WBR council OKs speed bump policy

The West Baton Rouge Parish Council adopted a new speed bump policy designed to slow down traffic in residential neighborhoods.

The new policy requires a 75 percent approval of a street’s property owners before the traffic control measures would be installed. The policy does not apply to any street with a posted speed limit greater than 35 miles per hour.

Parish President Riley “Peewee” Berthelot Jr. told council members during their meeting Thursday that law enforcement would institute measures to slow down traffic but residents could obtain a parish-issued petition and collect approving signatures if speeding is not reduced.

Councilman Barry Hugghins said members of the Airline Way neighborhood in Erwinville complained that speeding was prevalent in their area and circulated a petition for speed bumps but others said the petition process was not fairly done.

In November, the parish removed one set of speed bumps on an Addis municipal street after residents complained they were not consulted.

Riley said the new petition includes a disclaimer informing petitioners that a speed bump may be installed in front of their home and that once a speed bump is installed, it will remain in place for at least a year.

Councilwoman Charlene Gordon amended the time period from 90 days to 60 to collect the required signatures.

Other issues coming before the council included:

FIRE DISTRICTS: Councilman Phil Porto Jr. said he was against a proposal floated by Brusly Mayor Joey Normand at the December council meeting to change state law funding mechanisms for West Baton Rouge’s fire districts.

Porto did not offer any other criteria to be included in a new law at Thursday’s meeting.

WASTE DISPOSAL: Council members extended their solid waste disposal contract with BFI Waste Services calling for continued twice-a-week pickup.

Parish Executive Assistant Jason Manola said the administration entered into renewal talks with BFI well ahead of the Sept. 1, 2013, contract expiration and had been offered a price freeze of $19.29 per household for two years and a new Aug. 31, 2019, contract renewal date.

INTERIM CONSTABLE: The council named Donald Toups, of Addis, as interim constable of Ward 1. Toups was appointed to fill the vacancy created when former Constable Rhonda Kelly was elected to the Addis Board of Aldermen in November.

Toups will serve until an April 6 primary or May 4 runoff.