BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Baton Rouge was ranked No. 19 most dangerous metro area for pedestrians in the country with 167 pedestrian deaths between 2005 and 2014.
The Baton Rouge Sustainable Transportation Action Committee (STAC) has developed an innovative pilot project that utilizes a comprehensive approach to implementing infrastructure improvements which address safety, convenience, and connectivity needed for people to safely walk, bike, and ride transit in Baton Rouge.
They say that roads like Florida Boulevard, Government Street, and Foster Drive don't have enough sidewalks or cross-walks.
STAC recommended a number of changes, such as more sidewalks and larger bike lanes.
Pedestrians like Dennis Butler agrees. He holds up signs for companies along Florida, and he says he's afraid of oncoming traffic. "Traffic comes, and I be saying to myself, looking for signs because anybody could be under the influence of whatever, and if I don't see it in time, I could get hurt."
"We've really grown up in this part of town without thinking of accommodating the various roadway users," said Rachel Diresto, a member of the Center for Planning Excellence, who was involved with the project. "And so you know, many of the intersections are designed for the car, and the flow of the car."
STAC has submitted their report to the city of Baton Rouge and DOTD, and they hope that some of their recommendations will be implemented.
Here are a list of some of their recommendations:
- Extending a walking path on the west side from North Boulevard to Florida Boulevard
- Extending the walking path on the east side of Foster Drive to Florida Boulevard.
- Elimination of the left turns onto Florida Boulevard from the BRCC parking areas. Vehicles departing BRCC would go east on Florida Boulevard, with a U-turn provided at the Cloud Drive traffic signal
- A new sidewalk along Cloud Drive from George Street to Government Street