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As traffic on Interstate 12 roars above, a homeless person sleeps among their belongings above O'Neal Lane, Friday, June 10, 2022, in Baton Rouge, La.

If a vehicle were parked on the shoulder of a highway for a period of time, it would be tagged and towed to remove it as being a road hazard.

East Baton Rouge Parish has allowed a person to take up residence on the shoulder of U.S. Highway 61, just north of Highway 964. It is right on the shoulder and not well seen at night.

It wouldn’t be my first choice for a living area, but with no rent, getting the gentle breezes of vehicles blowing by at 65+ mph and with no obvious washer/dryer hookup (but the road signs do provide a makeshift clothesline), you can string your dozen or so carts with a variety of things, plus a tent, and make it work.

My question is this: Both the state and parish know about this hazard but seem to condone it. So if there were an accident, could the parties involved seek compensation from the state or parish?

I’m sure a crafty lawyer could find a way to make that claim work. It really can be a safety issue and needs to be addressed.



St. Francisville

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