Residents reach breaking point with illegal parking, loitering along stretch of Burbank Drive
BATON ROUGE - Late nights of loitering, litter, and illegal parking along Burbank Drive are frustrating local homeowners.
"Total chaos," Al Lorio, who lives on Burbank Drive, said. "It's just total, total chaos."
Video from over the weekend shows long lines of cars illegally parked along the busy roadway and people walking in and out of traffic.
Saturday night, several wrecks were reported along Burbank Drive near The Oasis Bar and Grill. At least three people were sent to the hospital with minor injuries, according to law enforcement.
The illegal parking problem from over the weekend is not isolated, Lorio, who has lived on Burbank Drive for decades says, but it may have come to a head Saturday.
"The only thing that was open was my driveway," Lorio said. "I'm thinking they're gonna hit my mailbox. But you could see cars all the way to the bridge, and all the way past the subdivision that way, and cars on the other side of the street."
At one point Saturday night, drivers even asked his daughter to park on his property.
"They were pulling in my driveway and asking if they could park," Lorio said. "When we said 'no, sorry,' they just parked on the street."
Lorio and other residents say the problem is only getting worse. So much so, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office has reached out to the owner of The Oasis to see about adding additional parking.
In a phone call with WBRZ Monday, the owner, Luke Forstmann, said safety is his number one concern. While he recommends patrons utilize Uber or Lyft to get to the bar, he's looking at expanding his parking lot, something he says he's done once already.
Forstmann released the following statement to WBRZ, as well.
With no parking signs already dotted along the dark stretch of Burbank Drive, Lorio has reached his wit's end.
"I really don't know what to do about it," Lorio said. "I've called the police. The neighborhood has called the city councilman. I really don't mind the people being successful. I think it's awesome for them, but there's a lot of property over there, and they could just build a parking lot bigger, you know, add on to the parking lot."
Councilman Rowdy Gaudet, whose district includes The Oasis, says his office has been inundated with calls over the past few days about the parking issues. He understands homeowners' frustration but believes it is an enforcement issue he's attempting to work out with the establishment and local agencies.
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