Josh Goscha waited more than three hours Saturday night to turn into his Nicholson Lakes neighborhood after police officers conducting contraflow stopped him.
Contraflow keeps traffic moving in one direction in multiple lanes after LSU games to control the crowds, which have swelled this year with the expansion of Tiger Stadium. Baton Rouge Police Department Sgt. David Wallace said officers monitoring traffic do not block any neighborhoods. But Goscha said police officers refused him entry into his neighborhood — Nicholson Lakes on Nicholson Road between Bluebonnet Boulevard and Gardere Lane — and at their direction, he sat in his car from 10:30 p.m. until he could return home at 2 a.m.
Goscha first tried to get home by turning onto Nicholson Drive from Bluebonnet Boulevard. He said a police officer told him he could not proceed, and when he told the officer he was trying to turn into his neighborhood, the officer told him to try River Road.
“How do you tell someone you can’t go home?” Goscha asked.
Goscha said he then drove down River Road, only to find that the turning lane had been blocked off. He pulled onto the road’s shoulder, and he recounts that rude police officers on motorcycles told him he would be ticketed if he did not move his car.
That’s when Goscha, a 27-year-old engineer, gave up and waited in a sugar cane field. His third try to return home was successful, but it was already the early morning hours of Sunday.
“What really bugged me about it is there was no prior signage, nothing that said you’re not going to be able to go home between 10:30 p.m. and 2 a.m.,” Goscha said.
Many LSU fans have echoed Goscha’s complaint about postgame-day traffic. Steve Uffman, who has been attending LSU games since 1955, said the traffic this season is the worst he’s seen. After the victory against Ole Miss, Uffman said, it took him two hours to drive the 15 miles back to his Baton Rouge home.
“I don’t like to leave early, but if I leave early on most games, I can be home in about 30 minutes,” Uffman said.
“I would ask LSU: What are they training me to do?”
Wallace said the only reason most people have trouble with contraflow is if they are moving against the direction of traffic.
He said LSU fans on game day often start contraflow themselves because they are accustomed to the process.
Wallace said they will continue to revamp and modify how contraflow works for next season after LSU’s last home game against the University of Alabama on Nov. 8.
LSU officials deferred comment to the Baton Rouge Police Department.