QUESTION: What is the status of the “road diet” for Government Street? It does not appear any of the work has been done.

ANSWER: “The Government Street project is a part of the road transfer initiative instituted by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development,” says John J. Price, assistant chief administrative officer for the Office of the Mayor-President. “It involves transferring certain roads back to local governments in order to reduce the number of miles of roads owned by the state.

“For Government Street, the proposed project consists of rehabilitating the existing pavement and implementing a ‘road diet,’ which would reduce the number of travel lanes from four lanes to three lanes (the center lane a two-way left-turn lane).”

We also checked with DOTD public information officer Anastasia Semien, who tells us: “Stantec, the design consultant, is reviewing and addressing DOTD’s comments on the safety and traffic analysis.” After that, an open house public meeting will be held.

But the design process can’t start until the traffic analysis and the environmental study are completed, Semien said.

Once a start date is scheduled, construction is expected to take about a year.

Can you spare a dime?

QUESTION: In Baton Rouge we are seeing more and more members of school teams standing at intersections with buckets, soliciting money to help with their trips or programs. Is there any city ordinance to address this? Can anyone stand on a corner with a bucket and ask for money?

ANSWER: Baton Rouge Police Cpl. Don Coppola notes that city-parish ordinance 11:96 prohibits roadside soliciting, even for charities. However, the city-parish council can grant waivers.

If police find groups soliciting along the road without a waiver, they will issue a citation, he said. “Tickets have been issued in the past.”

Casey Cashio, council administrator and treasurer, says “my records show that the last time this waiver was granted was in April of 2011.”

The code prohibits soliciting for rides, employment or charitable contributions on roadways, the neutral ground or street shoulders, except for members of a professional firefighters association.

All others must seek waivers.

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