Traffic trouble for small businesses as Coursey Blvd construction begins
BATON ROUGE – The Jones Creek Café and Oyster Bar on Market Street sits right in the middle of the new construction project on Coursey Blvd.
The road is shut down at Jones Creek Road for 12 days to add double left turn lanes. During that time, city leaders promised that access to local businesses would not be interrupted.
The owner of the Jones Creek Café said construction is causing a traffic jam and turning away business.
“Last night we looked at our figured over the past year on what we did on Friday night,” George Shaheen said. “And we were somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,800 to $2,000 it cost us.”
Shaheen was not going to let the traffic impact his businesses. He got on the phone, called his council member, who got the manager of the construction manager to come to his restaurant.
“I’m out here today because I’m very concerned about the small businesses here like on Market Street on Coursey,” Metro Councilmember Buddy Amoroso said. “I want to be sure that the traffic is moving and these businesses are not being hurt.”
Some of Shaheen’s customers are also worried about the traffic. They say it’s become harder to even turn into business parking lots.
Debbie Elkins is a regular at the Jones Creek Oyster Bar. She told us that the traffic was backed up along the entire street.
“It took almost 10 to 15 minutes just to get in the parking lot” Elkins said.
But after meeting with the manager, minor changes were made with the traffic signs to help ease congestion. Monday, police officers will be assigned to the area to keep the traffic moving.