I am very concerned about the destruction of trees and other green areas relative to these proposals to “improve” traffic flow. I am also very concerned about increased noise in my
neighborhood due to this expansion and the removal of green space buffer. The traffic noise in my neighborhood is already very bad, I can’t imagine how much worse it will be when the interstate is widened, trees are removed, and the College Drive “flyover” is implemented. I hope that DOTD has plans and a budget to replace every tree and green area that is destroyed in this proposal and that it has plans and a budget to improve the sound wall for my neighborhood (Jefferson Place/Bocage). I would hope that after the historic floods, the annual threat of hurricanes and tropical storms, the pollution levels, and the ever increasing heat in our area that my government would be planting MORE trees, not removing them. Did you know that trees can reduce air temperature both by blocking sunlight and transpiration and that the evaporation from a single tree can produce the cooling effect of 10 room size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day? Did you know that trees can be used to reduce wind speed from potentially damaging winds? Did you know that a well placed tree can reduce noise by as much as 40%? Did you know that trees help settle out and trap dust, pollen and smoke from the air. Did you know that trees absorb carbon dioxide and potentially harmful gasses, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, from the air? Did you know that one large tree can supply a day’s supply of oxygen for four people? Did you know that for every 10,000 miles you drive, it takes 7 trees to remove the amount of carbon dioxide produced if your car gets 40 miles per gallon (mpg); it will take 10 trees at 30 mpg; 15 trees at 20 mpg; 20 trees at 15 mpg; and 25 trees at 12 mpg)? Did you know that trees help reduce surface water runoff from storms, thus decreasing soil erosion and the accumulation of sediments in streams? Did you know that trees increase ground water recharge and reduce the number of potentially harmful chemicals transported to our rivers, bayous, coulees, and streams–and therefore our Gulf? I know we have a traffic problem in Baton Rouge (I’m in it every day). I know we’ve needed to do something to improve the situation for decades ( I urged Pat Screen and others to seek funds to improve the interstate over 30 years ago). But I also know, that sometimes when “progress” is made, unintended consequences occur that are worse than the existing problems. Please take care of our green spaces. Please plant MORE trees. We need trees and green spaces for our environment, well-being, and future. Please take care to shield our citizens from the traffic noise as it is detrimental to our health and well-being.
DOTD will be replacing trees in accordance with their Significant Tree policy and will replant where, possible in coordination with Baton Rouge Green. The project team is evaluating the effect of the flyover ramp on the noise levels for the residences in the Jefferson Place and Bocage neighborhoods.