I would like to offer my own corrections to the letter posted about traffic snarls on Interstate 10. It seems that the original poster had good intentions, but people seemed to get into an uproar about cutting off access to parts of town.
1) Move the Washington Street exit north to connect Interstate 110 southbound with 10th Street, linking it to Thomas Delpit Drive. Traffic counts for the Washington Street exit are lower than other ramps in the area and any traffic going to Washington Street can use 10th Street, Highland/Nicholson, Government or Dalrymple.
2) Continue I-10’s two lanes south through Dalrymple Drive to exit at College Drive. By removing Washington as an exit-only lane, which serves a marginal amount of traffic, and giving traffic more room to maneuver, snarls can be reduced.
3) After removing Washington Street’s exit, make the ramp for I-10 eastbound a wider radius, allowing for trucks to remain at 60 mph. It makes no sense for trucks to drive 60 mph over the bridge, slow down to 35 mph, merge into one lane, and then speed back up to 60 mph. By allowing traffic to flow at a normal rate, backups would happen less often.
4) Advertise times on digital signage on the west side of Lafayette and the north side of Opelousas, stating the travel times for using I-10 to New Orleans versus U.S. 90, and post signage giving times on U.S. 190 west of Port Allen, showing the time difference in taking U.S. 190 versus I-10, along with accident information. I’m positive that if people see the bridge is backed up, they would take U.S. 190 instead of driving south to get on I-10.
It seems to me that La. DOTD is frightened to close an outdated exit ramp because of fears from politicians that their community is being cut off. I’m sure that people who live on Washington Street would enjoy traffic moving ahead, instead of at a standstill. If you are on I-110, you can’t get to Washington Street because of the amount of traffic blocking you from using the exit. At the same time, if you are coming from Port Allen, you will more than likely take the Highland exit, instead of sitting in traffic, which is actually backed up trying to navigate your own exit ramp.
DOTD, please look at the exit ramp traffic count, and tell me why 90,000 vehicles per day are backed up for a ramp that probably 600 vehicles per day use.