BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A team from all over the world arrived in Baton Rouge Monday to learn about the traffic problems here and offer up potential solutions. For three weeks, they will meet with officials and residents to see what people view as the problem. They'll also be living in the city, so they too can experience the traffic trouble.
"One of the problems that we have is we don't have enough connectivity of our streets," one man told one of the IBM experts, Maria Fernandez, who oversees legal aspects for part of the IBM company.
Baton Rouge is one of four U.S. cities to take part in IBM's Smart Cities Challenge, a grant program that uses a panel of experts to help cities solve pressing issues.
With three interstates, a population of 820,000 and still growing, the issue in Baton Rouge is traffic.
"Is that a morning issue or evening issue? When we drove in this morning, we actually didn't see a lot of traffic," said Fernandez. "But we've been told by a lot of people around three o'clock it gets insane."
Seeing is believing. That's how Steven Pearson, who is a liason between the city govenrment and IBM, phrases it. He says the team will live in Baton Rouge during the study, so they can understand what's happening.
"So whether it's rush hour, evenings or morning commutes, or something during the day, we'll be venturing out to experience it firsthand," Pearson said.
Mayor Kip Holden has asked everyone who comes in contact with the IBM team to be honest about the traffic issues in Baton Rouge, so that the team can give the best recommendations to solve the transportation issues.
At the end of the three-week study, the group will meet again on Oct. 17 to discuss their final report before giving possible solutions.
The team is also planning to attend home games for both LSU and Southern, so they can understand traffic problems during football season as well.