Walker roundabouts creating more problems than solutions
LIVINGSTON PARISH - New roundabouts in Walker seem to be creating more problems than they are solving.
The Walker Police Department is in need of more officers just to keep up with the demand the roundabouts are generating.
"It's been a tremendous headache for us," said Captain John Sharp. "We're a small police department. We have enough officers to cover routine wrecks, but if we have to take an officer out of the call rotation and put him out here directing traffic, then that leaves us short-handed."
DOTD put in the roundabouts in August to try and fix the traffic congestion of a growing city, but Walker PD says it's simply not working.
"They just create a traffic nightmare," explained Walker resident Leo LeJeune. "Someone almost hit me the other day when I was going through the roundabout."
LeJeune isn't alone. Candy Price isn't a fan of them either. "I don't like them. They suck," she said. She also said her daughter was involved in an accident on one of them shortly after they opened.
Captain Sharp says they average about 3 accidents a week on these things.
"This is a state highway. It's a state project. The city of Walker has no input. We have nothing to do with it," said Sharp.
In addition to an increase in accidents, traffic has reportedly gotten worse. Especially getting off I-12, where traffic backs up every afternoon.
Walker PD tried to fix this problem by manually blocking the roundabouts with police cars, allowing interstate traffic to get on, but after a few weeks, DOTD told them to stop.
According to Sharp, DOTD told them that people needed to learn how to use the roundabout properly, without training wheels.