City trying to figure out how to deal with stopped buses on a two-lane Government Street
BATON ROUGE – There are no designs on paper to allow buses to pull off of Government Street once the highway is trimmed from four lanes to one travel lane in each direction, though officials are hoping to fix an issue that could lead to annoying congestion and frustrated drivers.
CATS confirmed "the current plan, as we understand it, does not have planned bus pull-outs," however both bus company and city officials said Thursday, they hope to find ways to fix the potential problems.
"[The city is] looking at some areas working with CATS to see if we can acquire some pieces of property to construct bus pull-offs," Fred Raiford, with the city of Baton Rouge said. Warning, though, that "traffic could be impacted during certain times of the day."
CATS also added: "We have discussed this issue with City officials and DOTD on several occasions, expressing that a place for buses to safely pick up and drop off riders is of the utmost importance."
Work to eliminate a travel lane in each direction – cunningly dubbed a "road diet" by those backing the project – started this week.
Officials hope reducing the number of travel lanes would force commuters to parallel throughways such as North Boulevard or Florida Street. Local drivers would have a more laissez-faire drive and, the dream is, spur a revitalization of the city's Mid City community – hopefully to rival New Orleans' Magazine Street.
> CLICK HERE for project images/plans
In addition, authorities suspect fewer travel lanes will reduce crashes as drivers try to make left turns. Drivers would turn left from a shared turning lane, not the available left east/west lane currently traversing Government Street.
As construction got underway on the project, CATS announced Thursday that some Government Street routes were being temporarily canceled due to the work. CLICK HERE for route information.
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