Ever since the stretch of Goodwood Avenue between Jefferson Highway and Lobdell Avenue was designated a “sharrows,” allowing bicycles to use the traffic lanes, I have wondered how cars and bicyclists are expected to negotiate it. Goodwood is a narrow two-lane street with no shoulders and deep ditches on either side. Are cars expected to remain behind bicyclists going 15 mph or so for the whole one-mile stretch? Has there been any consideration to 1) widening or 2) converting Goodwood to one-way with a bike lane like has been successfully done with Capital Heights?

A “sharrow” is a “shared lane bicycle marking” on a pavement, designed with a bicycle symbol and two white chevrons, to remind motorists that bicyclists are permitted to use the full lane.

Here’s what Ingolf A. Partenheimer, chief traffic engineer from the city-parish Department of Public Works, has to say about the situation on that portion of Goodwood Boulevard:

“So far we haven’t received any complaints regarding this section. Keep in mind that bicycles are considered the same as cars so they have the same rights. In that section as in all sections the cars would have to slow down as it is a no-passing zone. Currently there are no plans to make any changes at this location.”

Books behind bars

I’m curious about prison libraries. How many and what kinds of books are there in a typical state prison? Which books are required to be there (law books)? And what kinds of books and publications are prohibited?

Pam Laborde, communications director for the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, says each of the state’s nine correctional facilities its own regular library and a law library:

“Each regular library can contain thousands of general, specialized and reference materials, including some in Spanish.

“Our libraries mainly rely on donations from publishers, groups and/or individuals, and some correctional facility libraries participate in the interlibrary loan program. Materials containing pornography, nudity and gross violence are prohibited as well as any subject matter that threatens the security of the institution, staff, offenders and/or surrounding communities (such as how to make bombs, etc).

“Our law libraries generally contain books on criminal codes, legal directories, etc., and other legal materials as well as access to either LexisNexis or Westlaw legal services via CD or hard drive, not online. We do use Offender Welfare funds to purchase some legal materials.

“For security reasons, all donations must be coordinated through the Warden’s Office at each correctional facility.”

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