Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Lighting concerns at Burbank intersections following several fatal traffic incidents

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BATON ROUGE - Streetlights along a busy highway in Baton Rouge are continuously out.

That's what one man who contacted 2 On Your Side says. Alexander Tardo reports streetlight outages to the city, but they are going unaddressed.

Tardo is the president of the HOA for the Bluebonnet Highlands Subdivision. While living in the area, he travels Burbank Drive for shopping, food and various events. On his outings, he notices streetlights with burnt-out bulbs that need replacing and reports them to the 311 app.

Soon after he makes a report, he finds they're closed but the bulbs aren't replaced. He contacted 2 On Your Side for more information.

"They're not on at night, a lot of them - especially the ones at the intersections," he said.

The area between Ben Hur Drive and Brightside Drive has been developed in the past several years. Several restaurants, living accommodations, gas stations and grocery options have built and opened. Tardo says with all of that comes traffic and pedestrians, some of whom venture out at night.

"We had someone killed on Ben Hur last week, Madison Brooks a few months ago, and Miss Ethel was killed at the Bluebonnet-Burbank intersection. It shouldn't have to take these people dying to get these lights fixed," Tardo said.

The city says the 311 requests are sent to Entergy according to their contract, which expires in July. The city says those requests are submitted to the electric company and closed on their end. The only problem is the city doesn't get an update from Entergy about whether the request has been solved or if more work is needed.

"They don't leave a comment when they close it out, so I don't know," Tardo said.

Entergy said Thursday that it's not responsible for the streetlights along Burbank Drive and that it might be the state. The DOTD says it doesn't handle street lighting, and Burbank Drive is city-parish maintained. Entergy is now double-checking to see if it's responsible for replacing the bulbs in this area.

"It just seems like a very obvious safety precaution that's not being maintained," Tardo said.

He says more attention should be given to these busy intersections along Burbank Drive.

In January, the city started exploring some options to improve safety along Burbank Drive. They include the implementation of a multi-use path that's under consideration as the Burbank corridor grows. The parish sees a long-term need for a mixed-use path as the corridor grows, but right now it's fortunate that the road has wide shoulders.

Plans are under the design phase for a stoplight along Burbank Drive at Pelican Lakes, in the area where Madison Brooks was hit and killed.


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