Local group proposes new traffic solutions for Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A group in Baton Rouge says they have some new ideas about how to solve the city's traffic problems.

CRISIS is a research group that formed three years ago, and they released a report Monday morning called the Capital Region Mobility Strategy. It calls for many things the city is already pursuing, like more roadways, enhanced bridges, and more state funding. But they have some new ideas as well, like staggering the times that people get on the roads.

Rather than have everyone hit the road at the same time during rush hour, certain groups would leave at specific times to reduce congestion. "Reduce that kind of rush hour surge that we see," said Scott Kirkpatrick, executive producer for CRISIS. "Being smarter about how we kind of stagger the timing of when the state gets out, when the city gets out, when LSU gets out, when big employers get out. We are improving the way that we collaborate as a region, but we still have a ways to go. The public needs to understand, what are the top priorities of the region and how are our elected officials working together to make sure we achieve those goals."

CRISIS says they spent around two years on the plan. Another new idea proposed is traffic light synchronization. That's an idea that's been adopted by major cities like Los Angeles, in which the lights on one road turn green at the same time, in the same direction, to move traffic forward. Kirkpatrick says it would take a lot of work from city engineers and of course, more funding, but he says it would be worth it.

"Traffic synchronization has been something that this region has been challenged with for some time," Kirkpatrick said. "We've seen some modest improvements there, but everything we can tell from the studies we've done, we've got a long way to go there. So using some of that new, enhanced technology to really help people move through intersections better is gonna' allow us to use our existing concrete roadways in a more efficient manner."

The plan has been sent to public officials in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, and Ascension Parishes. Kirkpatrick says they are going to do a review in one year to determine how well their recommendations have been implemented.

To see the full plan, click here.

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