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Hit and run prompts sidewalks near Tigerland

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BATON ROUGE - A hit-and-run in October that sent two people to the hospital prompted protests from people that lived where it happened, and now the Department of Public Works plans to build sidewalks on East Boyd Drive near Tigerland.

Deputy Director Bryan Harmon at the Department of Public Works called the project a safety issue.

"There have been several groups that have identified the need, from LSU to the [Metro] Council to Public Works," Harmon said. 

DPW has several requirements for sidewalks including proximity to a school or college, foot traffic estimates, and proximity of other walking ventures like bars, bus stops, shops and restaurants.

At a cost of $350,000 the sidewalks will be built on top of existing ditches. 

Five miles south on Gardere Lane, many residents feel their neighborhood fits the same sidewalk requirements and is being overlooked.   On each side of Gardere Lane, dirt, and sometimes muddy paths act as their walkways. People criss-cross from side to side depending on how overgrown the ditches are. 

Gardere is a state highway, and DPW says, the Department of Transportation and Development would have to make the call to add sidewalks and pay for it.

"DOTD actually has some policies opposed to sidewalks that they do not want to maintain them," Harmon said.

DOTD agrees, but said there has never been a formal request for sidewalks, and there's simply not enough money to build them.

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