Government Street ‘road diet’ plan changing shape as project start date remains uncertain _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Looking west from West Drive down Government Street as traffic splashes through the puddles on a rainy Friday afternoon June 3, 2016. Local and state officials have been talking for years about winnowing the road down from two lanes in either direction to a single lane each way with a center turning lane and bike lanes. In 2014, Mayor-President Kip Holden said he expected the project to be complete by 2015. Recently, city and state officials gave a smattering of estimates for when work will actually begin, but it could be late 2019 before a slimmer Government Street reopens. Construction has been delayed to change the road to a three lane, with turning lanes, bike paths and sidewalks.

In response to Mary Manhein's recent letter about Government Street in Baton Rouge: We are here on Government Street every day. It is a race track. There are constant accidents. People speed. My guess is that the street is way over capacity. It is nearly impossible to walk or drive across Government Street. We are part of a vibrant growing residential area where people walk and ride bikes. Mothers walk with their children.

The sidewalks are too narrow. As a business owner and property owner on Government Street, I welcome the road diet and look forward to being able to walk to lunch or to visit my friends in the neighborhood without putting my life in danger. One block to the north is North Blvd. It is vastly superior and goes from Foster to downtown. It is very under-utilized. Also, Florida Boulevard is only a few blocks away and should be redeveloped and showcased since it is a major artery in our city. More use of these other arteries would lead to much-needed redevelopment of those two streets as well.

I agree that money should be spent on a mental health facility, but it could be funded by the monies that the penal system wouldn’t waste on housing mentally ill people.

Letters: A diet that tastes pretty bad

Jak Kunstler

real estate broker

Baton Rouge