Taxi drivers say LSU needs to change traffic plan

Published: Sep. 22, 2014 at 9:26 PM CDT
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Some Tiger fans say LSU's new contra flow traffic plan was no match for its record-breaking crowd in Tiger Stadium this weekend. Furthermore, a popular cab company believes it's bad for business.

A reported 102,321 fans packed Death Valley to cheer on the Tigers as they took on the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday. The record crowd put LSU's new traffic plan to the test.

One of the biggest changes is a double-lane contra flow on Nicholson Drive southbound from Skip Bertman Drive to Bluebonnet Boulevard.

LSU Police Department spokesperson, Captain Corey Lalonde, gave it the green light.

"I believe it worked very well," Lalonde said.

The manager of Yellow Cab taxi service, Keith Wyckoff, said of the 101 cars in his fleet, 95 were dispatched to LSU on Saturday evening.

LSU makes special accommodations for taxis, limos, and buses by allowing them to use the left lane on Nicholson northbound before kickoff. But, Wyckoff said, most of his drivers reported they sat idle near road barricades waiting on passengers after the game.

"We stage drivers as close as we can and explain to the customers that this is as close as we can get. We have to wait until they allow us to get back in," Wyckoff explained.

He said that it could take an hour or more. Wyckoff wants LSU to give public transportation companies access to Tiger Stadium after the games. He is offering what he believes is a sensible solution.

"We are asking for two lanes of one street. If they would just give us the Nicholson northbound lanes so that public transportation, us, buses and limos could get in and out of campus, combined we could move thousands of people," Wyckoff suggested.

LSU leaders meet weekly to discuss traffic management. Capt. Lalonde said while they are open to ideas, it is highly unlikely they will make any big changes anytime soon.

"This is a new plan and a major change that we've made to traffic especially post game. So, it is a situation that there are going to be adjustments that we're going to have to make throughout the season to make it the most efficient possible,” Lalonde said.

Meantime, Lalonde suggested fans carpool or use public transportation to ease traffic on campus.

Wyckoff believes it is even more reason for LSU to reconsider its current plan.

“It aggravates the customers,” Wyckoff said.

LSU will hold its weekly traffic meeting later in the week.

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