Traffic is the top obstacle for business growth in the Capital Region for the third straight year, according to the Baton Rouge Area Chamber's 2019 Economic Outlook.
BRAC released the "key finding" from the annual survey on Thursday, ahead of a release of the full report next week.
The chamber made the announcement ahead of an election Saturday in Baton Rouge that features a half-penny sales tax hike pushed by Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome in an effort to fund road and infrastructure projects. BRAC is supporting the tax hike.
“We hear from the business community over and over that relieving traffic congestion is their top priority," BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp said in a statement. "East Baton Rouge has the opportunity on Saturday to vote for MovEBR, a potentially transformative initiative aimed directly at addressing this problem."
From a list of more than 10 quality of life and business growth issues, 18.9 percent of those surveyed cited traffic congestion as their top concern, followed by crime rate and lack of good public school options/cost of private school, both of which polled 10.7 percent.
Broome's MovEBR tax would last 30 years and raise $912 million. Broome's administration has outlined more than 70 projects aimed at improving traffic, commuter safety and other infrastructure and mobility issues.