Folks say Stanford Ave. is not safe for pedestrians

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 8:19 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU confirmed Monday, Nov. 22, that one of its longtime professors died over the weekend after being hit by a car while riding his bike along Stanford Avenue near the LSU lakes.

RELATED: Longtime LSU professor killed in bicycle crash

Several folks said they walk or run the lakes almost every day. For some of them, it’s their favorite part of the day but once they get to an area along Stanford Avenue, it gets a little too close for comfort.

“I feel extremely uncomfortable; it’s the most dangerous section of the whole pathway,” said Nola Sharky, who walks the LSU lakes almost daily. And I wish something could be done about it.”

Sharky added the sidewalks along Stanford Avenue are way too close to the cars that pass by, spoiling one of her favorite parts of the day. And she’s not alone.

“We walk these lakes about two to three times a week and this part right here is the scariest part,” said Pam Baker, who was walking with her husband. “We’re always trying to hug or get on the grass when there’s people coming towards you. It’s hard if there’s bicycle riders but cars just fly down this street.”

“I’ll be seeing somebody bringing their child up these streets, so it’s like, you know, what if there’s an accident somewhere?” asked Joshua Butler, who is also concerned.

Olajawon Jordan is one of those parents who likes to take his child on this walk. He said while on the Stanford strip, he’s on high alert.

“Like I said we just walked around the whole lake and this is the only part I’m a little iffy about but like what can you do?” asked Jordan. “You cross the street and can walk on either side but it’s still close, you know, still vehicles passing real close, so yeah, I would definitely say it’s unsafe.”

You might be wondering. If you’re one of the folks taking this route, why not just avoid this part? But that’s just it. Some people said this part of their route is simply unavoidable.

“Well, there’s no trying to avoid. If you want to go around the lake, you have to go through there. There’s no way unless I start swimming,” continued Sharky.

“To avoid it, what are you gonna do, just keep going back and forth?” asked Roland Baker, who was walking with his wife. “That doesn’t make any sense. If you want to do the four-mile loop, this is part of it.”

The city does have a plan in the works to address this issue. Part of the master plan to reconfigure the lakes is to make the sidewalks and bike paths safer. However, that won’t begin until after the dredging of the lakes is complete. Right now, they are still in the designing phase of the dredging and no date has been set to begin that part of the project. So for now, folks just need to be extra careful when coming down Stanford Avenue.

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