I attended the Aug 28 meeting but haven’t yet submitted feedback.
My overall feedback for this I-10 project is this: dismantle the interstate highway within Baton Rouge city limits and replace much of it with a boulevard. This is in line with the forward-thinking movement to remove urban freeways, as they are now known to cause a multitude of negative consequences and create environments where nobody wants to be. There are many examples worldwide of freeway removal.
I am definitely against adding additional lanes as it well known that it does not improve congestion and only induces additional demand, resulting in equal or worse congestion. It is not sustainable to keep adding lanes as congestion is deemed too high. It only worsens the problem it’s attempting to solve.
For an urban highway that won’t immediately be removed, I am in favor of removing entrance and exit ramps, such as with the Perkins onramp. This is a decent early step on the way to community repair until the highway is removed altogether.
I am upset about the large loss of roadside trees in the current design. Trees and any future roadside prairies DOTD creates (such as what other states have, like Iowa’s Living Roadway program) are important to me and the city. Should this project advance, any removed trees must be replaced using project dollars. Even better, the number of new trees should be larger, they should all be native to Louisiana, and there should be no-mow areas of native prairie plants.
But finally, if the project advances, there should be a pedestrian bridge between the hotels along Constitution Ave and the restaurants in the Citiplace area.
DOTD will be replacing trees in accordance with their Significant Tree policy and will replant where, possible in coordination with Baton Rouge Green.