CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - The parish has plans to take part of the City of Central in a new direction. Crews will take out a stoplight at the intersection of Joor and Gurney Roads and install a roundabout this summer.
Mayor Jr. Shelton says the plans were in place before he took office last year. He says the idea is to allow more traffic to flow around the busy intersection. Right now, neighbors say things tend to back up twice a day when school is taking in or letting out.
However, people who live near the affected area say they have a problem with the way things are happening.
"We don't need two roundabouts on one road," said Warren Winstead.
He and another neighbor, Jane Williams, say they noticed crews surveying the land at the intersection. Then they noticed fences had moved and orange flags went up. They say after calling legislators, city hall and DOTD, they learned it is the city-parish that will be starting construction in May.
"We don't want it, we don't need it, there's no call for it," said Williams.
She is upset no one spoke with any of the people who live in the area about the project. Williams says it is already a pain when she tries to get out her driveway at certain times of the day. Based on her experience with the roundabout on Sullivan and Gurney, she's not looking forward to what's about to happen near her house.
"Besides the fact that people out here don't know how to drive it, they don't yield. When one gets in the circle coming south on Sullivan, they don't let the next person in line go. They come one behind the other, and you can't get in the circle from Gurney."
Not only that, Williams says she's seen 18-wheelers drive on top of the circle because it's not wide enough.
She says she too has that problem, when she pulls her horse trailer.
Warren Winstead says he was told the new traffic circle is part of a 20 year master plan in the parish, based on how much traffic is predicted to be moving around the area in the next several years.
His solution, he says if the parish is worried about increasing traffic why not four lane Joor Road.
Winstead says even before this project starts it is already an inconvenience. The affected intersection will be closed while the roundabout goes in. Meaning he will have to take a longer drive to get where he needs to go. He says right now, police and fire crews can be at his home within minutes, but if there's an emergency when the road is shutdown, that extra travel time could mean the difference between life and death.
"Their intent is good I think, but the way they're going about it I think is wrong."