State sells 'Road Diet' for Government Street
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development made its "Road Diet" pitch to the public Thursday evening.
The state hopes to sell the idea of a three-lane Government Street. It's an idea that will have two travel lanes - one in each direction - and a center turn lane with bicycle paths along with areas for pedestrians. Currently, Government Street has two lanes in each direction.
At a three hour meeting showing the plan to people, engineers discussed the positive impact they expect a slimmer street will bring. Among them, a safer drive between I-110 and Independence.
A DOTD spokesperson estimated that there are 800 traffic crashes on Government Street in the last three years. The crash statistics are higher than the state average for a street that handles the same amount of traffic as Government.
"[With a center turn lane] people can make that turn safer. Instead of crossing two lanes of traffic you're crossing one," Rodney Mallet, DOTD's spokesman, said.
Planners predict with a safer street will come more businesses.
Reaction from residents and drivers seems to be mixed.
DOTD has not said when construction would begin.