QUESTION: There are two of these “islands” on Fairway Drive. I know nothing about them other than it may be some attempt at traffic (speed) control. I notice there is a large power cable but nothing has been hooked up. There are no signs of any kind. What is their intent?

ANSWER: For this question, we went to Ingolf A. Partenheimer, chief traffic engineer for the city-parish.

“These islands were installed as part of a traffic calming project. The intent is to break up the sight line so as not to make the roadway look like it could be safe to speed on. The following website — http://trafficcalming.org/effectiveness/ — shows the effectiveness of the different types of traffic calming devices. The islands are part of the narrowing group of devices.

“The city-parish has a residential traffic calming program. The information for it is online at http://brgov.com/dept/dpw/traffic. The manual, which is a free download, provides a lot of information for residents.”

He’s right. It’s filled with all sorts of information. The most important is this: individuals and organizations concerned about traffic on a particular street may contact DPW Traffic Engineering Division at (225) 389-3874 to request a traffic calming analysis.

QUESTION: Why in the world is the traffic light at Goodwood Boulevard and Chevelle running full cycle for the last few months? It is idiotic to cause traffic to stop for nothing on Goodwood when clearly there is more traffic traveling on Goodwood. Months ago, this light was deliberately set to Regular Full Cycle and it is pointless for traffic to suddenly have to stop for “phantom traffic!” If they would stop messing with this traffic light and let it run on the Trip Cycle, which is already in place and has been for several years, Traffic Engineering would be doing drivers a better service.

ANSWER: Again, we checked with Partenheimer, who thanks the reader for alerting them to this problem, which they have now fixed.

“We checked the traffic signal and found that a vehicular detector is bad. As is with all signals, the vehicular detectors ‘fail safe,’ which means if the detector goes bad the control system is smart enough to place a permanent call for that approach so as not to trap anyone on that approach. The downside is that this causes the signal to be inefficient as it extends the greens with no vehicles present.

“While it is our goal to constantly improve traffic conditions, we can always use the public’s help in reporting when they see something different or wrong with a traffic signal. As in this case, your email has sped the fixing of the problem.

“Thanks again!”

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Send questions to Ask The Advocate, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810; or fax to Ask The Advocate, (225) 388-0371; or email asktheadvocate@theadvocate.com.