BR.traffic.adv_HS_234 traffic stock

Traffic flows on Interstate 10 at the Mississippi River Bridge.

When lawmakers from around the state gather in Baton Rouge next week for the spring legislative session, they’ll find that the city’s traffic is as bad as ever. But Baton Rouge leaders promise that the city’s snarled transportation grid will eventually get better, thanks to a new tax approved by voters last year.

The 30-year, half-cent sales tax went on the books this week. It’s supposed to generate $1 billion over three decades to fund some 70 projects aimed at improving local roads.

Progress will take time. Managers to guide the infrastructure dollars probably won’t be in place until the summer. Finishing all the projects on the list will take years. In the meantime, Louisiana lawmakers will join everyone else in stop-and-go traffic. Maybe it will remind them that improving infrastructure takes time, which is all the more reason to start as soon s possible. It also costs more money, a basic reality that many state leaders have ignored for decades.