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Officials request grant for safety improvements to North Foster Drive

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BATON ROUGE - A busy roadway could soon be receiving repairs to improve pedestrian safety.

"I believe there should be something done," said Curby Broom, who often walks alongside North Foster Drive in order to catch the bus. Officials agreed with him.

"Because this is a major area that hasn't seen a lot of change in many years, almost 40 years," Director of Transportation Fred Raiford said. "A lot of traffic has changed, people's wants and wishes have changed.

The city wants North Foster Drive, from North Street to Gus Young Avenue, to be narrowed down to three lanes from four, with a center turn lane, bike lanes, and new sidewalks.

"It is a concern from a safety aspect," Raiford said, "and the records from the incidents that have happened out here justify this project."

For the project to happen, the city must receive the federal grant they applied for. Recently, the city made the short list.

Broom said he is mostly excited for the added sidewalks because it will help people with disabilties, like his father, get around.

"You know for him to roll up the ramps," Broom said, "a lot of areas don't have that, like I told you, further down the street, there's no sidewalk. I'd have to roll him in the road."

If the city gets the nearly $500,000 they requested, the goal is to provide a safe place for all people in the area to walk without having to worry about getting run over.

The city said meeting the Americans with Disabilities Act standard is very important to them.

If approved, the money would be administered by the state, despite the project being controlled by the city.

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