Drive down many of America’s greatest main streets and you’ll find a host of great attractions, civic institutions, transportation options and thriving businesses. What has happened to Baton Rouge’s main street — Florida St./Blvd.?
I drive along this street often and I’m always left feeling uninspired about our great city when I see the terrible planning that went into Florida’s design. It’s a six-lane, divided thruway in the heart of the city with no sidewalks, bike lanes and few pedestrian/transit facilities that make access to its businesses and institutions possible without the use of an automobile.
I think I’ve counted only one covered bus shelter along Florida Boulevard between Airline Highway and Foster Drive and that was across the street from Baton Rouge Community College with no dedicated crosswalks or pedestrian signals! There are seemingly no design standards, as there are buildings with metal siding and roofing juxtaposed against suburban-style, vacant commercial strip centers. In other words Florida Boulevard is just a plain mess and it’s time our city leaders pay attention to this ailing corridor historically considered the main street of our city.
I’d be in favor of the continuation of a program like the Green Light Plan, but this time around all the projects should be dedicated to pedestrian accessiblity, transit and biking infrastructure, and general streetscape improvements.
LSU grad student
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