not patronize those who don’t appreciate their customers – no matter what their political opinions.

  49. Say what you will, I remember when 56 was just a two lane road. As to the vacant liquor store, why not utilize that space? Why no light with a turn signal? Why not reduce the speed?

  50. I thought I saw a plan that had a round about placed right where 56 highway splits off of Main St. I thought that was a good idea that could help keep the trucks out of downtown.

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