BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana officials will be conducting a household travel survey to analyze the impacts of daily commutes in the capital region.
The survey, sponsored by the Capital Region Planning Commission (CRPC) and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), will collect information about household demographics, daily travel activities, and typical travel patterns throughout the Baton Rouge area.
Organizers say the last such survey was done in the early 1990s.
"Our region has significantly grown in population and employment over the last couple of decades. Travel patterns significantly changed, and traffic congestion worsened. A new survey is long overdue," officials say.
“We’ve got a lot more people living in Livingston, in Ascension, in West Baton Rouge Parish then they did 25 years ago, and so this is really going to be an update to allow us to have the most accurate model possible to know what we should be building. This is going to update our model that we use to project traffic into the future, and then we also use that model to determine what new roads we need to build” said Jaime Setze, CRPC’s executive director.
The survey will include all of Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes, as well as portions of West Baton Rouge, Iberville, and Livingston parishes. The survey region includes 735,000 people. Around 156,000 randomly selected households were invited by mail to participate.
If your household did not receive an invitation, you can take part in the survey by clicking here and using the password “SURVEY.” The survey has two parts - a signup survey that collects basic household information and a travel diary that asks about your travel on an assigned date. The first part must be completed by Dec. 6.
The survey aims to collect data about peoples' day-to-day travel throughout the region. Planners want to find out if you walk or take the bus; carpool or drive alone; how much you spend on travel. Organizers say responses to these questions will have a significant impact on future transportation planning decisions.
The data collected from the survey will help officials paint a more complete picture of transportation patterns, which they plan to use to better plan for transportation improvements, including reducing traffic congestion.
“The traffic is absolutely horrible, especially in the mornings and in the late afternoons. Somebody needs to think of other ways than just making it wider because making it wider doesn’t mean it’s solving the issue,” said one driver.
“It’s mostly like back-to-back traffic, like on the interstates. Maybe expanding roads to make them wider for more traffic through could help,” said another driver.
Planners will be able to understand the impact of the area's growth since the 90s.
Houses that were mailed invitations to participate will receive one or more $20 gift cards upon completion. Volunteers will be entered into a raffle for one of ten $100 gift cards or the grand prize $1,000 gift card.
Survey responders can also choose to donate their reward to the American Red Cross: Louisiana Capital Area - West Chapter.