Recently, Eric Troutman seemed to be popping at the seams with his excitement over the “improvement” project on Government Street.

It also appears clear that Troutman has forgotten two very important things — one, that streets are primarily designed and constructed for vehicle traffic keeping a high flow rate in that design, and two, with the 25 percent increase of vehicles after Katrina, those designs are simply not efficient anymore.

So now, he feels that bringing the street down to one lane each way and adding at least one bike/walk lane will help? He may just have his priorities in the wrong place as it is impossible to increase the flow of traffic by reducing the number of travel lanes, unless that’s not his concern. Personally, I am all for walk and bike lanes only if it will not impose safety issues to those folks or reduce the flow of traffic.

As is:

At about 4 p.m. on workdays, the traffic on both eastbound lanes builds up starting at Foster and backs up many times to the post office.

There are 17 bus stops westbound and 28 eastbound (to/from Jefferson). With two lanes, at least traffic can legally go around these buses.

When an eastbound vehicle wants to make a left turn onto Westmoreland (because there is no left turn onto Acadian), traffic backs up many times across Acadian.

With “improvements”:

How will going to one lane improve traffic flow from Foster, eastbound?

Now, it will be impossible to (legally) go around a bus. And with CATS planning to add even more buses, that slowdown will only increase.

As more businesses decide to build on Government Street, this will only mean more vehicular traffic.

The ability of emergency vehicles to quickly get to a location now will be greatly reduced.

I believe some improvements can be made that will still leave all four lanes and, at the same time, move traffic more efficiently:

Add another lane starting at Lovely Nails east to Acadian. This will not provide a center turn lane and will allow left turns to businesses on the north and south sides, which will be needed even more as Westmoreland is re-energized. It will also provide for a left (and right) turn onto Acadian eastbound.

Another lane could be added on the westbound side at Rite Aid. This would then allow for a left and right turn onto Acadian.

A gentleman on Capitol Heights stated in this paper some time back as to how upset he is about the speeding traffic on his street. I have lived on my street, a side street off Government, all of my life, and many of my neighbors have growing complaints about the increased traffic and the total disregard for speed limits some drivers have. If we think this is bad now, just wait until this … “improvement” is completed.

John Buie

retired state employee

Baton Rouge