Regarding “Government Street ‘diet’ — four lanes to three”:
Well, according to the local paper, a few other folks may be waking up to the fact that the above proposed faulty project is going to cost a lot of taxpayer money and accomplish exactly nothing. In fact, it will create horrendous traffic problems — as if we don’t already have enough in Baton Rouge.
It looks to me and others who have taken the time to actually study this situation, this project will benefit no one except a few bicycle riders — maybe. The mayor, claims it will increase safety and help pedestrian traffic and aid bicyclers. As to pedestrians, there are already sidewalks on Government Street, which no one uses, and I seriously doubt there will be more than one or two bicycles on this busy street when it is finished.
As to the safety aspect, why doesn’t the city, or at least the newspaper, publish some highlights from the extensive study (64 pages) done for the Michigan Department of Transportation, which concluded after studying this so called “diet” street plan in 25 local communities that, in fact:
If the traffic count is greater than 10,000 cars daily, this system is not workable. Government Street has 22,000.
If there are no bicyclers or pedestrians using the street today, there will not be any in the future. There are none today.
A Government Street “diet” will not produce any benefits but will, in fact, create problems that do not exist today.
It will do nothing for safety.
There are a number of additional questions that need to be answered, and here are a few: Where will the additional traffic go when lanes are reduced? The studies show that traffic will be reduced. What impact will it have on adjacent streets? Capitol Heights is one way and residential. North Boulevard ends at North Foster Drive and Florida Street, is far to the north. Why are most cities widening their streets, and we are considering narrowing ours? How will utility trucks and emergency vehicles operate in only one lane? What is the impact on the $4 million street light program that is already under contract? What about all the school bus traffic in the vicinity of the six schools on or near this street?
Slow down and take a look at this project, it will be a detriment to the traffic situation and our wallets.
J.H. Jenkins Jr.
retired civil engineer and contractor