Officials: Perkins Road project could make street safer, more pedestrian friendly

Officials: Perkins Road project could make street safer
Published: Apr. 25, 2016 at 2:33 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2016 at 2:53 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Perkins Road near the overpass could soon become more pedestrian-friendly pending the outcome of a public demonstration conducted this weekend.

Many people got the chance to share their opinions after putting parts of the improved roadway to the test.

Hosted by the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX), the city and the mayor's office, the Better Block Baton Rouge demonstration provided a glimpse of what the space could look like with a few structural changes including temporary sidewalks, one way streets plus pedestrian and bike paths.

The changes were all based on what people who live and work in the area want in their community.

"This is public-driven. We had a number of community meetings hosted by the city and by CPEX getting input from area residents and business owners," said event organizer Camille Manning-Broome.

Residents got the chance to tour the area, jotting down comments and suggestions along the way and providing feedback organizers said was mostly positive.

"There's a lot of great energy and spirit so we're hoping everyone comes and see what it could be like to walk around Perkins Road overpass," Broome added.

Supporters of the plan said the changes will not just make the streets safer but will also provide a boost to area businesses.

Perhaps no one agrees with that more than Bradley Gauthier, general manager at Schlittz & Giggles.

"Between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. we definitely got more foot traffic because usually we just have like the lunch crowd coming off of work going to lunch kind of deal but like I said it definitely helped out," Gauthier said.

Gauthier said areas near the popular pizza place were packed this weekend, something he wouldn't mind seeing more often.

"Just having that common foot traffic. It's just not something we normally see in this area because of the cars going through and it will slow all of that down and make it a lot easier for people to get here on foot and on bikes," he added.

The changes to Perkins Road are temporary but feedback collected this weekend will be reviewed to determine next steps for the project.

To keep up with more information on the project as it continues to develop click HERE.

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