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Mayor pushing new tax proposal for traffic improvement

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BATON ROUGE - Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome is making a pitch to voters to pass a massive transportation initiative. The sales tax proposal aims to improve traffic flow around the capital city.

"This is the moment, this is the time," Broome said. "We're joining forces because East Baton Rouge Parish has reached a point of critical mass."

Traffic jam after traffic jam, Broome says the backups are only going to get worse if nothing is done soon.

"Our citizens can no longer tolerate the extreme congestion and time delays that have steadily increased year after year," she added.

The 'MoveBR' initiative would be paid for by a half-cent sales tax, generating $40 million per year over the span of 30 years.

Voters rejected the mayor's first traffic project that was funded by a property tax increase.

"Recognizing that the half-cent sales tax is a more equitable measure, everybody will pay," the mayor said.

Dozens of studies have earmarked Baton Rouge as one of the worst areas for traffic. One of the more ambitious projects on the list plans for a stretch of Bluebonnet Boulevard to be widened from Perkins Road to the Mall of Louisiana.

'MoveBR' also aims to construct more sidewalks and traffic light synchronization.

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