Letter: Two-laning streets doesn’t help traffic

According to the article in The Advocate, March 20, 2014, planners say “dedicated bike lanes and sidewalks are expected to takes some cars off the road” as they cut Government Street from four lanes to two. It probably will — not because more people are walking and cycling to places of business, but simply because fewer autos will be able to use this already high-density, traveled street. I can just imagine folks in the Old Goodwood area walking or cycling down Government Street to shops in the Acadian Thruway area or to downtown.

If the planner reads this, please call me.

Mayor Kip Holden says he believes this improvement, if you can call it that, will bring an exciting new energy to one of Baton Rouge’s truly great streets. Do streets really get excited? I think most people, including this writer, think it will bring more traffic problems to this area.

We are always conducting traffic counts on our major streets. I would like to know if we have ever done a bicycle count, or a pedestrian sidewalk count, on the many boulevards that we have already turned into two-lane streets. Go check Sherwood Forest, Tara, Goodwood, Kenilworth boulevards, Glendale Avenue and many more that are no longer four-lane streets but have been reduced to two lanes with the use of a bucket of paint.

The money for this and other streets is being given to the city/parish, by the state, for the purpose of maintaining these roads for the next 40 years. I predict we will blow this money on projects such as Government Street, and in a few years, the politicians will be screaming for MORE TAXES to maintain our dilapidated streets; but, at least we will have more sidewalks and bike paths. Have we lost our collective minds?

James H. Jenkins Jr.

retired contractor and civil engineer

Baton Rouge