New organization aims to promote safer streets statewide - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

New organization aims to promote safer streets statewide

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Louisiana is ranked in the top five most dangerous states to walk, bike and drive. That is according to a new organization called Bike Walk Louisiana. The group aims to make roads across the state safer to travel. 

Advocates from across the state met Monday at the Main Branch of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library on Goodwood Boulevard to get the conversation going. 

Bicycle lanes are starting to pop up in some of the Capital City's most highly traveled areas. People who choose two wheels as their primary mode of transportation, more often than not, are forced to share the road with vehicles. 

Ashley Bridges with the Capital Region Transportation Safety Coalition said bicyclists have long been outnumbered. 

"We use cars to move people instead of commerce, and it should be the other way around. Cars move commerce, not people," Bridges said. 

The safety coalition launched a campaign called "Share the Road, Travel Happy." Bridges said it is a good reminder to everyone who drives or rides by, but everyone must learn the rules of the road. 

Craig Lott with Monroe Advocates for Safe Streets drove to Baton Rouge to meet with bicycle and pedestrian safety advocates across the state to help come up with a plan to raise awareness. 

"It's just getting the decision makers to think about other forms of transportation besides motor vehicles," Lott said.

Baton Rouge has a Complete Streets program designed to insure that planners and engineers consider everyone in the community. While infrastructure is a big concern for cyclist Beaux Jones with Complete Streets, he said another is getting everyone to read and understand the signs. 

"One of the biggest things we are hearing today, and one of the biggest things we are getting a lot of conversation about is the education of drivers, students, immigrants to Louisiana, getting everyone on the same page," Jones said. 

The advocates hope they can come up with a plan that drives commuters and recreational cruisers closer to coexisting. 

Find out more on Bike Walk Louisiana's Facebook or at the organization's website.  

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