In the next few months, construction will start on new sidewalks along Carmel Drive in Lafayette.
LCG, DOTD and the Acadiana Planning Commission are partnering to fund the project. The work will be done in two phases. When both phases are done, sidewalks will line the highway from the Municipal Golf Course to the Lafayette/St. Martin Parish line.
It’s common to see people walking along the shoulder of Carmel Drive with cars zipping by.
The area has limited sidewalks, despite a high volume of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. One neighbor says this stretch of road is known for fatal accidents.
“I got a neighbor across the street from me who lost his father. I got another friend who lost one of his friends, and I had a brother pass by there,” said John Roy. “A friend who went to the store, who is handicapped, almost fell in front of a car.”
Carmel Drive is home to multiple businesses. Roy said most people in this neighborhood walk to them.
“People that walk the streets don’t need to be walking on side of the road. They need a sidewalk where they can be safe and come and go where they need to go,” said Roy.
Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux says the first phase will cover Carmel Drive between Louisiana Avenue and Pinhook Road. He says the project will cost roughly $300,000.
“Safety, access, comfort and community quality of life are important,” said Boudreaux.
The addition of sidewalks along Carmel Drive will not only make it safer, but replacing the existing damaged sidewalks will add curb appeal.
“Also, those that want to come to this walkable retail space, we want them to do that. Holy Rosary, too, we just want people to be able to access it safely,” said Boudreaux.
Once the project is complete, people will no longer have to worry about being too close to passing traffic.
“We don’t want to see anyone get hurt, and I think it’s right to have sidewalks all the way to the end so everyone can be safe,” said Roy.